Originally Posted by TacomaSailor
"All the rigging guys will tell you that you need to renew ALL the standing rigging after 10-12 yrs. "
I cannot agree with that statement.
Our boat is 22-years old and has been sailed 10,000 miles at sea with eight years in the hot tropical sunshine. Last year we paid two very experienced riggers (Ed has been rigging race
boats for over 30-years) from Downwind Marine
(THE place to go for sailboat cruising equipment
and information in Southern California) to do a very thorough inspection of our rigging. They found only ONE item to be replaced - the lower toggle for the forestay.
I told them I would rather pay to have all the standing rigging replaced than risk another trip to Mexico
with old questionable rigging. After spending four man hours inspecting from top to bottom they found no reason to replace anything except the toggle. And, it wasn't even certain the toggle needed replacement.
After receiving their report I pushed hard as to their degree of confidence. They told me that my rig was so oversized and overspec'ed for our sail plan that it might never need replacement. That is the same thing the North Sails
told me when they were designing and testing the trysail and storm jib
So, in some cases standing rigging will last far longer than 10-years.
this is just my experience with one well built boat - your mileage may differ depending on ???.
The problem with rigging inspections is they are only superficial.
The only two options to provide certainty as to the condition of rigging is to conduct NDT or load testing. I have yet to see any rigger use either method. Very few have the skills or the facilities to conduct these analyses.
The costs to do either would be similar to replacement. Hence the replace after x years if no other evidence is available recommendations
Also overspecced or over sized rigging provides no guarantee of survivability or load carrying ability. Corrosion
and failure occur within a swage or toggle.
A substantial body of engineering evidence, from many safety
critical applications, dating back more than 100 years disputes the notion that bigger is better. Particularly where cyclic loads are present.
Did your riggers provide a warranty after inspecting your rigging? If you check the fine print you should see their liability is zero if your rig fails in whole or in part.
I can't imagine any insurer willing to cover a rigger who would provide a warranty as to fitness for purpose.
Verbal statements outside of the report have little engineering or warranty value without evidence.
Having provided engineering evidence in court throughout my career has only confirmed the importance of testing and evidence over adhoc visual inspections.
My wife and I are near completion of standing rigging replacement of our Liberty 458 with all StaLoks.
I have documented the process which is captured in our ships manual. I will also be sectioning all our old swages and crack testing all non wire components. The wire will also be inspected internally. This allows me to prove, or otherwise, my hypothesis on the fitness for purpose of the old rigging.
I have also obtained the lot and manufacturing detail of our new wire. It will be monitored closely. Additionally I am conducting a salt water
immersion test of the old and new wire. This will provide me with relative and accelerated evidence of the quality or otherwise of our new wire.
I also have one backstay the PO replaced with StaLoks after an open ocean rigging failure. This will be stripped and inspected for corrosion
. Another useful data point.
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