Rig Inspection Guide
- from Hall Spars http://www.hallspars.com/
1. Check the general tuning and rake of your mast
. Check for proper positive bend with minimum and maximum backstay tension.
2. Check mast
collar for secure blocking and install a proper mast boot.
3. Check that mast sits flush on mast step.
4. Check that chainplates are water
tight and inspect attachment points belowdecks for wear or movement. Check for water
stains around chainplates attached to wooden bulkheads that might indicate dry rot
5. Check turnbuckles for signs of galled threads, bent body or studs, cracks, secure locking nuts or cotter pins, signs of elongated holes or bent clevis pins. Make sure that all shrouds and the headstay have proper toggles for articulation.
6. Check all rod or wire terminals for signs of fatigue, cracks, or bends.
7. Inspect furler hardware
for loose or missing fasteners. Make sure the system rotates freely and the bearing on both the drum and the halyard
swivel are cleaned and lubricated. Check for proper lead on the furling
8. Check boom and vang goosenecks for worn pins, elongated holes, cracks in toggles or welds. Check for loose fasteners.
9. Inspect boom for cracks or dents. Check all attachment bails or pad eyes for signs
of wear. Is outhaul
and reefing equipment
in good order? Are mainsheet blocks and shackles working properly?
10. Check mast at deck
level. Look for cracks or excessive wear at halyard
exit slots. Check sailgate and mast track. Check mast-mounted hardware
11. Check for proper operation of winches. Winches should be serviced several times a year for best operation.
: Inspect all swage terminals for cracks. Check turnbuckles, eyes, and pelican hooks for bends or cracks. Check the lifeline cable where it goes through the stanchion for excessive wear. Check bow and stern pulpits and stanchions for secure attachment.
13. Inspect jacklines
and their attachments.
14. Inspect halyards: Attach spare line or halyard tail to halyard shackle and pull up to inspect full length of halyard and wire-to-rope splice. Check wire for broken strands and shackle for proper operation.
15. Running rigging
should be gone over for signs of wear and fatigue. Inspect all
shackles and deck
Inspection Up the Mast
1. Mast head
: Check the attachments for the headstay, backstay, and upper shrouds for cracks, elongated clevis pin holes, secure cotter pins, and proper alignment. Headstay should be toggled. Check sheaves and pins for wear and ensure that sheaves turn freely. Check for sharp edges where halyards exit. Check spinnaker
halyard blocks and shackles and their attachment to masthead for wear. Check masthead wind
indicators and electronic instruments for secure attachment. Inspect top of mainsail
track for wear in headboard area. Check that all fasteners, rivets, and screws are tight. All Dee shackles should be seized to prevent screw pin from backing out.
2. Headstay and furler
: The top of the headstay foil should be inspected for damage caused by halyard wrapping. Check for proper angle of halyard-to-halyard swivel to prevent halyard wrap. Check for proper height of the halyard swivel. Make sure that smaller, short-hoist jibs have wire pennants. Check upper terminal on wire or rod for fatigue or cracked swage.
3. Upper, intermediate, and lower shrouds: Check all terminals for signs of fatigue and cracks. Check tangs and surrounding areas for signs of stress or cracks. Make sure all tang fasteners are secured. Inspect clevis and cotter pins for wear. Check shrouds or terminals at the ends of the spreaders.
4. Backstay: Check terminals for fatigue and cracks. Check backstay insulators. Check backstay turnbuckle or hydraulic cylinder for proper function.
5. Spreaders: Check spreader for bends, dents, or cracks. Check any area thatís welded for stress cracks. Check leading and trailing edges of spreader for wear caused by runners and/or inner forestays. Add chafe protection locally to runners. Check that the spreader bases are secure. On wooden spreaders, check for signs of dry rot
around fittings. Check spreader tips for excessive corrosion
(remove chafe gear
or tape if possible to inspect). Make sure shrouds are securely attached to spreader tips with tip plate, seizing wire, or clamps.
6. Check sailtrack fasteners if the mainsail
track is mechanically fastened to the spar. Loose rivets or screws could prevent the sail from dropping.
7. Running backstays
, inner forestay, and babystay: Inspect terminals for fatigue, cracks, and proper alignment. Check toggles and clevis/cotter pins. Check tangs for signs of wear. T-terminals should have rubber retaining plugs.
Tuning Your Rig
- from Hall Spars ( http://www.hallspars.com/
The goal of rig tuning is to have a mast thatís straight athwartships. This will help you gain control of sail shape and achieve proper helm
balance in a variety of conditions. Most importantly, the resulting mast tune will not impart any excessive strain or loads on the spars, rigging
, or the structure of the boat. The basic adjustments for tuning
a rig are actually straightforward and not the mystery that some people might make them out to be.
To begin, we should define the difference between fore-and-aft tune and transverse tune. Fore-and-aft tune basically refers to rake and mast bend. Transverse or lateral tune refers to setting the mast up straight sideways and setting up the uppers to minimize
Letís begin with rake, which is determined by headstay length. Rake affects helm
by moving the center of effort of the sails
relative to the center of lateral resistance. A longer headstay gives more rake which gives you more weather
A starting point for arriving at the correct rake is to measure the designed rake of the sailplan. A typical 40' boat would have about 15"-18" of rake. To calculate rake, hang a plumb bob from the main halyard and measure from the aft side of the mast along the cabin
top to the plumb bob. This should be done with the backstay tensioned at about 60%. The actual amount of rake you end up with may vary depending on the normal conditions you sail in and may be a compromise between whatís optimum in light air vs. heavy air.
The second aspect of fore-and-aft tune is mast bend. A certain amount of mast bend is desirable. Mast bend is determined by the relationship between the positions of the masthead, deck partners, and mast step. If weíve decided on the proper rake, then the masthead position is fixed and we have the deck partners and mast butt positions to adjust to induce mast bend. By either moving the mast forward in the deck collar or moving the mast butt aft in the step, we can induce some bend into the rig.
Another factor that can affect mast bend is the angle at which the butt of the mast is cut off. If the mast is resting on its forward or aft face, the resulting moment will have a major effect on bend. We normally radius the butt of the mast so that the spar will bear near the center axis of the section, thereby minimizing the bending moment regardless of the angle of the spar to the step.
Other factors that control mast bend are double lower shrouds, babystays, and inner forestays. Double lower shrouds can be tuned to increase or limit mast bend. Babystays are typically used on boats with single
, in-line lowers and pull the rig forward down low in the same way as forward lowers. Inner forestays with a staysail can put a large bending moment in the spar and are usually opposed with running backstays
or aft intermediates.
Spreader sweep is also a big factor in mast bend. This factor, however, is a design feature of the spar system, and not a variable as most spreaders are fixed rigidly to the spar. Aft-swept spreaders will facilitate some mast bend and in-line spreaders will restrict mast bend.
So what does all this talk of mast bend mean? Why is it important? A certain amount of bend is necessary as it makes the spar more stable and less likely to pump in a breeze. Most mainsails require a certain amount of mast bend to set properly, and, as the breeze increases, the combination of more backstay tension and more bend will flatten the main. This will keep the boat standing more upright and ease the helm.
Another consideration is headstay sag. Controlling the amount of headstay sag with an adjustable backstay will allow you to optimize the shape of the genoa
through a range of wind
strengths. With an adjustable backstay, particularly an hydraulic backstay, itís extremely important to establish a maximum backstay load as well as some lower reference points. A good upper limit is 30-40% of the breaking strength of the backstay wire or rod. This allows some margin of error in the system in case of shock loading.
Lateral tuning is probably the most important tuning process and is often the most confusing, particularly with multiple-spreader rigs. Keeping the mast straight athwartships over a range of wind strengths and sea conditions is essential to keeping the rig in the
In addition to keeping the spar straight or in column, weíre interested in having the upper shrouds tight enough to minimize how far the mast leans over the side when sailing upwind. This will help reduce weather
helm. Although the effect is small, most boats have too much weather helm in fresh air and itís important to minimize it any way we can.
The first step in lateral tuning is to center the mast in the boat. The backstay and upper shrouds should be relatively loose at this point to minimize bending the rig. Pull a steel
tape up on the main halyard and measure to the chainplate or to a point on the gunwale on each side. Adjust the upper shrouds until you get the same readings port
At this point, check to see that the spar is firmly secured in the partners with wood wedges or preferably hard rubber wedges. They should be very tight so the mast cannot work or move at the deck. Spartite is the most efficient and effective means of securing the mast in the partners, and is required for carbon spars.
The next step is to tension the upper shrouds at the dock
. Make sure the turnbuckle threads are lubricated to prevent damage from galling. A dry lubricant is preferred, such as Rig Lube or Bike Aid. The upper shrouds should be as tight as you can get them with a 10" crescent wrench. Donít use a larger wrench or an extender as you can damage the threads. Additional tensioning must be done under sail. The lowers and intermediates should be fairly loose, or just tight enough to keep the mast straight.
If the boat has discontinuous rigging, itís important that the diagonals be very loose before tensioning the verticals. They will tension as the verticals are tensioned.
Now weíre ready to further tension the upper shrouds under sail. In about 15 knots of breeze, put up the main and begin by tightening the leeward upper shroud
. Keep track of the number of turns. While tacking back and forth, continue to tighten the turnbuckles on each leeward side until the uppers are snug with the boat heeled at 20 degrees. Donít worry about the lowers or intermediates at this stage; the object is to fully tension the uppers.
Another method for tensioning the uppers without sailing is to heel the boat over at the dock
using a halyard. The halyard must lead through a fair lead lock at the masthead and have a clear lead directly abeam. This method saves time and also allows adjustment of the lowers and intermediatesóbut exercise caution tuning this way. Now that we have the target tension on the upper shrouds, weíre ready to straighten the mast with the lowers and intermediates. With a single-spreader rig, simply tension the lowers until the mast appears straight when sighting up the sail track or groove. This should be done under full sail in 15 knots of breeze. If the boat has double lowers, generally the forward lower will be tighter than the aft lower. The forward lower does most of the work supporting the mast laterally. The aft lower acts primarily to limit mast bend as the backstay is tightened in heavy air. At the dock, the lowers will be a good deal looser than the uppers. Under sail, the lowers on the leeward side will flop around a lot, and itís a good idea to use a shock cord lashing to take out the slack and prevent fatigue.
Multiple spreader rigs are more complex, but the tuning process is essentially the same. After the uppers are secured, start with the D1 shrouds (lowers). These should betight enough to prevent sagging to leeward at the first spreader in 18 knots of breeze.
The next shroud
up in a double-spreader rig would be the D2 or the intermediate. The adjustment of the D2 is very important as it has a large effect on the transverse bend in the upper part of the spar. It should be set up fairly loose in the beginning of the tuning process and gradually tightened to eliminate sag at the second spreader.
If the D2 is too tight, the upper spreader is pulled to windward and the masthead is relatively to leeward. This situation is undesirable as the angle between the upper shroud and the spar at the upper tang is reduced. Many people view that as the tip falling off, with the solution to tighten the uppers, when the correct adjustment is to ease the D2. The final fine-tuning adjustments of the diagonal shrouds should be done at 20-30 degrees of heel, as the adjustment is relatively insensitive at low loads.
Essential Rig Tuning Manual: http://www.hallspars.com/pdfs/HallRigTuneManual.pdf
Care of Carbon, Prebend, Rig Inspection, and Rig Tuning all together in pdf format.
Rigging Inspections Checks
- from Sailing Supply
How to Sail Fast - Rig Tuning
- by Bob Sterne
RIG TUNING GUIDELINES
- from Z-Spar