What kind of wire are my shrouds and stays?

harrygee

Member
391
121
Tasmania
You're leaving your boat there for the cyclone season? Good luck.

I sat out a cyclone in the little creek to the north of Lautoka and didn't enjoy it even though it missed.

I guess if you come back and find your boat scattered, you'll be happy that you didn't waste any money on the rig.

There's a lot of good advice here regarding your rig. When you get advice from experienced people, who've seen it and learned from their experiences, why not learn from other's mistakes?

Learning by doing is a very emphatic and tough way to learn.

No criticism intended; I like what you're doing, just not the way you're doing it.

None of my business, I know.
 

TheDragon

Super Anarchist
3,147
1,102
East central Illinois
Guys, I'm not dismissing what you all say, but the rigger agreed with me, and it's against his interest to not take the job.

Longy, two reasons for keeping a little backup (nothing like the Christmas tree I had for the past two months of sailing from Beveridge reef to Savusavu and then around the Lau Group). First, I do take you all seriously and agree that the standing rigging needs replacing, but if I do that I want to do it all, from chainplates to top tangs. So adding the dyneema backups to the four cables that go to the top of the mast is a simple insurance. Adding back (I've remove all this backup rigging for the cyclone season so the boat is as bare as possible) the stout sheets and rachetting straps to the spreader bases is both insurance and provides a really nice handhold for moving along the boat and that slight swing motion required to move inside the shrouds (the chainplates are on the outside of the hull). My arthritic hands hurt every time I grabbed a shroud for stability moving past them, especially underway, so I came to like the large diameter coiled rope "handle" just inside the upper shroud and now miss it even when just sitting still in this marina.

Harrygee, I don't understand. This cyclone hole at Vuda Point Marina, it seems to me and about 60 other boats, is the second-best option here in Fiji. Second only to one of the many cyclone pits or trenches they have here, but those cost a whole lot more. I have a catamaran next to me that takes up most of two "berths", but not completely, giving me more room that usual, and he will not rock so no problem with masts clashing. I have no control over who gets the berth on the other side of me, I just hope it is a larger boat so our masts are easily offset. I have three sets of lines connecting me to three different anchor points at the stern (two lines in each set, one each side). My regular mooring lines are 3/4" some-kind-of-doublebraid and connect to the regular mooring rings on the concrete wall of this basin and to the side/middle cleats on my boat. They will be the regular attachment point for most of the season and are set up with chafe protection. The second set are the primary cyclone lines that are 8mm chain from a deadman (railway section buried vertically in the ground with a large shackle through a hole in it) across the three-foot-wide concrete pathway along the edge of the basin to avoid chafe, and then new 3/4" three-ply to my boat, going to the aft cleats, which are super-strong. These are the lines against which the boat will be tensioned before a cyclone hits by using the windlass to crank my 200ft 9mm anchor chain, which is already attached by a stout shackle to the massive center "cog" in the middle of the basin, but left loose for now so other boats can come and go (long story here I got straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak, I met Tony Philp (ex-Tasmania and developer and owner of this marina) up in Vanua Balavu where he has a "plantation" and the Exploring Isles YC, and he described how he built this cyclone hole, the central "cog" is in fact a massive cog from a sugar mill with 72 teeth across which he welded high-tensile steel rods to provide attachment points, then filled in the inside of the cog with concrete and sank the whole thing via its massive long stainless steel shaft into a hole drilled into the bedrock). Finally, I have a third set of lines, left slack for now as backup, running from two trees on the outer edge of the basin to my primary winches. The staff here take care of getting everything taught when a cyclone threatens, plus I have friends on another boat that will be in the neighborhood for the season and have a berth booked that they can use if a cyclone threatens, and they will check on my boat. Short of hauling out and into one of their cyclone pits (or my original plan to sail to NZ), I can't see a better option for leaving my boat for six months (which was always part of my plan, I am on a four-year part-time plan, will be 70 when I am done).

SloopJonB, I guess you would put me in your "fanatics, fools, and ignoramuses" category. But I really don't care, I'm having a blast, doing something I dreamed of and put off for career and family for 40 years, and now am enjoying on my modest pension and tolerated by my understanding wife who has no interest in sailing oceans (but is currently touring India instead, which I have no interest in), learning the hard way and all.
 

TheDragon

Super Anarchist
3,147
1,102
East central Illinois
0BE70260-864C-4FBC-B6F8-4C764FD3C6D9.jpeg Here’s a pic of the setup I had where a green spinnaker halyard and a dyneema car winch line goes to the top of the mast, while the stout white sheet goes to the spreader base as does the ratcheting strap, all get gathered and then tensioned by wrapping with the tail of the halyard, and the resultant coil makes an excellent handhold. I will re-create this setup next season.
 

harrygee

Member
391
121
Tasmania
I'm sorry if I've upset you, that wasn't the intention.

The cyclone that missed me near Lautoka did some damage at SavuSavu and drove my mates' boat ashore there.

The surge is my concern. It's hard enough when you're on board and trying to adjust multiple lines on a limited number of cleats while your face is distorting.

I hope it all goes well for you and we continue to enjoy your posts from "out there".

Where many of us would like to be.

I'm not sure I'd want to share an anchorage with you; your rig must sound like a cello at times. :)
 

TheDragon

Super Anarchist
3,147
1,102
East central Illinois
Harrygee, no offence taken, although my boat is one of the quieter ones in an anchorage. It is amazing how many people can sleep with their halyards slapping the mast. Anyway, yes, surge is an issue and Vuda Marina attempts to deal with it by closing a "surge gate" across the narrow entrance to the marina, although I believe they had problems with that with the last cyclone. As far as I know, boats in this basin at worst suffered some stanchion damage from bouncing off neighbors. None broke free and none sank. Let's hope no cyclone has a direct hit here this season.
 

CapDave

Member
494
470
Antigua
Most small cruising boats already have a lot of stuff on deck - fuel and water jugs, dinghies, outboards, fenders, liferafts, biminis, solar panels, wind turbines, dodgers, davits, SUP boards, kayaks, on and on. Most of these boats are already way outside their design envelope for righting moment and ballast:displacement ratio, not to mention the windage of all that stuff. Now you're adding a lot of windage and some weight up high. The impact of that weight on righting moment is exaggerated by the height above deck. There will come a day when sailing upwind will be important. There may even come a day when sailing upwind is existential. The trip from Fiji to NZ might be a candidate. Are you sure you want to bet the whole shooting match on saving a few shekels? Don't let perfect be the enemy of good - do the wire now, the chainplates and tangs etc. in NZ.

Edit - Or since you are presumably back in the US for 6 months, carry the whole refit kit with you on your return and install it......
 
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TheDragon

Super Anarchist
3,147
1,102
East central Illinois
Hi Dave, I am well aware of all of that. The added weight high is negligible. Four dyneema lines to the masthead and two spinnaker sheets also backing up the upper shrouds. The backing up of the inner shrouds adds little too. In terms of windage, yes a little more, but I am cruising, not racing. I fought my way upwind from Savusavu to Wailagilala Atoll in Fiji over four day in medium trade winds with additional rigging backups including all four moorings lines led to the masthead. Tacking angle sailing was 120, but motor sailing with jib and staysail led inside the shrouds and tightly sheeted was 90. That’s more than good enough for me. I have given up on the dream of sailing to NZ. I will fly there for a month in March instead. Then back here in Fiji I will have a long struggle back upwind to Tonga as it was still closed when I came through. I will obviously wait for a good window and hope to go down to Minerva Reef on a NE spell and then back up to Tonga on SE. We will see.
 

TheDragon

Super Anarchist
3,147
1,102
East central Illinois
Here is my track from Savusavu to Wailagilala Atoll. I am the red boat in the middle. I did it in four days with stops at Viani Bay, Matei, and Matagi Bay. The last stretch from Matagi Bay to Wailagilala shows the 90 degree tacks pretty well. I’m happy with that when motor-sailing at around 1500 RPM.

FBBB9C14-E77D-43A8-BD5C-6F3452B5F5CB.png
 

TheDragon

Super Anarchist
3,147
1,102
East central Illinois
This will probably open me up to more criticism, but here’s the before and after for the worst shroud, which had at least four broken wires.

90BB63BD-8B34-47AC-BB40-F0D099AC913C.jpeg

921ED4F2-EA69-48E5-98C6-EFDCD0091217.jpeg
 
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Remodel

Super Anarchist
10,337
926
None
Again, thanks all. I am now in the Bay of Islands in Vanua Balavu, the most northerly of the Lau Group, and surprised to have cell reception with a phone up the mast as relay hotspot. I had a tough upwind beat from Matagi Bay to Wailagilala Atoll, really cool place with tens of thousands of noddies and boobies. Anyway, I was motorsailing with half jib and staysail, both led to inside blocks and sheeted hard flat and main on first reef and engine running around 1500 RPM, and making 4-5 knots average for 14 hours with three tacks, each barely at 90 degrees. We were heeled 15-20 degrees the whole day, so I checked the shroud and backstay tension using the Loos Gauge. Windward shrouds had all gone from 700 lbs to 1000, leewards from 700 to 300, and backstay from 1000 to 1600. All of that seems reasonable to me. No new wire breaks on any of them. I have ordered three more 50ft dyneema winch rope or car tow ropes and will use them to backup the forestay, backstay, and the upper shroud that does not already have one (claimed to be 8500 lbs breaking strain, same as my 1/4" cables). I also ordered 8 long-stud Sta-Loks (1/4" wire to 1/2" UNF threads) at a huge discount (50%) off retail, so that seemed like a reasonable deal. In Vuda Marina in October I will decide whether to get new wire as well. I will nevertheless leave most of my backups, the stout sheets, halyards, lifelines, and dyneema lines because in addition to the security they provide really nice handhold alternatives to grabbing the shrouds.
Get new wire. Back in the day - about when your boat was built - we used to say replace standing rigging after 10 years in saltwater, 15 - 20 years in fresh. No offense intended, but your rig is very long past its due date.

Get new wire.
 

TheDragon

Super Anarchist
3,147
1,102
East central Illinois
Thanks Sloop.

Not sure which image worries you, remodel. The image of the compromised shroud looks extra bad because I had chain with cable clamps on each shroud and stay and the galvanized cable clamps (could not get stainless in Savusavu) left the bottom of the cables looking really cruddy plus broken. The STA-LOK is a little messy, but it is solid. It is hard to judge how much goop to put inside it before tightening. I don’t mind extra coming out the top, that will help stop salt getting in.
 

mgs

canoeman
1,176
273
maine
It is hard to judge how much goop to put inside it before tightening. I don’t mind extra coming out the top, that will help stop salt getting in.
With mechanical fittings it seems to be a matter of preference these days. The sat-lol directions, if you can call them that, don’t specifically say to use any sealant, I think there is a pictogram showing locking adhesive for the threads. Hi-Mod only says to use locking adhesive. Norseman, well I don’t remember but, there was a nice little well for sealant anyway.

Locking adhesive is always involved though.
 

IStream

Super Anarchist
10,933
3,110
Patrick Childress (RIP) was a big proponent of putting butyl sealant in his Norseman fittings:
 

SloopJonB

Super Anarchist
70,180
13,323
Great Wet North
If it was me I think I'd get new galvanized wire rope and double Nico-Press swage fittings - cheap and it does yeoman service in the industrial world, just not as pretty as S/S. Worked for the Hiscocks.

Would do the trick until I could get a proper re-rigging done.
 

CapDave

Member
494
470
Antigua
Hi Dave, I am well aware of all of that. The added weight high is negligible. Four dyneema lines to the masthead and two spinnaker sheets also backing up the upper shrouds. The backing up of the inner shrouds adds little too. In terms of windage, yes a little more, but I am cruising, not racing. I fought my way upwind from Savusavu to Wailagilala Atoll in Fiji over four day in medium trade winds with additional rigging backups including all four moorings lines led to the masthead. Tacking angle sailing was 120, but motor sailing with jib and staysail led inside the shrouds and tightly sheeted was 90. That’s more than good enough for me. I have given up on the dream of sailing to NZ. I will fly there for a month in March instead. Then back here in Fiji I will have a long struggle back upwind to Tonga as it was still closed when I came through. I will obviously wait for a good window and hope to go down to Minerva Reef on a NE spell and then back up to Tonga on SE. We will see.
OK - so you've turned your boat into a (not very good) motorsailer. I've seen this movie a lot of times, lots of folks posting here have. Man goes cruising with tight budget. Man kludges boat fixes to keep cruise going. Boat fails under quantity of accumulated kludges. Man hangs out a while in final harbor, fails to sell boat because all value used up. Man flies home, abandons boat which becomes an ecohazard and floating threat. Governments eventually regulate boating more because of accumulated such boats.

I guess I've lost sight of what you're solving for??
 


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