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Thread: Replacing my Standing Rigging

  1. #1
    Contributing Partner woolamaloo's Avatar
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    Replacing my Standing Rigging

    My standing rigging is original to the boat. It’s 33 years old. The rule of thumb I’ve heard is that it should be replaced every ten years in salt-water and every 20 in fresh. A sail-maker who did some work for me a couple years ago thought that this style of turnbuckles was recalled in the late-80s. He took a look at my rigging and commented that something didn’t look quite right with the intermediate shrouds.

    I store my mast in a rack in the off-season and inspect the rigging closely each spring. The swages all look good and I can find no corrosion on any of the wire rope. There are certainly no fish-hooks. The only problem I’ve found is that the starboard intermediate turnbuckle stud has a slight bend in it. AND, when I get the rig tuned to what I think is right, far more threads on the starboard intermediate turnbuckle are exposed than there are on the port turnbuckle stud. Of course, this makes me think I’ve done something wrong. I’ve spent hours each year trying to tune things to make those two turnbuckles look similar. I end up with a big S-curve in my mast and end up changing it back.

    It could be argued that since my boat is only in the water 7 months a year and the mast with rigging is wrapped each year, I might not have exceeded the useful life of the rig. It’s probably fine, but that’s not an argument I’d want to defend. I’ve decided to preventively replace my shrouds and stays this winter. I spent extra time in the last month of the season tuning the rig trying to make sure the mast was as centered possible. The yard workers coiled the rigging for me and I brought it all home. I’m still doing my research for the replacement.

    I wanted to see how much longer my starboard intermediate was than the port one and I laid them out in the driveway. I probably shouldn’t have been as surprised as I was when they were only about a quarter inch different. I proceeded to lay out each set of shrouds and I was pretty pleased with how close each pair was. But it appears that the starboard intermediate was just made too short at the factory. Does that make sense or is there something else I’m missing?
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    Last edited by woolamaloo; 11-18-2018 at 06:59 PM.
    Jim
    Woolamaloo
    Cleveland, Ohio
    1985 E30+ #685/Universal M18

  2. #2
    Advanced Beginner bgary's Avatar
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    Yeah, it makes sense. Someone just cut the wire for that one an inch or two shorter than they should have. Speaking as a once-upon-a-time rigger... it happens.

    The "ideal" case would be to have both turnbuckles in the middle of their adjustment range when the rig is in tune, but... variations occur. Thats why there are turnbuckles.

    The goal is to have the rig "right" (masthead centered, rig in column underneath it, adequate tension to keep it in column when sailing). Where the turnbuckles are in their adjustment range when you're done is low on the list of things to worry about, as long as you're able to achieve good tune with the threads fully-engaged in the turnbuckle bodies.

    Having said that, yeah, 33 years old is well into the range where you should be thinking about replacing. Short of magna-fluxing the fittings, there's no way to know whether there are hidden cracks or other flaws getting ready to bite you.

    $.02
    Bruce
    Last edited by bgary; 11-18-2018 at 07:09 PM.
    "Makana" (ex-Thelonious)
    1985 Ericson 32-III #604
    Makana blog: here

  3. #3
    Principal Partner bigd14's Avatar
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    I just replaced the entire rig. $1500 at Rigging Only.
    1984 Ericson 30+
    Hull #651

    Formerly 1972 Ericson 27

  4. #4
    Contributing Partner woolamaloo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigd14 View Post
    I just replaced the entire rig. $1500 at Rigging Only.
    I've been in contact with Rigging Only. A buddy of mine replaced his rig with them last year and they did a great job.

    Did you send them your old rig? I'm considering a drive to New England to visit them - and stop at Defender, and Jamestown Distributors.
    Jim
    Woolamaloo
    Cleveland, Ohio
    1985 E30+ #685/Universal M18

  5. #5
    Contributing Partner Slick470's Avatar
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    Rigging only did a great job with new lifelines for our boat a couple summers ago. I sent them our old ones to make sure everything was right. I hadn't thought about sending them our standing rigging too. Hmmm.
    Andy H.
    1990 Ericson Olson 911S #149 Hawkeye
    Deale, Maryland
    Yanmar 2GM20F

  6. #6
    Contributing Member II
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    We used Jon Duer right here in Cleveland. Great Lakes Rigging (also the local Doyle sails guy).
    He replaced all the standing rigging and lifelines this past year. He did a great job, is great to work with,
    and very reasonable on price.

    He was well recommended and I highly agree.

    Bob Greene

    P.S. Next season I would be interested in checking out your new head if we can work it out.
    Bob G
    1985 E32-3 #650
    Universal M25
    Celerity
    Sailing on Lake Erie

  7. #7
    Contributing Partner woolamaloo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slick470 View Post
    Rigging only did a great job with new lifelines for our boat a couple summers ago. I sent them our old ones to make sure everything was right. I hadn't thought about sending them our standing rigging too. Hmmm.
    I helped my buddy measure the rig on his '76 Pearson 28 and he ordered it from Rigging Only. He did not send them his old rig - just the measurements. He ordered his four shrouds and backstay for $900. (He had his yard replace the forestay that was in the furler.) The Rigging Only work was top notch.

    I'm considering doing the same thing. Like bigd14, I expect it to be around $1,500.

    I don't like the way my backstay adjuster was connected to the chainplates and would like to communicate face to face about how they'd change it. Besides, I like the idea of a road trip to New England for a couple days.
    Jim
    Woolamaloo
    Cleveland, Ohio
    1985 E30+ #685/Universal M18

  8. #8
    Contributing Partner woolamaloo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mordust View Post
    We used Jon Duer right here in Cleveland. Great Lakes Rigging (also the local Doyle sails guy).
    He replaced all the standing rigging and lifelines this past year. He did a great job, is great to work with,
    and very reasonable on price.

    He was well recommended and I highly agree.

    Bob Greene

    P.S. Next season I would be interested in checking out your new head if we can work it out.
    I know Jon and agree that he's a great guy to work with. He made my stack pack and has done some sail repairs for me. I intend to stop in on him next week and have him take a look.

    I'd be happy to show you my composting head next season.
    Jim
    Woolamaloo
    Cleveland, Ohio
    1985 E30+ #685/Universal M18

  9. #9
    Contributing Member II
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    Replacing Standing Rigging

    We also used Jon Duer Cleveland. Great Lakes Rigging (also the local Doyle sails guy). Great work and dependable. Ken

  10. #10
    Principal Partner bigd14's Avatar
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    I sent the rig to Rigging Only just to make sure it all turned out perfect. They did a great job and went so far as asking what furler I had and sent me the correct bolt to fit it to the new rigging. The road trip sounds like fun!
    1984 Ericson 30+
    Hull #651

    Formerly 1972 Ericson 27

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