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Old 20-11-2023, 06:00   #1
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Standing Rig: Has anyone replaced SS wire with Dyneema?

Good morning!
Has anyone replaced their traditional stainless steel wire standing rigging with Dyneema? I'm intrigued by the design of the Blue Wave fittings, I'm comfortable with splicing Dyneema, but I want to hear about some real-world experiences before I make the leap of faith and switch to this new technology?

Application: 1988 Island Packet 38 cutter, original ss rigging is way overdue for replacement. Overall rig is in good shape and has not been over stressed or abused, at least in the 20 years I've had the boat.

Thanks in advance,
Jeff
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Old 20-11-2023, 06:17   #2
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Re: Standing Rig: Has anyone replaced SS wire with Dyneema?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff on Aurora View Post
Good morning!
Has anyone replaced their traditional stainless steel wire standing rigging with Dyneema? I'm intrigued by the design of the Blue Wave fittings, I'm comfortable with splicing Dyneema, but I want to hear about some real-world experiences before I make the leap of faith and switch to this new technology?

Application: 1988 Island Packet 38 cutter, original ss rigging is way overdue for replacement. Overall rig is in good shape and has not been over stressed or abused, at least in the 20 years I've had the boat.

Thanks in advance,
Jeff


Kind of. I have a hybrid right now. Now that it’s up, I seem to trust the dyneema more than the stainless. The stainless is not brand new so that’s probably why.

I do have to admit I had some concerns about the lashings and finishing knots that are required when you are not splicing the dyneema. I figured there was room for error when I was doing those quickly with a crane breathing down my neck. I had a rough trip from the crane to my winter Harbor and the shrouds were strongly loaded and unloaded with no problem. (That jerky cat motion? Imagine it side to side and 74ft in the air above the water)

Also, it may be my imagination, but it seems like dyneema could take shock loading better than stainless
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Old 20-11-2023, 06:50   #3
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Re: Standing Rig: Has anyone replaced SS wire with Dyneema?

Real world Life expectancy is my concern.


The OP posted about 1989 rigging. 34 years. With zero chafe, perfect installation, Dyneema wound be probably about 25-30% of original stength. With chafe .... Consider that chafe accelerates as Dyneema ages, because the surface fibers are not as strong as they once were, perhaps far less than 1/2, and the legendary (exaggerated when it comes to side-to-side chafe, which is what matters for standing rigging) chafe resistance crumbles.


I say this because a few weeks ago I stripped a bunch of 5-7 year old Dyneema stuff off the boat to expereiment with re-coating. What I found was hidden chafe, just a few places. Yes, minor mistakes were made, aren't they always. Nothing scary, no full yarns cut, but evidence that it was wearing a lot faster, in general, than wire rigging.


I've been hearing of toping lifts and backstays failing at 5-10 years with no real evidence of chafe, and it's not like sails don't rub on the shrouds once in a while.



I trust it when it is relatively new. No question, it's fantastic for many things. I am questioning:
  • Longevity in a less than perfect world.
  • Inspection criteria. I did some testing, duplicated by others, that suggests that in many chafe scenarios, not even wear, that the weakening is greater than it appears. Basically, it behaves more like wire than polyester when it begins to fail. Just a few cut yarns and bang.
My guess is that the real world life expectancy, for many of us, is about half of SS. Replace standing rigging every 10 years and you are totally golden. Buy a boat with 20-year old Dyneema rigging, it needs replaced right now, not next season. I'm guessing that most SS standing rigging is not replaced in the life of the boat (I am NOT sayin' that is good practice, I'm just sayin' I think that is the real world, and an impressive measure of its durability). Same with lifelines. Dyneema is pretty and cheap, but I figure it lasts about 1/2 as long, if well-installed.


In a high-fatigue environment, for example a boat that is sailed hard, frequently, I might feel differently about shrouds, but not applications that fail from chafe.
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Old 20-11-2023, 09:30   #4
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Re: Standing Rig: Has anyone replaced SS wire with Dyneema?

What size wire do you need to replace ? Blue Wave have recently made some bigger fittings up to 16mm rope (which is right for 10mm wire replacement, maybe 12mm) but some of their fittings like the stem ball only go up to 8mm so check what size dyneema you need to replace your wire - it will be bigger than the wire as you size for stretch and check what mast fittings you have to make sure BW make one to match the size you need

We did it on a boat last year and the fittings are good but by the time you get to the 16mm rope needed to replace 12m stays the terminals are around £700 ($900 US ) each so its an expensive way to go
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Old 20-11-2023, 10:46   #5
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Re: Standing Rig: Has anyone replaced SS wire with Dyneema?

Brion Toss Rigging (https://briontoss.com/), during the recent Wooden Boat Show in Port Townsend, WA told their experience with Dyneema rigging. They were an early builder of Dyneema rigs, and have the experience of being able to inspect several rigs after full circumnavigations. They only use heat-treated, pre-stretched Dyneema (like Dynex Dux) for standing rigging. It doesn't creep if properly sized, and you need lower initial loading than SS. They recommend chafe protection in high-chafe areas. Their experience is that Dux is more chafe resistent and more UV resistant than standard Dyneema. They are comfortable recommending the same lifetime for Dyneema and SS rigs in the tropics, of 10-15 years. If you fully serve the rig (like on many tall ships or the YouTube Tally Ho), they expect indefinite life. One of their arguments is that fiber (Dux) rigging is fully inspectable, whereas SS rigging is not (especially with swages). They have not seen a case of sudden failure, unlike SS rigs.
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Old 20-11-2023, 11:47   #6
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Re: Standing Rig: Has anyone replaced SS wire with Dyneema?

Tula's Endless Summer on Youtube did it a few years ago.
Guy knows some stuff.
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Old 20-11-2023, 13:10   #7
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Re: Standing Rig: Has anyone replaced SS wire with Dyneema?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
Kind of. I have a hybrid right now. Now that itís up, I seem to trust the dyneema more than the stainless. The stainless is not brand new so thatís probably why.

I do have to admit I had some concerns about the lashings and finishing knots that are required when you are not splicing the dyneema. I figured there was room for error when I was doing those quickly with a crane breathing down my neck. I had a rough trip from the crane to my winter Harbor and the shrouds were strongly loaded and unloaded with no problem. (That jerky cat motion? Imagine it side to side and 74ft in the air above the water)

Also, it may be my imagination, but it seems like dyneema could take shock loading better than stainless



Thanks for taking the time to reply. I really want to go synthetic, but now I'm hearing about the rig going slack in cold weather. Have this been a problem for you?

Best regards,
Jeff
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Old 20-11-2023, 13:12   #8
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Re: Standing Rig: Has anyone replaced SS wire with Dyneema?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
Real world Life expectancy is my concern.


The OP posted about 1989 rigging. 34 years. With zero chafe, perfect installation, Dyneema wound be probably about 25-30% of original stength. With chafe .... Consider that chafe accelerates as Dyneema ages, because the surface fibers are not as strong as they once were, perhaps far less than 1/2, and the legendary (exaggerated when it comes to side-to-side chafe, which is what matters for standing rigging) chafe resistance crumbles.


I say this because a few weeks ago I stripped a bunch of 5-7 year old Dyneema stuff off the boat to expereiment with re-coating. What I found was hidden chafe, just a few places. Yes, minor mistakes were made, aren't they always. Nothing scary, no full yarns cut, but evidence that it was wearing a lot faster, in general, than wire rigging.


I've been hearing of toping lifts and backstays failing at 5-10 years with no real evidence of chafe, and it's not like sails don't rub on the shrouds once in a while.



I trust it when it is relatively new. No question, it's fantastic for many things. I am questioning:
  • Longevity in a less than perfect world.
  • Inspection criteria. I did some testing, duplicated by others, that suggests that in many chafe scenarios, not even wear, that the weakening is greater than it appears. Basically, it behaves more like wire than polyester when it begins to fail. Just a few cut yarns and bang.
My guess is that the real world life expectancy, for many of us, is about half of SS. Replace standing rigging every 10 years and you are totally golden. Buy a boat with 20-year old Dyneema rigging, it needs replaced right now, not next season. I'm guessing that most SS standing rigging is not replaced in the life of the boat (I am NOT sayin' that is good practice, I'm just sayin' I think that is the real world, and an impressive measure of its durability). Same with lifelines. Dyneema is pretty and cheap, but I figure it lasts about 1/2 as long, if well-installed.


In a high-fatigue environment, for example a boat that is sailed hard, frequently, I might feel differently about shrouds, but not applications that fail from chafe.



Thanks for taking the time to reply! This is very useful, real-world information. I'd like to go with synthetic, but I want standing rigging to last at least 10 years without too much fussy maintenance.

Best regards,
Jeff
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Old 20-11-2023, 13:20   #9
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Re: Standing Rig: Has anyone replaced SS wire with Dyneema?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowgoose35 View Post
What size wire do you need to replace ? Blue Wave have recently made some bigger fittings up to 16mm rope (which is right for 10mm wire replacement, maybe 12mm) but some of their fittings like the stem ball only go up to 8mm so check what size dyneema you need to replace your wire - it will be bigger than the wire as you size for stretch and check what mast fittings you have to make sure BW make one to match the size you need

We did it on a boat last year and the fittings are good but by the time you get to the 16mm rope needed to replace 12m stays the terminals are around £700 ($900 US ) each so its an expensive way to go

Thank you for taking the time to reply! This is very useful information. My cap shrouds are 3/8" stainless (about 9.5mm) and are terminated at the masthead with stem balls. I'll check, but Blue Wave might not have ones big enough. I also appreciate the pricing information. As the saying goes, "They sure are proud of their product!"

Best regards,
Jeff
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Old 20-11-2023, 15:35   #10
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Re: Standing Rig: Has anyone replaced SS wire with Dyneema?

As far as chafe, I've been using synthetic standing rigging for 14 years now, and chafe has never been an issue. It's a matter of designing the rigging properly. I also use covered line for my shrouds, but all the same, the covers have never chafed. Where chafe might occur, leather, Spiroll, or some other means is easy and convenient.
I think Dyneema covered Dyneema is the way to go: that much more UV protection, and any chafe will be visible and fixable before it gets to the business part.
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Old 21-11-2023, 00:45   #11
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Re: Standing Rig: Has anyone replaced SS wire with Dyneema?

If you are Crusing (AKA Doing a lot of miles) How often do you have to adjust due to creep?
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Old 21-11-2023, 06:04   #12
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Re: Standing Rig: Has anyone replaced SS wire with Dyneema?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff on Aurora View Post
Thanks for taking the time to reply. I really want to go synthetic, but now I'm hearing about the rig going slack in cold weather. Have this been a problem for you?

Best regards,
Jeff
You may have to define cold. My dyneema was put on a few weeks ago. 70F? 75? it’s currently freezing out or just above right now since it is morning. There is no change in the dyneema.

Note that there are a lot of ways to skin the cat. some boats include the turnbuckles still even though they are using dyneema shrouds. This makes for a pretty easy adjustment.

because there is some weather coming with some winds over the next few days, I actually went out yesterday and readjusted everything a little bit. Just wanted to make sure everything had good initial pretension and was straight. The boat will be bouncing around pretty hard over the next couple days. I used the turnbuckles and it took about half an hour to tune it
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Old 21-11-2023, 06:34   #13
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Re: Standing Rig: Has anyone replaced SS wire with Dyneema?

When you have big temperature variations and an aluminum mast with Dyneema rigging, you are forced to tension the rig for the warm periods and can not sail during the cold spells.

You could re-tension and sail during the cold period but then must release tension before it gets warm again because fittings may be ripped out otherwise.

If you have a carbon fiber mast you can eliminate this problem.

The difficulty is that the thermal expansion coefficient is the inverse between aluminum and Dyneema. So when it warms up, the aluminum expands but the Dyneema shrinks.
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Old 21-11-2023, 16:57   #14
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Re: Standing Rig: Has anyone replaced SS wire with Dyneema?

If you were addressing me, I have only just switched to Dyneema (DM20) from Vectran, so creep, if any, has not manifested yet.
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Old 21-11-2023, 19:23   #15
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Re: Standing Rig: Has anyone replaced SS wire with Dyneema?

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If you were addressing me, I have only just switched to Dyneema (DM20) from Vectran, so creep, if any, has not manifested yet.
Not sure if you reply to me but my post wasnít about creep. Itís about temperature differences for boats with aluminum masts and Dyneema standing rigging. I think my post was simple and clear?
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