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Old 22-12-2015, 12:22   #1
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Loose Shrouds

I am the 3rd or 4th owner of a 1983 Dufour 1800 / 25. The standing rigging may need replacing as some of the turnbuckles are in as far as possible but the stays are still loose. I suspect they may be originals even though they look good cosmetically. At what point should the entire shroud be replaced? Or can they be shortened? How can they be tested for strength?
thanks, James
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Old 22-12-2015, 12:28   #2
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Re: Loose Shrouds

If they are 10 years old or more and you don't know when or where they are previously replaced, for peace of mind , replace the rigging.
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Old 22-12-2015, 12:34   #3
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Re: Loose Shrouds

The first question your response raises is what will piece of mind cost per shroud. Could I just replace the loose ones that no longer can be tightened? And i really don't know where to start. Do I just search for "sailboat rigger"?
Thanks James
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Old 22-12-2015, 12:45   #4
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Re: Loose Shrouds

depend the quality, who do the job, length of wires, many variables, I guess between 1000 to 2000 $, just a guess.
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Old 22-12-2015, 12:52   #5
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Re: Loose Shrouds

If you are not crossing oceans or large bays, maybe you can get by with some shorter turnbuckles for the time being.

My boat sat on the hard for 5 years. I know the guy went on a 2 year cruise before he left it on the hard.

I splashed it in 2011 and have used it quite a lot since. So that's about 12 years on the same shrouds. (I have no broken wires on any stays/shrouds)
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Old 22-12-2015, 13:08   #6
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Re: Loose Shrouds

Check your mast step. Sometimes loose shrouds indicate the mast has been "settling".
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Old 22-12-2015, 13:17   #7
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Re: Loose Shrouds

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmczzz View Post
The first question your response raises is what will piece of mind cost per shroud. Could I just replace the loose ones that no longer can be tightened? And i really don't know where to start. Do I just search for "sailboat rigger"?
Thanks James
Simple answer is to heed the advice already given, & replace them. And I say this Especially as, when a boat's been re-rigged within the last decade or so, & it's being sold, owners tend to make CERTAIN that the buyer knows as much. As well as often providing recipts for such work.

Plus, if your shrouds have stretched so much that the turnbuckles have bottomed out, it's Way past time to swap them out. As well as doing a full on rigging inspection; meaning All of the bits which hold it up.
For folks with a bit of experience, it's not overly complex job to do. But it's not generally a job for a rigging virgin. As there are a lot of little things which need looking at/inspecting. In addition to plenty of little tricks, which make such jobs a lot easier.

As to your query about being able to shorten your current shrouds: Yes, it's possible, & isn't complex. Though it'd probably be a DIY job, as any rigger would likely pass on shortening them, after learning the full story.
You could use pretty much any of the mechanical end terminals to affect such a change. But consider this, the wires are too loose, & thus have been flexing back & forth for a while. Even when the boat's just sitting at the dock, due to both wind & wave action.
What happens to wire when it's repeatedly bent back & forth?

And since things are so loose, this same type of fatigue is occurring to some degree in most of theh various parts which comprise your standing rigging. Thus my comment about doing a full rig inspection, not just a basic shroud replacement. Although it's a good idea to do a full inspection anyway, by the time any boat's due for new shrouds.

Also, your mast step likely needs a good inspection. Or if she's deck stepped, now's a good time to check the whole structure from the deck step, down to the keel. As there may be compression, & or damage in any or all of the components which support the spar.

PS: Shrouds looking good on the outside, but being in poor shape structurally isn't uncommon. As you can't see what's going on on their insides. Nor how much the structure of the metal may have crystalized, & be suffering from metal fatigue.
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Old 22-12-2015, 13:17   #8
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Re: Loose Shrouds

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodnumbers64 View Post
Check your mast step. Sometimes loose shrouds indicate the mast has been "settling".

That's the issue I have. Aluminum mast on a steel step. A known issue with my model.

If deck stepped could still be an issue with the compression post or deck.

Doesn't take very much lowering at the mast to loosen the shrouds, surprisingly little in fact.
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Old 22-12-2015, 13:19   #9
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Re: Loose Shrouds

jmczzz,

A couple of questions:

Which stays have become loose? Caps? Lowers? Fore and back?

I'm wondering why they did. Have the chainplates come loose?

To answer the question about shortening the turnbuckles, if you have StaLok or Norseman fittings, you could try, but if they're swaged, then no. The suggestion to try and find shorter turnbuckles might work, but does not address the issue or whether the wire has continued to stretch after taking it's original set, which i've not heard of, or if something else has moved.

What neilpride wrote, that after 10 yrs., all rigging of unknown origin is a concern, that is what riggers tell us too.

You do need to consult a rigger (ask around, someone will have had one help him). Fwiw, one time we had the only wire we hadn't replaced break during a gale. It looked fine on the outside, didn't have any meathooks, but the inside had turned all to powder (rust). Jim had to go aloft to jury rig a repair. Best avoided, imho. Just remembered, we had a forestay break, too, and it was only 4 years old, and was of the best quality wire we could get, but it was a fatigue issue from using the roller furling headsail partly rolled up.

Ask around where the boat is kept, someone will be able to point you in the right direction. For instance, if there are no chainplate or other hidden issues, the rigger can make up new wires for you, and you can do the actual replacement, one at a time (and there are threads here about that).

Ann
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Old 22-12-2015, 13:26   #10
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Re: Loose Shrouds

Frankly, I doubt if shrouds or other standing rigging could stretch enough to bottom out rigging screws (unless the shrouds were too long when made). I would suspect either the mast step or deck or compression post if all the standing rigging is slack, or individual chain plates if only select ones are slack.

Jim
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Old 22-12-2015, 13:58   #11
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Re: Loose Shrouds

I had no contact with the PO when I purchased my boat. (estate sale)

I had one of the stays (backstay) bottom out at 440 on the loos gauge on my 40 year old boat. All stays and shrouds are at 440 except the forward lowers which are at 550.

I was thinking that since I have a low sail area/disp ratio and that my boat is a bit overbuilt, I decided to see if my rigging would holdout for a while since I didn't know how long I was going to keep my boat.

Plus, since I paid $2,000 for the boat I didn't want to put that much into the rigging.

So after setting my rigging I tested it in strong winds a few times. A couple times in winds around 22, and for 4 hours in winds from 24-30 mph. The four hour thing wasn't a test.............I got caught in a situation and had to run downwind for a while.........

Every situation is different. Are you sailing on a lake in the Ozarks in 5 knots of wind or in the Gulf in 20 plus?
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Old 22-12-2015, 16:20   #12
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Re: Loose Shrouds

Thank you all for the input. I just bought a new 9.8 4 stroke Tohatsu to replace the worn out Mariner 9.9 2 stroke that was on the boat. So I will just have to get the boat down to my home territory the North Gulf Coast. I do not want to be on the hard and hung out to dry where the boat is now, New Haven CT. I will just have to nurse her South and motor down the icw. I am now back in AR where my Catalina 22 is in the lake. I am beginning to think I bought a "pig in the poke" as they say here in hill billy land. I was trying to solve a major problem of my wife going with me on my bucket list Great Loop cruise. She would only go in a bigger boat. She really likes this Dufour. Nice on the inside and good looks all around. I trusted the seller to be telling me the truth. no mention of rigging problems. I noticed the loose shrouds and bottomed out turnbuckles after the fact. I did ask him about them and he said they were not a problem. In light of you folks comments that seems to not be the case. I just need to get her down to the New Orleans area (my home turf) where I know the folks in yards, lofts and marinas. and I will not have to stay in a hotel etc. I feel like the guy that made all the mistakes all you folks warn about in this forum. The boat is in a slip paid for until March 30. I planed on going back up there in Feb to do some prep so I'll investigate more based on you advice. I'm not sure how to check the compression under the deck stepped mast. Any tips on that would be welcomed.
Discouraged but not defeated, Thanks James
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Old 22-12-2015, 18:38   #13
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Re: Loose Shrouds

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodnumbers64 View Post
Check your mast step. Sometimes loose shrouds indicate the mast has been "settling".
My neighbor had the same symptom.
After paying for a crane to remove his mast, he replaced his rotten mast step which was sitting in bilge water with a 4x4 piece of Douglas Fir (not painted, pressure treated or any other protection).

Next, he paid the crane to come back and replace the mast.

I didn't find out about his work until after it was done.
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Old 22-12-2015, 21:14   #14
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Re: Loose Shrouds

I think I'm beginning to get the idea... thanks to all for your advice and patience.
James
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Old 22-12-2015, 21:40   #15
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Re: Loose Shrouds

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Just remembered, we had a forestay break, too, and it was only 4 years old, and was of the best quality wire we could get, but it was a fatigue issue from using the roller furling headsail partly rolled up.
Any details about this? I do that very, very often.
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