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Old 22-06-2015, 08:33   #1
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DIY Standing Rigging

I'd like to learn how to replace my own rigging. One of my swage fitting has a small crack and the rest of it is pretty old.

I've decided to replace all of it gradually, starting with the cracked fitting, which is unfortunately on one of my cap shrouds. I would much rather learn to do my own rigging as this would free up additional funds for other boat related projects, as well as give a sense of accomplishment.


The problem is I have no experience and no idea where to start. Researching online has left me with more questions than answers.
Is there a good book or online resource to this? Any other advice?
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Old 22-06-2015, 08:48   #2
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Re: DIY Standing Rigging

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Originally Posted by VinnyVincent View Post
I'd like to learn how to replace my own rigging...
... Is there a good book or online resource to this? Any other advice?
“The Complete Rigger's Apprentice” by Brion Toss
Brion Toss Yacht Riggers, Sailboat Rigging::Books
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Old 22-06-2015, 08:49   #3
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Re: DIY Standing Rigging

Doing mechanical fittings ends like stalock or norseman could be fine for owners, swage ends terminals is a rigger duty, tooling is expnsive,,, stalock is quite easy when you get the idea,,,
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Old 22-06-2015, 10:17   #4
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Re: DIY Standing Rigging

Norseman or StaLoks are easy to do. Just follow the instructions and lightly lubricate the threads of the fittings with 'Never Seize' when making them up. Use the old wire as a pattern. Have done several boats with these fittings. The first one was a Westail with 24 total fittings for the rigging and another four for the lifelines. Sailed the boat to French Polynesia and back without a problem. Had never done a fitting before rigging that boat. Fist fitting took me a 1/2 hour so to do because I was nervous, took my turn, was extra careful, and took it apart and put it back together several times to be sure it had been done right. Once I got the hang of it and had more confidence, could whip one out in a few minutes. Riggee the whole boat in a long day.

If you cut the wire with a hack saw, use a hose clamps at the cut to keep the wire strands from unlaying. Like to use an angle grinder with a cutting blade to cut the wire as it gives a nice clean cut. Have also used Felco Cutters but take their wire size reccomendations with a grain of salt. Had to add pipe handle extenders to get leverage to cut 9/32" wire. Cutters were supposedly good to 5/16" or larger but didn't come with the gorilla needed to cut wire that large.
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Old 22-06-2015, 11:54   #5
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Re: DIY Standing Rigging

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
“The Complete Rigger's Apprentice” by Brion Toss
Brion Toss Yacht Riggers, Sailboat Rigging::Books
Thanks, I am ordering that right now. I've definitely got a lot to learn and will need a good book.


Quote:
Originally Posted by neilpride View Post
Doing mechanical fittings ends like stalock or norseman could be fine for owners, swage ends terminals is a rigger duty, tooling is expnsive,,, stalock is quite easy when you get the idea,,,
Well that answers my first question that had me a bit puzzled

Are there any dis-advantages as far as things like reliability goes when comparing a properly done Stalock fitting to a professionally done swage fitting?
I understand a lot of the cost involved with paying someone to rig the boat for you comes from labor to install it.
Would there be a significant difference in price if I were to have a rigger make all the cables and fittings, then install myself? Do riggers even offer that service?
For example, would it be comparable in price for me to bring in a pre-cut cable and have the professionals install the swage fitting(cheaper than stalock I'd imagine for the hardware itself, add in their labor and they end up costing just a little more for the swage fitting?)...



Something else I have been thinking about is in regard to swapping out the chain plates with the mast up. I am wondering if it is safe to do this. In order to change the chainplate/s on the lower shrouds for my boat, I believe you would have to remove both lower shrouds at once, because it appears they share a chain plate. Is this common practice?
This is really the only part that has me nervous. I actually do a small amount of lightweight aerial rigging at my job, so I am familiar with how to make cables.
It is the boat specific fittings and how to attach them to the boat that is entirely new territory for me.
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Old 22-06-2015, 12:39   #6
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Re: DIY Standing Rigging

With regards to replacing chainplates with the mast up, one determining factor is whether you have a deck or keel stepped mast. Mine is keel stepped and using multiple halyards for temporary support I had no trouble replacing multiple chainplates at a time.

When I needed to replace my backstay, I took an accurate pin to pin measurement and ordered one from riggingandhardware.com. For a small fee, they will attach swage or mechanical fittings to the cables per your specs. It was about half the cost of having the stay made locally.
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Old 22-06-2015, 12:48   #7
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Re: DIY Standing Rigging

Quote:
Originally Posted by VinnyVincent View Post
Thanks, I am ordering that right now. I've definitely got a lot to learn and will need a good book.




Well that answers my first question that had me a bit puzzled

Are there any dis-advantages as far as things like reliability goes when comparing a properly done Stalock fitting to a professionally done swage fitting?
I understand a lot of the cost involved with paying someone to rig the boat for you comes from labor to install it.
Would there be a significant difference in price if I were to have a rigger make all the cables and fittings, then install myself? Do riggers even offer that service?
For example, would it be comparable in price for me to bring in a pre-cut cable and have the professionals install the swage fitting(cheaper than stalock I'd imagine for the hardware itself, add in their labor and they end up costing just a little more for the swage fitting?)...



Something else I have been thinking about is in regard to swapping out the chain plates with the mast up. I am wondering if it is safe to do this. In order to change the chainplate/s on the lower shrouds for my boat, I believe you would have to remove both lower shrouds at once, because it appears they share a chain plate. Is this common practice?
This is really the only part that has me nervous. I actually do a small amount of lightweight aerial rigging at my job, so I am familiar with how to make cables.
It is the boat specific fittings and how to attach them to the boat that is entirely new territory for me.

It probably depends on the rigger. I took off the stays myself and gave them to the rigger so he could duplicate them. (Not all at once). Then rigged them back myself as well. Use common sense when supporting the mast while the stays are down (more lines don't hurt) and you should be fine. Not for everyone but worked for me.


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Old 22-06-2015, 13:14   #8
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Re: DIY Standing Rigging



It might be interesting to know that Brion Toss is a big proponent of using Dyneema.
I found this on one of the other sailing sites, which I found even more interesting:
SailNet Community - View Single Post - New England Ropes Synthetic lifelines?!?!

Quote:
For what it's worth Brion Toss is on record saying he nor his shop will install wire lifelines anymore. They will only use dyneema. The reasoning he gives is that he considers wire dangerous, more expensive, and harder to inspect.
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Old 22-06-2015, 18:06   #9
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Re: DIY Standing Rigging

Do-it-yourself rigging

Originally an article in Good Old Boat, I paid the author for permission to re-publish it on my website
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Old 22-06-2015, 18:17   #10
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Re: DIY Standing Rigging

Quote:
Originally Posted by VinnyVincent View Post
Thanks, I am ordering that right now. I've definitely got a lot to learn and will need a good book.




Well that answers my first question that had me a bit puzzled

Are there any dis-advantages as far as things like reliability goes when comparing a properly done Stalock fitting to a professionally done swage fitting?
I understand a lot of the cost involved with paying someone to rig the boat for you comes from labor to install it.
Would there be a significant difference in price if I were to have a rigger make all the cables and fittings, then install myself? Do riggers even offer that service?
For example, would it be comparable in price for me to bring in a pre-cut cable and have the professionals install the swage fitting(cheaper than stalock I'd imagine for the hardware itself, add in their labor and they end up costing just a little more for the swage fitting?)...



Something else I have been thinking about is in regard to swapping out the chain plates with the mast up. I am wondering if it is safe to do this. In order to change the chainplate/s on the lower shrouds for my boat, I believe you would have to remove both lower shrouds at once, because it appears they share a chain plate. Is this common practice?
This is really the only part that has me nervous. I actually do a small amount of lightweight aerial rigging at my job, so I am familiar with how to make cables.
It is the boat specific fittings and how to attach them to the boat that is entirely new territory for me.
Norseman or any similar none swaged fitting is a good choice for rigging as it is very easy to install and it is generally accepted that it is better than a swaged fitting. That said it is also more expensive so you would have to take that into account. Often people will use the Norseman fittings at deck level and a swaged fitting on the mast where the salt doesn't get to it as much. Norseman's and the like can be reused by simply using a new cone (cheap) so if you keep the boat for many years it might make economic sense. Most any rigger will swage a fitting onto a new wire for you and you certainly can change the rigging one piece at a time whether on land or in the water, thats pretty common.
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Old 22-06-2015, 19:11   #11
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Re: DIY Standing Rigging

There is a design that is totally re-usable. You don't have to replace the cones with new ones. Of course, I don't remember the name of it...
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Old 22-06-2015, 20:01   #12
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Re: DIY Standing Rigging

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There is a design that is totally re-usable. You don't have to replace the cones with new ones. Of course, I don't remember the name of it...
Hayn Hi-Mod...and of course they are more expensive.

But having used both Hayn and Norseman, Hayn is a winner hands down for ease of assembly and disassembly. Also, with Norseman you use sealant to seal the fitting, and no sealant is needed with Hayn.

Drake Paragon posted a video or two on his site when he had rigging replaced using mechanical fittings.
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Old 22-06-2015, 20:28   #13
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Re: DIY Standing Rigging

Quote:
Originally Posted by VinnyVincent View Post
Thanks, I am ordering that right now. I've definitely got a lot to learn and will need a good book.




Well that answers my first question that had me a bit puzzled

Are there any dis-advantages as far as things like reliability goes when comparing a properly done Stalock fitting to a professionally done swage fitting?
I understand a lot of the cost involved with paying someone to rig the boat for you comes from labor to install it.
Would there be a significant difference in price if I were to have a rigger make all the cables and fittings, then install myself? Do riggers even offer that service?
For example, would it be comparable in price for me to bring in a pre-cut cable and have the professionals install the swage fitting(cheaper than stalock I'd imagine for the hardware itself, add in their labor and they end up costing just a little more for the swage fitting?)...



Something else I have been thinking about is in regard to swapping out the chain plates with the mast up. I am wondering if it is safe to do this. In order to change the chainplate/s on the lower shrouds for my boat, I believe you would have to remove both lower shrouds at once, because it appears they share a chain plate. Is this common practice?
This is really the only part that has me nervous. I actually do a small amount of lightweight aerial rigging at my job, so I am familiar with how to make cables.
It is the boat specific fittings and how to attach them to the boat that is entirely new territory for me.

Well , to me Stalock or norseman make sense if you want to keep the boat for a long time, proper quality swage terminals last for a while to and they are cheaper v stalock, in other words , a set of stalock spare terminals save your day in a remote location, but swage terminals can last between 10 and 15 years..

About how costly is to install a rig and rigging, is not the installation the point, furlers and complex rigs could be, but a regular doublé spreader sloop rig is easy and fast to work with it, furlers eat some time in the process, can say the 80% of the total bill is material and cutting swage labour, in other words , we are able in our shop to replace a furler in a morning, and do a complete rigging change in a full day if everything is in order and ready, you can always ask for rigging wire and terminals , but you are responsible to get the right dimensions , the rigger dont take any risk if you give it dimensions, after all is you who measure the rig, good idea is to drop the old wires in sets in the shop and ask for a replacement ,
do the lowers, next do the uppers, the only problem could be the furler if you never handle a furler, i mean the best money saving for you or others could be prepare the rig for unstep or step and if the rigger is kindly friendly let you work in the rig like replace wiring, lights etc.. if the rigger is full involved in a full rigging refit, owners are out of bussines, saying that the rigger give it to you full warranty of the work and materials .... answer to your question, some rigger shops offer that service and others not,.. we offer that service if they come with the old wires and just ask for exactly a replacement.... just a sugestion , dont bring a pre cut wire in a rigging shop asking just for a swage terminal job unless you have some short of relation with the shop....


About the chainplates , a prvious poster answer that question... hey good luck...
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Old 22-06-2015, 21:05   #14
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Re: DIY Standing Rigging

Long but interesting and detailed explanation of the mast and rigging.

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Old 22-06-2015, 23:06   #15
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Re: DIY Standing Rigging

I re-rigged my 26' using dyneema recommended and performed by a professional rigger. I stayed with a stainless forestay because the roller furler is on it and I wasn't comfortable with that replacement.

I've had the Dyneema stays now two seasons with zero issues. They're corrosion free and expected to last about 20 years according to the rigger. One of the best things about them is they're easily jury-rigged if they every separate: Tie a figure-8 loop in both ends and then use a smaller line to make a number of bends between the two loops and tie off. Can't do that with stainless. It's also possible (although I don't recommend it) to do your own eye splicing or even loop knots around thimbles to make your own stays.

For the DIY rigger, definitely look into dyneema. It's a lot simpler to work with than stainless and better in every respect.

The only down-side is that they stays have to be pulled out to their working load rating somehow before being used, and they will creep tighter (rather than loser) over their working life. Once they've gotten to the end of the turnbuckles, they can simply be pulled out again. The rigger recommended an F150 and a tree for pulling them out.

I think just about all boats will be converting to dyneema over the course of the next decade.
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