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Old 01-12-2021, 18:46   #1
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Replacing rod bobstay

I own a 1985 43’ Hans Christian 43T with a Telstar keel. It has rod rigging for the bobstay. The rod is slightly bent in a few places. Probably due to a PO running into something.

I want to replace with new rod rigging. Who could I go to to get a new bobstay made in rod rigging? I considered going to wire but I like the idea of staying with rod rigging for several reasons.

Does anyone still make / sell rod rigging?

Thanks

Phil
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Old 01-12-2021, 19:23   #2
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Re: Replacing rod bobstay

I replaced mine on my Lord Nelson 41 for the same reason. I sourced the 316ss round bar from a local metal supply company. Then I had a local machine shop cut the threads on each end - clockwise on one end and counter clockwise on the other. Large ss hex nuts matching the opposing threads were purchased from McMaster Carr.
If I recall correctly, total for labor and materials was under $300.
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Old 01-12-2021, 20:27   #3
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Re: Replacing rod bobstay

Onlinemetals.com sells 8 feet of 5/8" 316 SS "round bar" for $98.84 US. Any length longer than that the shipping is WAY expensive.
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Old 01-12-2021, 21:08   #4
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Re: Replacing rod bobstay

Onlinemetals.com is routinely much higher priced than a wholesale metal supply house. I only use them when a tiny quantity is needed rather than a 10 or 12ft piece (minimum lengths for some wholesale stock). MetalsInc in Theodore, Alabama charged me only $63 for a 3/4” diameter roundbar 12ft. long. They delivered for free to my commercial address in Pensacola, Florida (they make 2 runs per week to Pensacola customers at no charge). They have other locations and also allow you to pick up yourself with a trailer. Call around for local wholesalers.
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Old 01-12-2021, 22:51   #5
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Re: Replacing rod bobstay

Thanks everyone!! I thought that Rod rigging was made out of a very special type of 316 stainless steel. I had read that they use a special type of stainless called Nitronic 50 that has superior qualities to standard 316. I did not realize I could purchase any standard 316 round bar and have it machined for my needs.

Very helpful.

Thank you!
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Old 01-12-2021, 23:19   #6
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Re: Replacing rod bobstay

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharmCityBoater View Post
Thanks everyone!! I thought that Rod rigging was made out of a very special type of 316 stainless steel. I had read that they use a special type of stainless called Nitronic 50 that has superior qualities to standard 316. I did not realize I could purchase any standard 316 round bar and have it machined for my needs.

Very helpful.

Thank you!
Well, in fact you are quite correct: rod standing rigging is indeed made from Nitronic 50... but often bobstays are made from more prosaic stainless alloys, generally of considerably larger diameter... and often even chain, which works quite well in that application.

If you wanted to up the ante just a bit, you could use 2205 duplex stainless bar stock. Much better corrosion resistance than 316 and lots stronger to boot! And not too damn expensive, either.\

Jim
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Old 02-12-2021, 04:19   #7
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Re: Replacing rod bobstay

Several companies around here (Rhode Island) do rod quite a lot: Global BSI and Hayn (which took over the smoking remains of Navtec) sell Nitronic, and there's plenty of heading machines still thumping away every day.
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Old 02-12-2021, 06:20   #8
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Re: Replacing rod bobstay

Chain can act well...like a chainsaw on your anchor rode, chain or snubber.
The above advice is correct.
The manatee crew.
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Old 02-12-2021, 06:30   #9
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Re: Replacing rod bobstay

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharmCityBoater View Post
I own a 1985 43’ Hans Christian 43T with a Telstar keel. It has rod rigging for the bobstay. The rod is slightly bent in a few places. Probably due to a PO running into something.

I want to replace with new rod rigging. Who could I go to to get a new bobstay made in rod rigging? I considered going to wire but I like the idea of staying with rod rigging for several reasons.

Does anyone still make / sell rod rigging?

Thanks

Phil
Since your question was “Who could I go to” I’ll presume you were looking to have this done for you, rather than do it yourself.
Any rigger can replace this bobstay. It is not a specialized or unusual piece of rigging.
There is no location noted in your profile so I will not make a specific recommendation. You may wish to update your profile to receive more detailed replies in the future.
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Old 02-12-2021, 13:20   #10
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Re: Replacing rod bobstay

Phil, I suddenly was wondering if your boat actually had what riggers would call "rod rigging" (as used in race boat standing rigging), or if it was simply a piece of bar stock, threaded on the ends?

They are quite different, and one big difference is the cost: rod rigging and it's various bits of specialized hardware is quite a lot more expensive than simple bar stock and, IMO, offers little advantage in the application of a bobstay.

So, perhaps you could clear this up for us.

Jim
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Old 02-12-2021, 17:11   #11
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Re: Replacing rod bobstay

Your boat was built in the same era and probably at the same yard in Taiwan as mine. Hans Christians and Lord Nelsons have a lot in common and a lot of identical parts. I wouldn’t be surprised if the bobstays were also identical. The original bobstay that I replaced had no special ends or fittings. It was just round bar with opposite threads at each end. And, as Jim mentioned, oversized (3/4 inch diameter) to compensate for the “weakness” of 316 stainless. It was a very simple design. The opposing threads allowed it to be tensioned correctly by turning it like a turnbuckle. A large nut was seated tight all the way up the threads at one end and TIG welded in place. This allowed a wrench to be used to turn the bobstay during tensioning. The ends of the bobstay are attached to the hull and bow pulpit by threading into massive 5 inch long barrel nuts (locking type). The system performed perfectly for over 35 years and was only replaced for cosmetic reasons (a slightly noticeable bend).
If yours looks like the one in the picture, replacement is simple and inexpensive.
Also,
per the specifications on Industrialmetals.com for 316 stainless:

Yield tensile strength = 34,800 psi
Ultimate tensile strength = 79,800 psi

So, if yours is oversize in diameter like mine, I don’t think strength will be an issue and neither did my rigger.
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Old 02-12-2021, 21:04   #12
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Re: Replacing rod bobstay

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Originally Posted by CharmCityBoater View Post
I considered going to wire but I like the idea of staying with rod rigging for several reasons.
Yes, if your choice is between wire and rod, go with the rod,, and accept the inevitability that at some point you'll probably bend it just like the PO.
Many years ago, (long before internet,) a study was done on rig failures.
On boats with bobstays, the most common cause of losing the rig was, (you guessed it,) bobstay failure.
On boats without bobstays, the most common cause was spreader failure, (go figure).
Having wire swedge fittings immersed in salt water, (or just above the water,) 24/7/365 is not a great idea, and the higher water temps in the tropics only exacerbates the issue.
As an aside; There are cases of sailors losing their life when overboard, because they were unable to pull themselves back aboard using a rod or wire bobstay, try it sometime, now imagine some hypothermia in the equation.
It's quite rare, but in that situation, chain can save your life.
The issue of chafe/noise with chain is easily remedied with a canvas cover, or a piece of "firehose", obtainable at any hose supply outfit.
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Old 05-12-2021, 17:56   #13
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Re: Replacing rod bobstay

Sorry guys…. Been busy. I am in Maryland. I will be back at the boat, which is on St. Mary’s Boat Services yard in Georgia, end of next week. I will take pics of the bobstay. With that said, I believe you guys are correct. I do not believe this is a special rod rigging. I believe it is simply 316 stainless steel bar.

I am going to stay clear of chain. My study shows it isn’t as strong as rod, or wire. The ends of the current rod appear welded, not threaded. I’ll post pics when I get down to Georgia.

Thanks

Phil
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Old 05-12-2021, 18:04   #14
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Re: Replacing rod bobstay

Actually found 2 pics…. They aren’t great. But it looks like only top is threaded? This does not appear to be Nitronic 50. Thoughts?
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Old 05-12-2021, 18:12   #15
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Re: Replacing rod bobstay

Found slightly better pics… Not threaded at the bobstay, just up near the cranse iron.
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