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Old 13-02-2010, 14:56   #1
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How Old Is Too Old Before SS Rigging Should Be Replaced?

I am going to preface this question with an obvious answer; that if the rigging has been cared for, and is commensurate with the condition of the rest of the boat, then it could be a non issue. But what if the rigging shows age or 'normal wear'? How much would one spend for a Rigger to inspect the rigging on a boat being considered for purchase? I would assume it's done after a survey?

Since I'm not a tirekicker type person, as I don't like the same when buying or selling in the used market; how does one negotiate with a seller for the 'cost of replacement rigging' that they feel is 'servicable'? Same with 'original sails' that may or may not be servicable?
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Old 13-02-2010, 15:51   #2
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I note you are on the lookout right now.

I advise asking any seller the following questions

What age is the standing rigging

Ask for details of quantity, condition and age of all sails. Were they used for racing or cruising?

What age & make is the engine and what service history can be provided. How many hours run has it clocked up?

These are the big expense items that may need replacement on a second hand boat - this needs to be considerd in any price calculation.

Personally, I would prefer to spend a little extra to ensure I did not purchase trouble or chores which would keep me of the water!
Good luck

Tony
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Old 13-02-2010, 19:02   #3
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G'Day Castoff,

One guide line is to ask your prospective insurance company (assuming that you will be insured) if the age of the rigging wire matters to them. HEre in Oz many insurers require replacement at surprisingly short intervals (5-7 years). I'm not saying that you must follow this regime, but it could influence your dicision.

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Old 13-02-2010, 19:03   #4
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This issue was a deal breaker for me in a really nice boat. The boat had rod rigging, as far as we could tell it had not been messed with since the late 80's. Probably was OK, but at 25 years I wanted to factor in new rigging. The owner said no- the rigging was good. We went our separate ways and I was out the survey.
Bottom line for me - wire rigging- needs to look perfect and less than 10 years old. Rod rigging: probably go to 20 years- but very hard to survey....
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Old 13-02-2010, 19:51   #5
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There are really two issues here, what you are willing to sail with and what your insurance company is comfortable with as mentioned by Jim Cate. Either party being unhappy will result in needing to get new rigging. Rigging is hard to haggle about since the previous owner will always feel that it has more life left. You can point out accepted periods of time such as 10 or 15 years for wire. However, if your insurance company has a set amount of time, then that becomes a good bargaining tool.

What type of boat are you looking at? I was actually surprised how cheap the rigging was to replace on my boat but it still cost just over $1k which would be nice to put into other things. There are tests like a dye test that can help give you an idea of the condition of the rigging but even a rigger is guessing to some degree. You are correct that a rigging inspection would be done post survey.
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Old 13-02-2010, 20:28   #6
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when i first purchased my first boat in 1990 i was advised 20 yrs is max for ss rigging wire--or when the wires start to unravel--lol--i donot like to wait that long---so i asked my rigger he agreed with that...go figger....i was also advised to vaseline my connections and observe closely for deep rusting and for barbs--
i was given an estimate of $1200 to replace my ericsons rig--family discount lol..my formosa was changed out 5 yrs ago by the previous owner--the rigger didnt replace the lazyjacks with the rig....and he paid 6000 for the ketch re-rigging...i donot know how much a rigger would cost for a survey--doesnt the surveyor check that??
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Old 13-02-2010, 20:52   #7
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A quick way to check the wire for fatigue, if the owner will allow, is to disconnect one of the adjusters and bend the wire at the terminal to see if a broken end is revealed and to see if the wire is still supple and returns to shape. If it kinks, it's work hardened and near the end of it's life.

A well know rigger from Queensland has an article on the web that is very good. Rig Maintenence Made Simple

PS Zeehag... the rigger I mention is a woman sailor too. Not sure about the black laced thingo though.
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Old 14-02-2010, 04:50   #8
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A quick way to check the wire for fatigue, if the owner will allow, is to disconnect one of the adjusters and bend the wire at the terminal to see if a broken end is revealed and to see if the wire is still supple and returns to shape. If it kinks, it's work hardened and near the end of it's life.

A well know rigger from Queensland has an article on the web that is very good. Rig Maintenence Made Simple

PS Zeehag... the rigger I mention is a woman sailor too. Not sure about the black laced thingo though.

Thank for posting that link - good article!!
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Old 14-02-2010, 05:28   #9
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I prefer rod but it's all we've had for 35 years.

NAVTEC Rigging Solutions

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
This issue was a deal breaker for me in a really nice boat. The boat had rod rigging, as far as we could tell it had not been messed with since the late 80's. Probably was OK, but at 25 years I wanted to factor in new rigging. The owner said no- the rigging was good. We went our separate ways and I was out the survey.
Bottom line for me - wire rigging- needs to look perfect and less than 10 years old. Rod rigging: probably go to 20 years- but very hard to survey....
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Old 14-02-2010, 10:06   #10
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Thanks for the replies folks. Each had merit in passing along a bit of knowledge. I was of the opinion that a surveyor would call in a rigger if the wire rigging seemed suspect to him. Boat was of 1972 vintage, but I am passing based on other things that I'm not able to live with about it. Just another reason why the right surveyor is the most important part of the boat buying process.
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Old 14-02-2010, 10:33   #11
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I can’t see rigging as a deal breaker in the purchase of a sailboat. As folks have posted, it is not all that expensive and if you do it yourself you end up understanding far more about it than the ‘boat driver’ that I am seeing all too commonly these days.

If you are trying to buy a cheap boat and keep it cheap, good luck. I would simply assume that it needs to be done, perhaps sooner rather than later, like most boat maintenance.

As to sails: I am not looking for a boat, but have shopped around over the years. I see far more issue with sail storage than with sail use. A whole lot of boats don’t sail much and sails spend much more time furled than exposed to salt air and sunshine.

I know both Uk-Halsey and Quantum tell you to not leave a foresail furled on the roller for more that 30 days. How many people break that rule? How many people do not even take the tension off the halyard before furling? A lot I know of. A properly stored sail can be old in age but nearly new in condition. It all varies.

Um Saudade
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Old 14-02-2010, 10:51   #12
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I have alway felt boat surveys and home inspections were for hidden flaws...

or at least things that were not clearly apparent. I have sold home and boats, and when asked about something being "dated" or "old" I would typically, very politely, reply that that was normal for the age and was reflected in the price. It was neither hidden nor should have been a surprise. Old rigging is obvious.

If you uncovered incorrect repairs, hidden deterioration (delamination, rot, corrosion beyond normal for the age, bad batteries, poor engine, etc.), defects that were not apparent until a sea trial (rigging sticks, poor winches, creaking beyond normal for the model), then there is something to negotiate.

Though everything is a negotiation.
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Old 14-02-2010, 11:56   #13
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UM S', you mentioned some useful info in your post. I did take a look over the rigging in hand as the mast was not stepped, and it appears to have corrosion issues at connection points, and where devices were placed on the wire shrouds to hang/hold gear. Your sail comments were enlightening also.

Thinwater, there were some 'not mentioned', out of sight fibreglass repairs done that looked suspect. When questioned the owner acted as if he was surprised to see them himself...after owning the boat for 7 years.

Either way, if the rigging needs to be replaced on a boat then it should be taken into consideration when the owner/broker prices the boat. Still, if a hired surveyor states it needs to be replaced then that places a bargaining chip firmly in the hands of a buyer IMO. In this economy the middle class boat buyers are begining to get slim out there making some boats better deals than others.
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Old 14-02-2010, 13:59   #14
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My 1981 Hunter 30 was dis-masted in 2002. A bridge tender in Ft. Lauderdale didn't see me passing under his bridge when he decided to close it. Oh well, sucks to be me.

The reason I'm bringing this up is that my standing rigging suffered little damage in the accident, even though it was over 20 years old. In fact, I could have re-used almost all of it. It was the three chainplates that snapped which allowed everything to come down around my ears. When we later examined the chainplates, we found that they had corroded internally. They were the weak points in my rigging, although to the naked eye, they looked perfect.

The point I'm trying to make is that there is no hard and fast way to determine when something is going to break on a boat, including new boats. Unless there is some obvious sign of failure you will go nuts wondering if this, that, or something else is going to break. Just accept the fact that it will break at the absolutely worst possible time (aka Murphy's Law).

If you're buying an older boat, stuff's going to break more frequently than on a new boat. So, adjust your purchase offer accordingly. However, don't pass up a perfectly sound boat because of what MIGHT happen in the future. There is no mathematical formula that will tell you when it's time to replace the rigging, the thru hulls, replace/rebuild the engine, or anything else for that matter.

Just my $.02.
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Old 14-02-2010, 14:08   #15
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Good points Alan, my main concern was/is metal fatigue of the wire rigging shrouds and stays when a boat has been used regularly and is older.
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