Re-Rigging around 70's Genius


Super Anarchist
remind me never to buy a 1973 Ericson 46

jesus, what a complete cluster fuck to save a few lbs on rigging.

is that splice at the top of the mast? if so.......

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Super Anarchist
I agree with ExOmo. Why go synthetic. You can’t possibly save enough weight to justify the cost and headache v. The reliability of SS. Topping lift and runners?ok, but standing rigging, hmmm.



Super Anarchist
PNW, ex-SoCal
Question #1: How did they build that originally?

If we can reverse engineer the installation, maybe we can figure out how to re-use the pieces as intended. The system did last for 50 years, after all...
My guess would be that the saddle part of the device goes over that 1" bolt, and the holes in the lower forks of the device hold the T-nuts at the top of the shroud.  


If that's the configuration, it's actually a fairly clever way of aligning the loads and spreading them across the span of the bolt.  If they were really clever, the "notch" at the top of each sleeve would provide vertical support for the bolt.

Of course all that clever engineering is completely negated by the fact that you have to take the mast apart to get to the fittings.  It's like (I forget which model of) Ferarri, where you had to pull the motor to get to the oil filter. Made perfect sense at the factory, and no sense at all in real-world service/maintenance scenarios.

And, presumably, the mast has to be split at the upper connection of *each* set of shrouds (lowers, intermediates, uppers.)


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Overlord of Anarchy
San Diego
Ranger 32's & 37's also had a 'internal tang" set up for shrouds where wires entered mast, crossed to opposite side, & attached to ss fittings that bore on the outside of the mast wall & had tangs that stuck thru inside to connect the shrouds. But those could be changed without taking mast splice apart.

Your's look pretty slick for their design age, & now that you know how they work, I'd think you could change shrouds without pulling tube apart. Just don't let those barrel nuts fall out of the strap into the interior of the spar.

Looking at changing to a different system: the thru bolts and spar walls are proven to be strong enuff for the shroud loads. If you have a new, longer thru bolt sourced/made, you could hang normal external shroud tangs on the outside of the spar. You would need a length of tube inside the spar to keep the mast walls from squeezing together



Super Anarchist
Nothing new to add, other than... if anyone's interested, this is what the sailplan looks like for the Ericson-46.  It's a big, powerful, heavy 46-footer (~32,000 lbs, vs ~27,000 lbs for the Baltic-46 of about the same era) and more than half of that displacement is lead (yeah, a >50% ballast ratio...)

I raced on one called "Raider" when I was a kid.  Magnificent boat, the flush deck made it feel like you were on an aircraft carrier.

View attachment 502612
Back in the day, there was a 46 at our club.  We had a stormy wed night race, breeze was out of NNE 18 to 25, a spinnaker leg to the finish in Annapolis at the Eastport drawbridge.  The 46 was rockin and rollin downwind coming into Spa Creek as they did with the kite up downwind, pulling a huge quarter wave going about 10 kts, blasting to the finish, which is about 200ish feet from the bridge.  Kite halyard jams, won't come down, skipper throws the helm over and rams the pier across the river from AYC.  Lotsa damage, screaming, flailing spinnaker, cats and dogs sleeping together...  wish we had video back then.  Interestingly the 46 had a few scratches- but the pier got splintered up pretty good.

Good looking boat though!