Rigging recommendations

SV Safina de Emunah

New member
6
1
Hello fellow cruisers. I have a 45’ ketch and the main mast rigging has some pins that need to be replaced. The problem is, I have never adjusted the rigging on this boat or any others.

I’m in Nicaragua and cannot find anyone that has experience with this.

Can anyone give me some tips on how to safely loosen the stays that need replaced pins, replace the pins (easy part — I have the hardware), and then to re-tension each stay safely, without proper tensioning tools.

I have read that I can use tape to mark the place where it currently is and I can just try to bring it back to its original tension, but if anyone else has tips, they would be greatly greatly appreciated.

Or if anyone knows a rigging expert (ish) that wants to come out to Nicaragua in the next month and a half to help, I’d be open to that within reason.

Thank you!!
 

FlyingCircus2

New member
44
34
You can use a halyard as a temporary shroud. You may even be able to put enough tension on the halyard that you don't have to loosen your shrouds: clip it to one side, crank it down and see if it loosens the shroud enough to get the pin out.

If you only adjust one at a time, the mast won't fall down no matter what: the mids and Lowers will hold it up no problem.

Calipers are a more accurate than tape for measuring where you left the turnbuckles.

If you have to loosen the shrouds, start with the uppers. When you re-tighten them, start with the lowers.
 
Last edited:

bgytr

Super Anarchist
5,003
628
Hello fellow cruisers. I have a 45’ ketch and the main mast rigging has some pins that need to be replaced. The problem is, I have never adjusted the rigging on this boat or any others.

I’m in Nicaragua and cannot find anyone that has experience with this.

Can anyone give me some tips on how to safely loosen the stays that need replaced pins, replace the pins (easy part — I have the hardware), and then to re-tension each stay safely, without proper tensioning tools.

I have read that I can use tape to mark the place where it currently is and I can just try to bring it back to its original tension, but if anyone else has tips, they would be greatly greatly appreciated.

Or if anyone knows a rigging expert (ish) that wants to come out to Nicaragua in the next month and a half to help, I’d be open to that within reason.

Thank you!!
How many spreaders? If you have intermediates, are they terminated at the spreaders or do they come down to the deck? Which pins need replacing?
 

SV Safina de Emunah

New member
6
1
How many spreaders? If you have intermediates, are they terminated at the spreaders or do they come down to the deck? Which pins need replacing?
I'll do my best, not having a very good vocabulary for everything.

I have 4 sidestays/shrouds on each side and 2 spreaders on the main mast. I also have running backstays, 2 top halyards, the topping lift, and a mid mast halyard in the front for the stay sail: I definitely have enough hardware to not bring down my mast :)

I think there are 3 pins on the sidestays that need replacing and I believe the pin on the inner forestay needs replacing. (also curious about the difference about replacing a forestay pin over the sidestays)

I will use penetrating lubricant for a few days before I try to do anything because the caretaker isn't doing enough maintenance (and I probably never do enough, either.) I'll mark with tape and try to take caliper measurements with a non-rigging caliper.


Here are some pictures attached.

Full Boat.jpg


Sidestays.jpg


port.jpg


forestsy.jpg


starboard.jpg
 

SV Safina de Emunah

New member
6
1
Thank you all very much! I'm super glad I found this forum--I wish I had found it 3 years ago when I bough this first sailboat of mine.

I will spend a good deal of time cleaning and lubricating before I attempt to adjust.


Does anyone know of any good online resources for rig tuning? Seems like a difficult thing to search for on google.
 

Kenny Dumas

Super Anarchist
1,219
464
PDX
Sight up the mast to see if it’s straight and how much, if any bend. Take pics of everything
Count the turns on the buckles and write on a piece of tape on the shroud Return to same number when you tighten it.
Sight your mast while you release one shroud. If it scares you or you smoke too much anxiety medication and get paranoid, you can balance the tension by releasing both sides with a friend helping or take a couple turns on alternating sides.
 

SloopJonB

Super Anarchist
68,713
12,363
Great Wet North
Better to measure the buckles with a dial caliper than counting turns - far more precise.

Due to poor planning on my part I had my flexy rig professionally tuned a few months before I ended up pulling it to rebuild. Before I started removing it I recorded all the turnbuckle settings to 0.001" with a dial caliper - resetting it will be a breeze.
 

Kenny Dumas

Super Anarchist
1,219
464
PDX
Safina doesn’t need to disconnect anything, just loosen enough to remove pins, and should be able to return it within a quarter turn accuracy which is easily good enough.

But I’m a metrology guy, so interested in sources of error. I guess you measured between the faces of the threaded ends? Have you quantified your repeatability with calipers vs turns? I suppose a wire shroud changes length considerably as it’s twisted or unlayed so even if you repeat the buckle measurements, you could still have variable length based on how twisted the shroud is when you engage the buckle.
 

SloopJonB

Super Anarchist
68,713
12,363
Great Wet North
Rod rigging and everything is going back exactly how it was. To my mind, if wire rigging is being twisted or unlayed then you ain't doing it right - the top jaw of the buckle needs to be held motionless while the buckle is being tightened.
 

Kenny Dumas

Super Anarchist
1,219
464
PDX
Of course, but who knows what happens when you pull the rig and the wire relaxes or goes through a few thermal cycles. Rod is not a problem, but where did you measure with 0.001 accuracy and how repeatable is it?
 

Son of Hans

Member
163
85
San Diego
If you are happy with the state of the rig now, Zonker's suggestion is right on - just count the threads on the turnbuckles and replicate. There are basically two types of rig - one where the mast is just a telephone pole and your only concern is about keeping it straight and centered. The other type is where the rig is designed for the mast to bend in a particular way as the loads increase. On a 45' ketch (more details please) I feel very certain that you are dealing with the first type, in which case setting up the rig is very simple and not like tuning a piano as many would have you believe. Loosen off all the shrouds, then use the main halyard as a gauge; toe rail to toe rail to make sure the masthead is centered. Gradually tighten up the uppermost shrouds until the masthead is centered and just until it doesn't feel like there's any obvious slack in the shrouds. Work your way down, sighting up the mast as you go, so that none of the shrouds feel loose and the mast is straight. Then go for a sail to windward - if any of the lee shrouds seem worryingly loose, make a note that both it and the windward counterpart need to be tightened an equal amount - about half of what it would take to remove the looseness. That's about all there is to it - it's not rocket science and if you do it this way, there is no danger of anything falling down.
 

SloopJonB

Super Anarchist
68,713
12,363
Great Wet North
Rod is not a problem, but where did you measure with 0.001 accuracy and how repeatable is it?
I have similar to this style of buckle and simply measured the distance between the two ends or bodies. I measured each one three times with a dial caliper to ensure the accuracy.

1663999444159.png
1663999444159.png


I can see no reason to question the repeatability of the measurements.
 

Somebody Else

a person of little consequence
7,638
805
PNW
Reading the original post, I visualize a 60-year-old boat something like this with original rigging and original sails. Any subtlety of technique is going to be lost on this owner. He needs to drop the rig, strip it, repair or replace a dozen or so sheaves, label all the standing rigging and running rigging and take it for estimates on replacement. I am willing to bet the standing rigging is 40 years past its expiration date. If the pins are worn, surely the holes they mate with are close to equally worn. My guess is that every system on the boat is one Small Craft Warning away from failure -- sediment in the fuel tank, corroded electrical connections, fuel system leaks, barely flowing fuel filters, sheets ready to part, 1x19 wire terminals filled with rust, if it's a wooden mast it is probably held together by paint.

Who wants to take a bet?
I bet the newest thing on the boat is the house (singular) battery.
I could be wrong... it might be the 110vac toaster.

GOB_94Jan14.jpg
 

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