Favorite Standing Rigging Systems for Bluewater Boats?

Kolibri

Member
484
574
Haleiwa, HI
I'm planning to replace the standing rigging on my 1981 Morris Annie this spring. Please provide input on your recommended standing rigging systems and why you would recommend them for a 30 ft, full keel, bluewater cruiser. Thank you in advance.

IMG_4769 cr.jpg
 

longy

Overlord of Anarchy
6,985
1,279
San Diego
Call Larry Stenek at Art Nelson Sailmakers. Quality parts & service for half a century. No reason for you to have anything other than 1x19 wire, with 316 swage fittings, installed on the wire by a Fenn rotary swager.
Use my name for a 5% increase in price!
 

mckenzie.keith

Aspiring Anarchist
846
281
Santa Cruz
I'm not an expert but here is my opinion. Replace with same. Changing type will be a PITA and eat in to your cruising kitty. If it is rod rigged, stick with rod rigging. If it is 1x19 stick with 1x19. Dyneema can save weight, but I am not knowledgeable enough about Dyneema to say whether it is a good idea for a cruising boat. My gut says no because it is not as physically durable and chafe resistant as stainless steel. And cruising sometimes results in a lot of chafe (1 ocean passage can rack up as much chafe as a year of club racing easy). Saving weight, especially aloft, is good for every type of boat, even big heavy bluewater cruisers with full keels. But the chafe scares me.
 

Ease the sheet.

ignoring stupid people is easy
20,331
2,329
I vote for like for like where possible.
If not possible, the fun and games of making something fit something it wasn't designed for is only constrained by the thickness of your wallet
 

robtoujours

Communist
654
421
Undercover
Nice boat.

Like with like unless you see an obvious shortcoming.

Chuck knew what he was doing when he specified the rig.

You could use Dyform instead of 1x19.

If old boat my concerns would be fasteners, chainplates, tangs/shroud attachments, mast compression sheaves, turnbuckles, toggles.

Crevice or galvanic corrosion are the usual culprits there.

Lots of rigs come down because someone didn’t do a split pin properly.

Make sure it is good wire from a known manufacturer, e.g. KOS.

NB; I am not a rigger
 
Last edited:

Jim in Halifax

Super Anarchist
1,787
849
Nova Scotia
IMO, swaged SS is probably the best bang for buck in your situation. Swage on the top end and wedge fitting - Sta-lok/Norseman Gibb/etc. - on the bottom gives you the ability to inspect or field-service the wire connection most likely to fail, but not sure how many owners actually do that. I tend to do a yearly visual inspection (with a loupe or magnifying glass) of the terminals every time the mast is down - i.e. every other year. I look for visible cracks or rust discoloration as well as broken strands at the entry to the fitting. I have also used dye-penetrant-developer kits. I believe high quality stainless rigging (not Chinese SS!) has a lifespan of decades, if well designed and installed. Chainplates and tangs are more likely to be failure points. My $0.02.
 

Elegua

Generalissimo
I just went through the exercise of replacing my standing rigging. To get offshore you need a professional inspection and new gear, but it made sense to do it anyways.

All the rigging is standard 1x19. I have a mast that uses stemball fitting so I had to use swages on the top but could use hayne compression fittings on the bottom. I made sure to replace all of the turnbuckles and links. I replaced the chain plates a couple years earlier. For things like running backs I switched to dyneema.
 

Ajax

Super Anarchist
14,999
3,281
Edgewater, MD
The rigging is only as strong as the weakest link. As Elegua said, replace all of the links and turnbuckles in addition to the wires. At the very least, inspect the chain plates.

On my Pearson 30, I used compression fittings top and bottom, which was gross overkill. I prefer Hayn Hi-Mod over Norsemen and similar. The Hayn fittings are more...idiot proof. They are reusable which saves you money the next time you re-rig...which means that you will re-rig on schedule instead of procrastinating.

I investigated the conversion to synthetic rigging. It is a substantial cash investment to make the conversion. Colligo charges a fortune for some of their fittings. The upside is that once done, re-rigging is inexpensive and (theoretically) easy. You can reuse their fittings indefinitely and simply carry spare Dynex Dux with you. Another downside besides the cost is that Dux has an inverse temperature reaction- It elongates in cold weather and contracts in hot weather, requiring much more attention to rigging tension. Unless you're sailing in a temperature stable area, you will fiddle with the rigging tension far more than you would with wire rigging. Chafe is a concern for some people.
 

slug zitski

Super Anarchist
7,089
1,465
worldwide
I'm planning to replace the standing rigging on my 1981 Morris Annie this spring. Please provide input on your recommended standing rigging systems and why you would recommend them for a 30 ft, full keel, bluewater cruiser. Thank you in advance.

View attachment 556506
The best rigging comes via a professional rigger
Ask around , get the name then visit the shop
Yacht Riggers have a hard time staying in business. Typically you can spot a pro because they also do commercial, industrial rigging . They will have the best tools, craftsman ….
Machines , Fittings and handwork are what makes the best
The rigger will advise on fittings … cost benefit

Take pictures of your mast and all its rigging fittings before visiting the rigger so that they know what you are talking about …
 
Last edited:

low bum

Member
325
236
Tennessee
I broke my brain trying to deal with all the unknowns surrounding Dyneema. And good luck getting any useful info from the industry except for "size it based on stretch, not on strength." Ok.

Go with stainless. Just have a professional rigger replace your rigging. Your boat isn't unusual or complicated and doesn't require anything other than a normal professional re-rig. No need to reinvent the wheel. If you're seriously headed across an ocean, you might feel safer if you go up slightly in size (from 1/4" to 9/32" for instance) but it's probably not necessary.

Too many people think that rigging starts at the bottom of the turnbuckle. If your boat is 25 years old or more, and you don't pull your chainplates and rigorously replace any rusted ones and replace all the bolts, and repair any rotting or failing attachment points, then you're just playing "let's pretend". It would be better to keep your current rig and replace your chainplates than the other way around. But that's the job that no one wants to do.
 

Kolibri

Member
484
574
Haleiwa, HI
Thanks for all the great advice. Here's the advice I got from Chuck Paine:

I still think the original rigging for the Annie was right. But I also have learned to trust the experts. Find a good rigger, and only re-seek my advice if he decides to change something, which I doubt he will do. On my Annie my rigger at the time (45 years ago!) recommended rotary swaged upper terminals on 1 x 19 wire, and Sta-Lok lower terminals. The Annie is so stiff she does not need lighter rigging.

Cheers,

Chuck
 

accnick

Super Anarchist
3,504
2,502
Thanks for all the great advice. Here's the advice I got from Chuck Paine:

I still think the original rigging for the Annie was right. But I also have learned to trust the experts. Find a good rigger, and only re-seek my advice if he decides to change something, which I doubt he will do. On my Annie my rigger at the time (45 years ago!) recommended rotary swaged upper terminals on 1 x 19 wire, and Sta-Lok lower terminals. The Annie is so stiff she does not need lighter rigging.

Cheers,

Chuck
What Chuck says.
 

slug zitski

Super Anarchist
7,089
1,465
worldwide
Thanks for all the great advice. Here's the advice I got from Chuck Paine:

I still think the original rigging for the Annie was right. But I also have learned to trust the experts. Find a good rigger, and only re-seek my advice if he decides to change something, which I doubt he will do. On my Annie my rigger at the time (45 years ago!) recommended rotary swaged upper terminals on 1 x 19 wire, and Sta-Lok lower terminals. The Annie is so stiff she does not need lighter rigging.

Cheers,

Chuck
Good riggers are scarce …look and ask around

not long ago I was inspecting a Swan…brand new, just stepped carbon mast

a local …”Professional”…” Legendary “. “ Famous “rigger was hired to assemble, step , then tune the new mast , ready for the owner

what a mess…nothing was correct ..just look at the turnbuckles .

those expensive turnbuckles have a flat sided rigging screw that accepts a recessed set screw ..then a stainless cover to keep everything hidden

just about everything I could see had workmanship defects …clevis pins too long , leaking mast boot…

ask around ..get your work done right

DB6776CA-FE55-456C-A161-4BE002F2C50B.png
 

mgs

canoeman
1,170
272
maine
Wire and mechanical fittings. Could easily go swage fittings aloft. Benefit of mechanical fittings is the re-usability as long as you have extra cones/wedges and if you end up in some exotic local in need of repair it would be easier to deal with. Also lets you carry a length of wire to be used as an emergency shroud adjusted as needed.
 

Zonker

Super Anarchist
10,127
6,313
Canada
I'd agree about dyneema being temperature sensitive. Couldn't figure out why my lifelines kept needing adjusting. It wasn't creep because tension is low.

The argument about low cost of re-rigging next time you replace dyneema is moot if like most people, you don't own a boat for many decades. I *think* for sailboats average ownership turnover is about 8 years.

You've had wire for decades and it works. Why change to a new system. I'd agree that a very good inspection of chainplates is always warranted. Not sure I agree about changing turnbuckle bodies.
 

robtoujours

Communist
654
421
Undercover
I agree about good chromed bronze or bronze turnbuckle bodies, if there is a problem it’s usually in the stainless threaded terminals eg forks due to stress cracking and work hardening
Too many people think that rigging starts at the bottom of the turnbuckle. If your boat is 25 years old or more, and you don't pull your chainplates and rigorously replace any rusted ones and replace all the bolts, and repair any rotting or failing attachment points, then you're just playing "let's pretend". It would be better to keep your current rig and replace your chainplates than the other way around. But that's the job that no one wants to do.

+100

If only boatbuilders had stuck with bronze for chainplates.. quality control was a bit iffy back in the 70s and 80s as well. I’ve seen lots of mild steel fasteners, crap glassing that lets in water that ends up rotting the backing pads, u name it…

Chuck Paine may have designed it, the intern at the yard nursing a hangover on a Friday afternoon was the one who built it…
 

Kolibri

Member
484
574
Haleiwa, HI
Chuck Paine may have designed it, the intern at the yard nursing a hangover on a Friday afternoon was the one who built it…

Yep...chainplates were inspected by a surveyor before I bought the boat, again by a very skilled shipwright before I sailed to Hawaii, and will be again by a top notch rigger when I replace the standing rigging in April.
 

Bryanjb

Super Anarchist
4,460
265
Various
Good riggers are scarce …look and ask around

not long ago I was inspecting a Swan…brand new, just stepped carbon mast

a local …”Professional”…” Legendary “. “ Famous “rigger was hired to assemble, step , then tune the new mast , ready for the owner

what a mess…nothing was correct ..just look at the turnbuckles .

those expensive turnbuckles have a flat sided rigging screw that accepts a recessed set screw ..then a stainless cover to keep everything hidden

just about everything I could see had workmanship defects …clevis pins too long , leaking mast boot…

ask around ..get your work done right

View attachment 556575
BSI turnbuckles. They taped the covers up, odd. I just back the set screws out, they hold the covers up. When you're done tuning you screw the set screwed back in and the covers fall back into place. One thing to be mindful of is the closed BSI turnbuckles hold water. Open and service them annually or they will freeze up.
 

slug zitski

Super Anarchist
7,089
1,465
worldwide
BSI turnbuckles. They taped the covers up, odd. I just back the set screws out, they hold the covers up. When you're done tuning you screw the set screwed back in and the covers fall back into place. One thing to be mindful of is the closed BSI turnbuckles hold water. Open and service them annually or they will freeze up.
Sure

i know BSI

that owner just spent 290k at the shipyard and was delivered junk
 

Latest posts




Top