Troutcreek

Catalina 28 TM standing rigging advice

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As a winters project I’d like to unstep the mast inspect and replace the standing rigging on our 1991 Catalina 28 TR.      

The boat is sailed on the Columbia River and is moored (slipped?) at Hood River.    It’s been in fresh water for most if not all of its life.

This model of Catalina 28 has unusual standing rigging (at least to me).   The single backstay is offset to the Starboard side and is 1/4” diameter wire.     The forestay along with the upper/lower shrouds are 3/16” (single spreader mast).   This was standard from Catalina for a short period of time, then they went to matching 1/4” forestay, backstay, and shrouds.

Since we live in a reasonably windy venue I looked into increasing the wire size to 1/4” all around.   Unfortunately the 5/16” chain plate pin size limits the shrouds to 3/16” or 5mm  and the Harken Mk 1 Unit 0 roller furler limits the forestay to 7/32”.

When I talked to Catalina they reminded me that the wire was 27 years old and had done fine so far, but they couldn’t determine from their records why they downsized the wire size for a short time.    

Since I’m limited to wire size on the upper shrouds I’m considering using Dyform or Compacted wire for the upper shrouds.    This would give us a little greater wire strength but I don't know if it's worth the extra effort and expense.   

Any thoughts regarding if I should I stay with 3/16” 1x19 forestay and shrouds or switch over to the stronger 5mm Compacted strand wire?   

Navtec Dyform or Alps Compacted strand are both available.   Is one preferable over the other?

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The boat is sailed on the Columbia River and is moored (slipped?) berthed at Hood River.

The wire choice has to do with the righting moment of the boat, cross section of the rig and a safety factor of your choice. Wind speed doesn't enter the equation.

I wouldn't waste money on die formed wire and I wouldn't add weight aloft. Stick with the diameters that have worked for 30 years.

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   It's hard to argue against a wire sizing that has lasted so long. Production builders like to standardize wire sizes to decrease the amount/variety of stock that they inventory. This is probably why later boats were all 1/4". That said, H/S wire size usually is the same as B/s size, as they balance each other, so upsizeing the H/S to 7/32 would be reasonable. For the others, it's as MD says, you are just adding weight aloft.

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It's hard to argue with something that has already been shown to work.    

Thanks for the info. and quick response.

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