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Old 23-05-2017, 06:07   #1
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Standing rigging question

I am looking at buying a sailboat. Owner says the rigging has been up since early 2000 but boat has not been sailed. What potential problems should I look out for and what should I check when viewing the boat? Thanks in advance.

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Old 23-05-2017, 07:40   #2
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Re: Standing rigging question

The primary spots are to look for any cracking on the swages, or evidence that when the wires were swaged, that it took more than one pass in the machine to put them in. Often denoted by seams or ridges of metal on the body of the swage.
Other than that, anywhere thereís a hardspot in the rigging, such as where the wire enters a swage or mechanical terminal. Or any part of the rigging which canít flex as easily as the part next to it/that itís attached to.

If youíre at all concerned about things, if thereís a good rigger in your locale, you can hire him to do a rigging survey. Though ask first what this will entail, as you might be more diligent about it than some. Especially if youíre handy with a magnifier; magnifying glass, & pocket microscope (see Brion Tossís book & website). Along with dye penetrant.

Know too that if a rig is left standing, & even if itís not, the rigging does age, even when the boatís on the hard. Perhaps not as much, or as quickly as say tires on a car, but it does age. And if left standing, the vibrations from wind passing over things can cause micro-crystallization of the metal, which stainless is subject to. Itís more or less a form of work hardening/weakening of things.

Also it seems that the rule of thumb for insurance companies is that if standing rigging is more than a decade old, itís due for replacement. Regardless of use, or condition.

PS: Headstays on boats with furling are the worst when it comes to wear. Specifically the juncture of the wire & the upper terminal. As it sees the bulk of the flexing loads from the whole stay, including the weight of the furler & the sail, each time the boat hits a wave, or a puff hits the sail.

Also look for cracked plastic sheaves & blocks, due to UV hardening. And staining on lifelines if they're made of covered wire. Which, if that's what they're made of, it's time to replace them with uncovered stuff.


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Old 23-05-2017, 08:03   #3
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Re: Standing rigging question

If it hasn't been sailed since 2000 is it in storage? Did the owner loosen the rigging a bit?

Or is the boat in the water waiting to be sailed?

My boat had sat on the hard for 5 years but the PO loosened the rigging a bit before he left it this way. I thought that was an excellent idea. This was in 2006.

I bought it in 2011 and retightened the rig (440 all around except 550 on the forward lowers) for a bit of prebend.

I can glance up my mast and see the prebend is about the same now as then so it's also a good indicator since I borrowed the loos gauge and cannot verify the numbers
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Old 23-05-2017, 10:17   #4
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Re: Standing rigging question

I assume then that I will have to replace the rigging so I can insure it.

It has been in the water this whole time apparently. No idea if it's been loosened or not.

It's a 26 ft Westerly Centaur. It's just the boat sails and the inboard. Supposedly the inboard was replaced in 2000 but never used. There was about 6 inches of water in it at some point. All 4 batteries are junk. No compass or safety gear. Price reflects needing all new equipment.
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Old 23-05-2017, 12:25   #5
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Re: Standing rigging question

I will likely pass on the Westerly. Even tho it's one of my favorite boats. I never had one but love reading about them. I will likely get the 26 ft Tanzer I have been looking at.
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