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Old 14-05-2020, 12:49   #1
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Rigging Overhaul 1973 27 Catalina

I am co-owner of a 1973 Catalina 27. I bought into it about 5 years ago. I've always owned power boats ( I know that's frowned upon!) but nevertheless I have a sailboat now. Being handy around boats, I did a major overhaul on it. New head and waste tank system, new water system, upgraded the stove, rewired and installed LED lights everywhere, etc. A Yanmar diesel was installed just prior to my purchase. We bought new sails, main and jib only.
Now I'm told the rigging is overdue for replacement. The problem is I have no idea what that entails. What do I need to buy, and who does this kind of work? Is it something I can do or should someone who knows what they are doing do it. Help?

I'm on the New Jersey coast, sailing mostly in the Barnegat Bay.
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Old 14-05-2020, 13:03   #2
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Re: Rigging Overhaul 1973 27 Catalina

Well, how does the rig look? There's always risk in old rigging, but any rust corrosion or single strand of wire broken?
You can simply hire a rigger/get quotes. He should come down to the boat and give a specific quote. If he doesn't watch out for "unknown costs" after he starts work.

If you want to do it yourself or at least manage the project you can save a lot of money.
-Basically, you need to assess if the turnbuckles are reuseable. What size they are.
-Often you can get wire end fittings to fit your turn buckles.
-You need to take a wire off one at a time and have it done. (use halyard to hold mast at that location) Or haul your boat, remove the mast, and get it done well without a ton of trips up the mast!
-You can ask a rigger to swage those fittings on. or you can buy fittings that you can do your self (Swage Lok, Norseman etc)
-You can buy the SS wire on a spool or etc and save a lot of money.
It's not hard if you are mechanical and think it through.
-You can also measure each wire, and buy new pre swaged wires on line at a discount.

Are all your lights and radio etc on the mast good? If not this is time to get the mast off and just do the whole thing rebuilding etc.

Your turnbuckle may be like this one, or it may be different. On this one the fitting on the right hand end is the "swage fitting" that goes on the wire and is available separately.
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Old 14-05-2020, 14:23   #3
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Re: Rigging Overhaul 1973 27 Catalina

I think Cheechako covered the standing rigging fairly well, but would also change the chain plate eyebolts. These are know failure points (especially the lowers) which could lead to dismasting. (maybe they were changed by the PO??)

We did this job on a 1974 C27 (one was broken) and was fairly easy. From they have 2 styles of replacements and we used the more robust U-bolt type (to be honest, we made our own that was the same as what they sold for much cheaper). Should also check the upper shroud chain plates while you're at it.
The one nice thing about a Catalina, is they make all the parts for the boats.
For example, all the shrouds are pre-cut to the correct length, swagged and w/turnbuckles. Would compare pricing for a DIY vs. the convenience shopping for ready made parts that show up at your doorstep and just exchange the parts.

Anyway good luck w/your boat and we thought the C27 was a very fun boat to sail.
Bill O.
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