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Old 24-01-2020, 00:50   #16
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Re: Lost the Rig

The other option would be to sleeve and repair the mast--it looked pretty straight other than where it broke.
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Old 24-01-2020, 01:30   #17
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Re: Lost the Rig

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Originally Posted by MccNeo View Post
...The boat wasn’t overpowered at all on port tack ...
It seems counter intuitive that the starboard shrouds would fail on a port tack.

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Event analysis and inspection revealed rigging failure due to corrosion at the top of the swage fitting
I have met several people with failed rigs and it's always a swage fitting. Why are these even used at all?

stainless steel in 304 or 316 should not be anywhere in the rig, not even in in tangs or chainplates. Unless the boat is intended to look shiny in a marina and never sail, it is the incorrect material to use and bad engineering.

Switch to galvanized and enjoy a 50 year life at a fraction of the cost, or go with synthetic (still cheaper) and get better sailing performance.
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Old 24-01-2020, 05:05   #18
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Re: Lost the Rig

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Originally Posted by boat_alexandra View Post
It seems counter intuitive that the starboard shrouds would fail on a port tack.


I have met several people with failed rigs and it's always a swage fitting. Why are these even used at all?

stainless steel in 304 or 316 should not be anywhere in the rig, not even in in tangs or chainplates. Unless the boat is intended to look shiny in a marina and never sail, it is the incorrect material to use and bad engineering.

Switch to galvanized and enjoy a 50 year life at a fraction of the cost, or go with synthetic (still cheaper) and get better sailing performance.
Yes, asthetics probably had a lot to do with high polish stainless showing up in rigs. Though Ive never seen nor heard of a failure like this with mechanical swages like StaLok.

I have a friend who has a heavy lift/oilfield background plus extensive sailboat experience who rerigged his boat w galvenized wire (50' mono).
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Old 24-01-2020, 05:43   #19
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Re: Lost the Rig

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The other option would be to sleeve and repair the mast--it looked pretty straight other than where it broke.

I was wondering about this too. Maybe turn the mast so the spreaders are not re-installed at the repair and the repair can be monitored from the deck.
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Old 24-01-2020, 10:13   #20
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Re: Lost the Rig - After Action Notes

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... plus the cost of commercial transportation which could add $1000 to $3000 more...

It would be worth talking to a Hot Shot car hauler. They guys are pulling long trailers to haul cars with light or medium duty trucks and some of the trailers should be long enough for the mast. If one can find a guy near the mast location who is hauling cars near you, you might get a good price on the transportation cost.


Ask a local used car dealer if you can't find one of these haulers on the Internet.


Later,
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Old 24-01-2020, 12:31   #21
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Re: Lost the Rig

@ Don C L,

Yes, but stainless steel work hardens and then gets brittle. So, I don't think age is so much the factor as the loads coming on and off the lowers over the years.

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Old 24-01-2020, 13:09   #22
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Re: Lost the Rig

Quote:
Though Ive never seen nor heard of a failure like this with mechanical swages like StaLok.
We had a forestay break on our previous boat, just where the w ire exited from a sta-lok eye termnal. This was 5/16 1x19, around four years of age. Roller genoa, but seldom used reefed.

IMO, forestays are more prone to failure due to the side loads applied by the sail, especially when rolled partly up in strong winds. Shrouds and backstays loads are nearly pure tension, so experience much less bending where they exit their terminals. Good toggles are crucial in forestay installation, top and bottom, helping reduce the bending at the wire exits.

Failures in swaged terminals are often due to longitudinal cracking in the swage barrel rather than wire failure.

Sure would like to see some pix of the other side's terminals!

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Old 24-01-2020, 15:34   #23
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Re: Lost the Rig

This is the second chain plate failure. The boat, in this case, was on the hard. One day fine, the next as you see it. Replacing all. A real PITA to get to but no choice.
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Old 24-01-2020, 16:47   #24
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Re: Lost the Rig

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This is the second chain plate failure. The boat, in this case, was on the hard. One day fine, the next as you see it. Replacing all. A real PITA to get to but no choice.
Attachment 207537
That looks like classic Chloride stress corrosion cracking. Its common to 304 and 316 SS, and used to give us fits in the nuclear industry until we banned all chloride products. It has elements of both corrosion and fatigue, but the common theme is failure at a small fraction of the yield stress.

When you see a failure, it will typically have a oxidized (rusty) surface on the start of the failure, which then produces stress risers and finally a catastrophic failure where the crack surface is new and not rusty. Most failures don't go from fine to failure overnight, but many of them aren't possible to to a daily inspection on.

The solution? If its a real PITA to replace them, use Titanium replacements.
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Old 24-01-2020, 17:22   #25
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Re: Lost the Rig

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Originally Posted by cabo_sailor View Post
This is the second chain plate failure. The boat, in this case, was on the hard. One day fine, the next as you see it. Replacing all. A real PITA to get to but no choice.
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Old 25-01-2020, 00:03   #26
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Re: Lost the Rig

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
The other option would be to sleeve and repair the mast--it looked pretty straight other than where it broke.
We looked at the possibility of sleeving but decided it not to be a practical option for this case.
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Old 25-01-2020, 14:10   #27
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Re: Lost the Rig

Masts vary, in their construction, too.

After the dismasting event referred to earlier in the thread, the replacement mast was one contiguous spar. However, the mast on this boat was built sleeved from keel to first spreader, and it is really thick being sistered that way. Under the PO, the boat had a knockdown in the Bering Sts. no runners set, and the stick stayed up, so it must be an okay way to build one, but uncomfortable to hear the rigger say the sections were too light. I guess they can make mistakes, too, just like the rest of us.

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Old 03-02-2020, 09:04   #28
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Re: Lost the Rig

Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
That looks like classic Chloride stress corrosion cracking. Its common to 304 and 316 SS, and used to give us fits in the nuclear industry until we banned all chloride products. It has elements of both corrosion and fatigue, but the common theme is failure at a small fraction of the yield stress.

When you see a failure, it will typically have a oxidized (rusty) surface on the start of the failure, which then produces stress risers and finally a catastrophic failure where the crack surface is new and not rusty. Most failures don't go from fine to failure overnight, but many of them aren't possible to to a daily inspection on.

The solution? If its a real PITA to replace them, use Titanium replacements.
We've had several stainless steel failures, the most concerning was a backstay chain plate, and another time after seeing rust streaking we pulled a shroud chain plate and found cracking where it was not visible, and once we had an intermediate rod shroud break (at a bend), but have not yet lost the mast on this boat, lucky us.

In all cases we were in lands where the replacement was easy with skilled local welders, but the selection of materials was slim, so it was use whatever stainless the local welder has access to. The use of galvanized steel is not appealing to me. I wonder about Titanium.

Meanwhile we are stuck with stainless steel. I inspect it often. If something looks dodgy I pull it, and if it needs replacing I then suspect the opposite one as well even if that one looks fine. When the backstay failed I pulled the headstay chain plate, not an easy task, but felt much better when it was found to be perfectly sound.

Still, stainless steel fails, often suddenly, and without warning. So, yeah, expect the worst, and tools are important.
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Old 03-02-2020, 09:32   #29
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Re: Lost the Rig

I am a novice but I was very impressed with the thoughtful actions immediately following the event. I would not have thought to use the fenders on the rigging.
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Old 03-02-2020, 10:28   #30
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Re: Lost the Rig

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My description and takeaways for a nasty event. I will humbly accept feedback. This event took place in October, 2019.

It was the first day of a 12 week beer can – lake sailing - race season; racing every other Saturday. Typically, we manage to get in three races each race day. During the last leg of the second race on the older 30 footer, the two of us were pressing hard at 5+ knots beating windward in a 13 knot breeze with gusts to about 18 knots. The sea state was very comfortable with a steady wave cycle of about 12 or 15 inches but very tolerable. Water temperature was approximately 65 degrees. Things were looking nice for our finish. The boat wasn’t overpowered at all on port tack with about 470 sq ft of sail area between the main and the genoa. We were moving pretty respectfully with the boat nicely heeled at about 5 to 8 degrees. We had put several boats in the 12 boat PHRF fleet behind us.

That’s when we heard a loud BANG! Then, in fast succession (almost simultaneously) another load BANG! Less than two seconds later the entire 38 ft tall rig went over the port side. The boat lurched to port and then settled flat with wire, rope, and sail cloth everywhere. A quick check proved neither of the two of us were injured. The rig was folded in half just above the spreaders, totally destroyed and hanging under the boat still attached by the roller furler, back stay, three shrouds to port and one shroud to starboard. Additionally, the sheets for the genoa, and main sail were all under a lot of tension, Our 10 sq ft rudder was now nearly 480 sq ft but there was no control and the fresh breeze was pushing us into a channel between an island and a point of land separated by a shallow bottom about 200 meters wide.

First things first. Neither of us had any injuries. Second, the boat was at the mercy of mother nature; we had no steerage except for the breeze against the freeboard and the chop on the water. We needed to get control of the boat as much as possible to prevent going into the channel. (Avoid making things worse). We dropped anchor in about 54 feet of water with two hundred feet of rode to stop our movement into more shallow water in the channel.

Once stabilized, we discussed our next course of action. First, use the VHF radio and call for help. Our club discusses use of channel 72 for race committee and competitors for communications during each race. The race committee dispatched a 16 ft skiff to provide aid.

The rig was a mess but it was secure where it was. It could be helpful to release some of the stays and shrouds to let the rig go behind the boat or to fall to the bottom of the lake for later recovery. At the least, release of the furler at the deck would help. The rigging was still under a lot of tension and now was not at all laying at the convenient angles for removal you typically see in the boat yard. An attempt was made to stabilize the furler and then remove the pin securing it to the deck – something requiring basic tools or maybe a wire or bolt cutter. I carry bolt cutters on both of my boats for this very problem should it ever occur. I assumed others carried tools for the unthinkable also. I had a Leatherman and a folding rigging knife on my hip but it wasn’t enough. I needed at least another pair of pliers or screwdriver to remove the cotter pin from the clevis. That should be a simple enough matter to address. A request to my partner for a plier or screwdriver was met with a response that the toolbox was removed from the boat. There were no other tools.

We knew starting the engine was not possible due to potential fowling of the prop from the birds nest of wire and line beneath the boat. The race committee skiff arrived but did not have any tools aboard and did not have anything for towing other than dock lines aboard.

In relatively short order it became obvious our options were limited. I requested a tow by radio from the race committee skiff to a beach near our berth where the boat was maneuvered parallel to the beach. The boat had a 5 ft draft but the rig was suspended at least 15 feet below. So, the boat was pulled onto the beach until the rig was aground. An anchor was dispatched from the bow and from the stern, both to be secured around separate trees to hold us in position allowing us to address the rigging mess below.

The rig was prepared for removal by securing a fender via a 20 ft dock line to each visible end of the rig to mark the ends when the rig sank to the lake bottom. Dock lines were used to have line long and strong enough to lift the rig. A request ashore was answered with the delivery of two sets of bolt cutters to cut loose the quarter inch diameter stainless shrouds. Additional pliers were also obtained but unable to complete pin removal at all remaining clevis attachments. One bolt cutter was three foot long that was dull and wouldn’t cut the wire. The other pair was 15 inches long but was able to cut by taking multiple ‘bites’.

With the rig cut away and laying on the bottom of the lake, the bow and stern anchors secured at the trees were released and the hull was towed to its slip. The rig was pulled onto the beach using the winch on the boat owner’s Jeep.

Event analysis and inspection revealed rigging failure due to corrosion at the top of the swage fitting on both lower starboard shrouds. First failure of the starboard aft lower shroud, then the starboard forward lower shroud, both in the same manner and at the same location. The root cause is failure to inspect and address corrosion issues in the rigging. Contributing cause included a new sailor with little rigging knowledge and experience, and an experienced guest that did not inspect the rig when coming aboard.

We have located another mast and are in the process of re-building the rig as the cold weather permits. We expect to be able to sail her again in about 4 to 6 months.

While the Captain or Skipper is ultimately responsible for his vessel, in the case of inexperienced sailors, experienced guest crew members should take precautions and coach appropriately to ensure the vessel safety.

WHAT WE DID RIGHT:
• Check for injuries FIRST.
• Call for help
• Stabilize the boat (get control to prevent matters from getting worse)
• Remain calm and thoughtfully prioritize problems and adapt appropriately.

WHAT WE DID WRONG:
• Have a tool kit on board.
• Include bolt cutters in the tool kit.
• Assumed the rig was good to go
• Rigging needs to be inspected at regular intervals. Cursory inspection every time the vessel is boarded, more detailed inspection at regular intervals
• While the Captain or Skipper is ultimately responsible for the vessel, inexperienced sailors need appropriate coaching to ensure vessel safety

Thanks for sharing. It is incidents like these that we can all learn from.

It is interesting to me that you were on a PORT tack and the starboard shrouds are the ones that broke... were they slack? The after-break lurch to port was caused by all the rigging over the port side. I would have thought the rigging would have gone over the starboard side with the wind. What am I not understanding?

~ ~ _/) ~ ~ MJH
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