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Old 06-02-2011, 07:54   #1
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When Is the Right Time to Replace the Standing Rig ?


"After five years of heavy sailing, you should make some deep maintenance and replacements in the standing rig.", some sailors telling.

If you discover breakage with your eye it is obvious. But if you don’t see any kind of weakness, how could you make the right assessments and then the right decisions to replace terminals, back and for stays? Do you have to base the decisions upon the “year in duty” approach and assume that after 10 years of rough cruising you should prepare for major replacements?
I am leaving the Ionian in August for two years circumnavigation. That is most probably going to be what you could call rough cruising in periods. The mast and standing rig has not been down since 8 years ago and the main question is if a surveyor will be able to assess the condition right without taking the mast down.

Anyone with similar concerns and perhaps a rout out of it?

Fair winds,
Gunnar
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:35   #2
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If you plan on a circumnavigation then you will pull out the stick, check everything and replace as required.

I would replace all standing rigging unless the age and provenience are clearly known and considered adequate.

At Navtec site you will find a discussion devoted to standing rigging age and replacement.

Some of 'no name, no age' shrouds on our boat snapped as well as some backing plates. On the contrary, none of new pieces of rigging failed.

It is very difficult to fix anything out at sea and in remote locations you may find lack of skills or materials (including some possibly out of stock terminals or plates you might have up there) so replacing everything prior to departure is a win-win solution.

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Old 06-02-2011, 13:54   #3
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Our boat was 23 yrs-old when we bought it but not all the standing rigging was original. I deliberately stressed the rig and things started to break...

All standing rigging and fittings have been replaced prior to a planned transatlantic.

I would pull the mast and replace the lot unless you know the provenance.
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Old 07-02-2011, 05:11   #4
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Gunnar, we have just put the mast back up having had both running and standing rigging changed. Looking back through the receipts from the previous owner it was last done in 2000.

However, the previous rigging had that white plastic stuff all over it. Over the last decade dirt has built up under the plastic as water runs down the rigging which then attracts damp, particularly in NW Europe. It all looked a bit manky so chose to replace the standing rigging but leave it open to the elements.

We also took the opportunity to replace the running rigging some of which may have been original. So the wire to rope halyards for hoisting sails have been replaced with Dyneema as has the spare forestay.

Wasn't particularly cheap at $2900, but it's done now and we don't have to worry about it for at least a decade. I was also able to give the lights and VHF a good inspection whilst the mast was down.

In your position I would replace both standing and running rigging, as already said fixing it at sea isn't a good option.

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Old 07-02-2011, 05:32   #5
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If you replace with galvanised rigging, it'll take the guesswork out of it next time. Unlike stainless, galvanised tells you when it's had enough. Just a suggestion.
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Old 07-02-2011, 13:25   #6
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Hi "b." and Pete,

I expect the cost to be slightly more than $3.000 ... The mast at Camelot is 23 metres and the stainless 12 and 15 mm. stays are heavy. I am not sure of the history of the standing rig, so I prepare for the worst case. However, worst case is after all the best case. I will know the condition for sure.



Thanks for sharing your experiences.

Fair wind,
Gunnar
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Old 07-02-2011, 18:34   #7
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The price for a full replacement on a 10 meter mast (2 forestays, 2 top shrouds, 2 backstays, 4 lowers) is approx 900 Eur. About 1200 Eur if backing plates and chainplates replaced at the same time. Prices in Canary Islands.

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Old 07-02-2011, 18:43   #8
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i was told and shown that the stainless wire will create marks.. like spots every foot or so.. so if you look up at the rigging and see dots along the wires, then it is time or near time to replace the standing rigging...
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Old 07-02-2011, 19:18   #9
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Old 07-02-2011, 22:43   #10
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Plenty of unexpected things will occur during 23.000 nautical miles. Therefore the engine, standing and running rig has to be “brand new”. The practical thing is that I will have 1.700 nautical miles to set the new rig during the passage from Greece to Gibraltar. The Med. has the best service provisions on the globe. So when I arrives Gibraltar I should have had the opportunity to adjust all necessary details that always comes with new fittings.

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Old 08-02-2011, 00:27   #11
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i was told and shown that the stainless wire will create marks.. like spots every foot or so.. so if you look up at the rigging and see dots along the wires, then it is time or near time to replace the standing rigging...
Yea, maybe. The repeating darkness usually indicates is that one wire of the 7 has a bit of slack in it. Perhaps only at rest. The slack causes a slight gap which holds more moisture - or something - and allows more corrosion. With any wind that slackness likely gets tightened up as the other 6 wire stretch a bit.

That slackness might have been there when new, or might be a failing swage, or might be a failing wire. It's a clue. But may indicate nothing.

Take the rig down, or at least take the wires off. Clean and inspect every piece. Lube the screws. If the wires, or their ends, or their pins look worn out, they are. Replace the whole piece. If several pieces are well worn replace the whole set.

If you just bought the boat, and the seller can't show you the receipts but says the rig is "pretty new, just a few years ago" that means it's around 14 years old and completely unsafe.
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Old 08-02-2011, 05:59   #12
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My insurance company requires that the standing rigging be replaced every 15 years.
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Old 08-02-2011, 06:05   #13
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(...) The Med. has the best service provisions on the globe. (...)

Yes, but probably also the worst. It is a mixed batch and I have seen horrible mistakes done by boat 'pros' there. E.g. in Chroatia, Greece and Turkey.

Med has plenty of protected waters and huge numbers of charter boats. Some local services are cut just for this market.

If measure is known all rigging can be done in a reliable place in e.g. UK and shipped.

Needles to say a good rigger in Greece is a a good rigger. Just make sure you know the good one from a crook.

I found that riggers working for local racing fleet are often reliable.

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Old 11-02-2011, 07:11   #14
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Anyone with similar concerns and perhaps a rout out of it?
Fair winds,Gunnar
Hi Gunnar

I usually specialise in doing Pre Buying Inspection visits only on Colvic Watson Motor Sailers, but recommend the rigging to be replaced after 12 years, max 14 years.

Look at the swagging at the top of the bottle scews for signs of broken wire strands, kinking and unequal strain within the upper/lower terminals and the rigging screws for cracks and bends.

Also do not forget to look at any shackles used maybe for the forestay/backstay for wear.

Sorry personally not a fan of using galvanised wire for rigging, better in Stainless steel.

Hope this might help
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:27   #15
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Thanks to you all! I have found a Lloyd’s surveyor to check the standing rig from top to bottom in May. Then I just have to follow the output directives, smile, pay and sail lucky.

Fair winds,
Gunnar
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