sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Checking your rigging
Checking your rigging


'The best insurance is the eye of the skipper'    .

Just as they say the best fertiliser on a farm is the footsteps of the Farmer, so the best insurance for your mast is the eye of the skipper. This means regular checks before any major voyage. However, when it comes to a thorough check, the only way of ensuring you have found every fault is to remove the rig.

An aluminium rig will last in good condition for many years, and it pays to find out what your insurance company considers reasonable before replacement. Having said that, corrosion and fatigue can creep up unexpectedly if there is not a regular checking routine. And it could be merely a cracked turnbuckle or a corroded clevis pin which brings your mast down when you least expect it.

Checking the rigging - Taking the mast out of some boats is easier than others -  .. .  

What to look out for:
Generally the most important thing is to be on the lookout for cracks and corrosion. If the rig is painted, watch for bubbles in the paint, a sure sign of corrosion. If it's anodized, watch for a white, powdery residue. Sometimes potential problems can stay hidden unless you remove the rig from the boat, so, between checks it will be the tiny clues that you are searching for.

Checking the rigging on land is the only way to be thorough -  .. .  
Mast cap:
Closely examine the cap for corrosion, cracks, and wear. Remove the backstay and forestay fittings and inspect where they attach to the cap. If the holes show excessive wear-such as a groove in the bottom of the hole-or have elongated, the cap needs to be repaired. Clevis pins should be straight and just wide enough to fit through the holes. If the pin is too thin or too long, it may bend or crack. It's best to replace all undersized pins and all cotter pins. Never replace a clevis pin with a bolt. A bolt's threads simply act like a file.

Check toggles for cracks and corrosion and for proper alignment. Remove all shackles and blocks. Inspect them for cracks, corrosion, and chafe.

Make sure that the antennas, lights, and wind instruments are functioning and that all wires are sufficiently protected against chafe. A chafed wire not only leads to a faulty masthead light; any stray current, even from something so small, can, when combined with water and salt, speed up rig corrosion dramatically.

Don't forget the halyard sheaves. Make sure they run free and check the axle pin for cracks and wear.

The Mast:
As you work your way down the mast, keep an eye out for corrosion, chafed areas, cracks, and dents in the mast extrusion itself. Even a small dent can weaken a mast enough to make it buckle. If your mast consists of two extrusions spliced together, make sure that the splice is tight, straight, and free of loose or corroded fasteners.

Shrouds:
Chances are that a shroud will fail where it attaches to something, so shroud tangs and T-ball sockets, which are crucial to the integrity of the whole system and subject to high loads and fatigue, deserve special attention. It's important to inspect the tangs and T-ball sockets for corrosion and cracking where they connect to the mast. Keep an eye out for corroded or distorted fasteners, and make sure that all stainless-steel fittings are sufficiently isolated from an aluminum mast. It's also critical to make sure that tangs and T-ball sockets are well reinforced and accept the shroud at the proper angle. A misaligned tang or weak T-ball socket can cause a shroud to fail.

Spreaders: Spreaders are designed to withstand compression loads, but for them to function properly, the angle that a spreader forms with the shroud must be 90 degrees, i.e., equal both above and below the spreader. A cracked, bent, or overly worn spreader is a good clue that it was probably misaligned and needs to be repaired or replaced.

Check for cracks, wear, and corrosion in the spreader bases and check for excessive play in the spreader. It's a good idea to remove the bases to verify the condition of the interior of the mast wall and of the compression tube running through the mast.

Spreader tips are another common trouble spot. They're subject to extreme load fluctuations and are usually covered with chafe guards that can trap water and starve the stainless steel of oxygen-a perfect recipe for corrosion. Make sure to remove the chafe guards and thoroughly inspect the spreader tips.

Mast step:
Because of its proximity to the bilge, a keel-stepped mast is highly susceptible to corrosion. Improper mast drainage and any loose current from a frayed wire can also contribute to corrosion of both the bottom of the mast and the step itself. Excessive corrosion could indicate one or all of these problems.
Keel-stepped masts are also susceptible to corrosion where the mast passes through the deck. Check for cracks and wear under the mast boot.

Deck-stepped masts aren't as prone to corrosion at the base as keel-stepped masts, but it's still important to check for cracks, corrosion, and proper drainage and to make sure that the deck isn't deformed.

Standing rigging:
With wire rigging, cracked swages (fittings compressed onto the wire under high pressure) are a common cause of rig failure, so make sure to check that each swaged fitting is straight and free of cracks and corrosion. Water and salt running down the wire and seeping into the fitting can speed up swage corrosion, so even if the fitting is free of cracks, be on high alert for corrosion near the top of the fitting. It could be an indication that the interior of the fitting has started to corrode and may be untrustworthy. Mechanical or swageless compression fittings like those made by Norseman and Staylock are generally more durable than swaged fittings, but these still should be checked periodically.

Then check the turnbuckles. Make sure each is straight and free of corrosion and cracks. All turnbuckles should be clean and lubricated, and should be secured with brand-new split rings or cotter pins.

Then check the wire for corrosion and broken strands. Just one broken strand can make the wire untrustworthy.

Chainplates:
Water and salt often get trapped between the chainplates and the deck, where corrosion is difficult to detect. If the chainplate seal is broken or you see evidence on the inside of the boat that water is seeping down the chainplates, chances are that the chainplates could be corroded and will need some special attention.

It's not worth going to the trouble of doing the checks unless you replace anything that is even slightly suspect. You'll sleep better at night in a storm when you know that your mast is in the best possible condition and your on-deck crew are safe from falling masts.


by Des Ryan

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=106823

10:28 PM Thu 21 Feb 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
Practical

Related News Stories:

24 Feb 2013  Product of the Week: Removable sailing pouches
24 Feb 2013  Product of the Week: Removable sailing pouches
19 Feb 2013  Cruising Association's mobile App, going gangbusters
18 Feb 2013  West Marine's 'Green Products of 2013' announced - both practical
15 Feb 2013  Autopilots - about to get more 'intelligent'
15 Feb 2013  Autopilots - about to get more 'intelligent'
11 Feb 2013  Fire onboard!
10 Feb 2013  Green antifouling technology - getting better every year
10 Feb 2013  Cruising sailors and iPads - One tech-savvy cruising sailor tells
10 Feb 2013  Cruising sailors and iPads - One tech-savvy cruising sailor tells
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

Stuart Alexander, one of the worlds leading yachting correspondents has been in New Zealand for the past few months, and provided the following perspective on Emirates Team New Zealand's latest media flogging, ahead of the finish of Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race. ... [more]  

Studio Borlenghi provide some of these stunning shots from Day 2 of 2015 Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean. ... [more]  

After a spell last night and today during which almost all of the Barcelona World Race fleet were in light or moderate winds, in the Atlantic and the Pacific, it looks more like Transition Time is ringing for many. The exception to the calls of 'It's Not Normally Like This Here' was Jorg Riechers and Sébastien Audigane on Renault Captur who were motoring across the Pacific at their statutory ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race – Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam passed under 5,000 miles to the Barcelona World Race finish line and also crossed over their own outbound track. ... [more]  

Reflecting on his team’s performance on Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race, Team Alvimedica skipper Charlie Enright said the youngest crew in the race had sailed its best leg to date. 'It was our most complete leg so far. But like all these legs it had its ups and downs,' said the 30-year-old Enright. 'From a navigation and tactics point of view, we stayed with the group and were hard-charging ... [more]  

It’s hot, hot, hot in Miami for the third day of Star racing in the 88th Bacardi Cup and it is the last day the Stars will be alone on the bay, as tomorrow the remaining classes, J/70, M32, Viper 640 and VX One, will begin racing in the sixth BACARDI Miami Sailing Week presented by EFG Bank. ... [more]  

Damian Foxall (IRL), one of the biggest names in offshore sailing, is joining Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA) for the forthcoming Leg 5. Caudrelier and Foxall were on the Groupama boat that won the 2011-12 edition. The Irishman was the natural choice when Dongfeng’s skipper looked for an experienced sailor to bolster his line-up for the 6,776-nautical mile (nm) stage from Auckland ... [more]  

Marine industry experts from around the world will convene next week in the Volvo Ocean Race Village at Auckland’s Viaduct Basin for the fifth High Performance Yacht Design conference. This three-day technical conference, ninth to 11th March, is the latest for those who make it their business to push the performance boundaries of yachts both power and sail. ... [more]  

If there was any takeaway for competitors in the regatta's first three races, it's that walking away with the title of Farr 40's Midwinters Champion is not going to be an easy feat. ... [more]  

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta – The Sint Maarten Yacht Club is buzzing today with race crews arriving to register for the Gill Commodore's Cup. Over 2000 sailors are expected to take part and many of them have sailed their yachts to St.Maarten from neighbouring islands. ... [more]  

The competition for the 2015 Delta Lloyd Regatta looks promising. Especially the registrations for Laser and Laser Radial are well under way. International top sailors like Marit Bouwmeester (Laser Radial) and Bundock & Curtis (Nacra17) are up to the challenge in Medemblik from 24 - 30 May 2015. Races will start from 26 May onwards. ... [more]  

The 21 Swan yachts competing in the second edition of the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean could not have asked for a more perfect start to the event's four scheduled days of racing in Virgin Gorda. After a rip-roaring race around the island accompanied by 20 to 22 knots of breeze and some serious waves, Swan 80 Selene was the victor in Class A (18.29m and above) while Swan 53 Music led yachts in Class B ... [more]  

Studio Borlenghi provide some of these stunning shots from Day 1 of 2015 Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean. ... [more]  

It can be the most frustrating stage of non-stop round the world racing. After completing the difficult, stressful four or five weeks in the big south, there is an almost inbuilt expectation that, by comparison, after rounding Cape Horn and passing the Falklands milestong, racing up the Atlantic life should be a bowl of cherries. ... [more]  

2015 EFG Winter Cup - Miami is known as the gateway to Latin America. For Viper sailors, it may also be the jumping off point for points east. If you hailed from an island in the Atlantic Ocean, you probably did well at the Winter Cup. ... [more]  

EFG Bank Pan American Championship 2015 - Things are about to get hot in the Viper 640 class, with two Miami regattas in Miami this week, culminating in the EFG Bank Viper 640 Pan-American Championship held during BACARDI Miami Sailing Week, one of the Class’s major championships. ... [more]  

2015 RYC Midwinters overall by Luis Kitchen, San Francisco Bay
For the third year in a row Jonathan Weston aka Hot Donutz wins the RYC Midwinters in a competitive four day series. ... [more]  

2015 Squirrel Bank Regatta - Overall report by Andy Kopetzky, Southern California
Short close chop, hobby-horsing to weather and donning layers of foul weather gear was the order of the day at Del Rey Yacht Club's annual Squirrel Bank Regatta. ... [more]  

Without cutting edge design and engineering, no one wins the America's Cup. In pursuit of their goal, the British team has developed their own sophisticated 3D sailing simulator, modelled on those used by the world of motorsport. ... [more]  

OTUSA AC45 Turbo workout images by pressure-drop.us ... [more]  

Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean – A fleet of 21 Swan yachts, comprising an array of different models from seven different countries and territories will contest an eagerly anticipated week of action in the Virgin Gorda archipelago, the British Virgin Islands tomorrow, Wednesday 4 March. ... [more]  

Photographer Tim Wright captured some of these stunning shots at the start of the RORC Caribbean 600 and along the course at St Barths, Barbuda and Redonda. ... [more]  

Gill Commodore's Cup - Entries on the increase by St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
The Gill Commodore's Cup consists of one day of racing as a stand alone event, immediately prior to the St.Maarten Heineken Regatta and is open to all boat categories taking part in the main event (excluding the Lottery Class). This year there is a record entry with over 70 yachts expected to be taking part. Several tight windward leeward races are planned for the fast performance yachts ... [more]  

After the Volvo Ocean Race finished on Saturday night, Sail-World.com's NZ editor, Richard Gladwell caught up with Ryan Houston from Team Alvimedica. He talks about wanting to sail on a Kiwi boat in the next race - how this race compares with the others in which he has sailed - how small gains seem to be paying well - the vexed issue of AIS on tactics, and more ... [more]  

After the Volvo Ocean Race finished on Saturday night, Sail-World.com's NZ editor, Richard Gladwell caught up with Dave Swete from Team Alvimedica. A product of the RNZYS Youth Program, Swete is on his second Volvo Ocean Race. He touches on the differences between the two programs, the impact that AIS is having on the racing and plenty more ... [more]  

Sail-World.com's New Zealand Editor caught up with Race Director, Jack Lloyd on the floor of the sail-loft in the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard. In this 15 minute interview, Lloyd gives his view of the progress made as a result of adopting the Volvo 65 One Design - with all boats having finished every leg (with one exception - Vestas Wind). ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Image gallery - Tour of the Boatyard by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com NZL
Yesterday Volvo Ocean Race threw open the barriers and let the media have an inside view of the Boatyard at the Viaduct Events Centre The area is open to the public (stay behind the safety barriers) where you can see the boats on the hard, and look inside the Events Centre which has been converted into a massive sail and rigging loft. ... [more]  

Artemis Racing took their development AC45 out on San Francisco Bay, yesterday. Videographer, John Navas was there to catch all the action on high resolution video. ... [more]  

The countdown to the 46th edition of the Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar has begun in the bay of Palma from 28th March to 4th April. With less than a month to go until the start of the event, the regatta has already around 700 teams (667) from 59 nations representing the five continents. ... [more]  

2015 RC44 Championship Tour - With less than a month to go, eleven teams are eagerly anticipating the season-opener set to take place in Malta's renowned capital of Valletta, the historic 'City of Knights', from 25-29 March. ... [more]  

The 2015 US Grand Slam Series will take place within the month of August, beginning a couple weeks earlier and in a different order than previous editions. The Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, Bayview Yacht Club, Chicago Match Race Center, and Oakcliff Sailing organizers are pleased to announce that Requests for Invitation are being accepted now and all venues anticipate high demand. ... [more]  

A beautiful sunny Miami welcomed Star sailors to the first day of the 88th Bacardi Cup. One race is scheduled for each day of the 6-day event as part of the Bacardi Miami Sailing Week (BMSW) presented by EFG Bank. With winds around 10 knots from the East, the racing area was set about 1 ¾ miles south of Dinner Key Channel. The course is set at 95 degrees with two-mile legs, which will test sailors ... [more]  

It’s been a month since the International Paralympic Committee publicized its decision to drop sailing from the slate of sports at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Since then ISAF has stepped up to lead the appeal for reinstatement. At US Sailing, we believe ISAF leadership is critical to our chances of overturning this decision, and we are pleased to see President Carlo Croce take this on himself ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race Village: Have a look around without leaving your seat
2015 WWA Malibu Pro Card Qualifier – Registration open
Doyle Sails and NZ Rigging supply package for new Sydney based Shaw 11
Barcelona World Race - Easier miles at the front
2015 North American Hobie 16 to be held at Pensacola Yacht Club
2015 Hobie Mid-Winter East North America
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Brunel faced big challenges – Recap Leg 4
2015 RORC Caribbean 600 – 66 best yachts and 600 mile thrilling race
ACWS Portsmouth ticket launch – Watch top sailors battling it out
E.E. Manning Regatta – NHYC kids hold it together in restless weather
2015 California Dreamin’ Series-Long Beach Stop – A close fight
Delivery of Phaedo3 MOD 70
Premiere Racing stepping aside after their 21st Key West Race Week
Sol having Serious Fun at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
Barcelona World Race – 60 Days at Sea– Atlantic opens up for the fleet
Volvo Ocean Race: Images from Auckland - Media Conference and more
Volvo Ocean Race: Iker Martinez returns to Mapfre as skipper
Miami Sailing Week – Bacardi Cup preview
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 4 finishes at night after a tense day *Feature
Farr 40 International Circuit - Plenty team hungry for more
Coast Guard continues search for San Diego sailor   
Sonar Class has a new builder for Sonar   
Rio officials probe source of fish die-off in Olympic waters   
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - An island-wide effort   
Volvo Ocean Race: Images ashore after Leg 4   
Volvo Ocean Race: Images from the finish of Leg 4   
Volvo Ocean Race-Brasileiro ajuda barco espanhol a vencer quarta etapa   
RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show - a British tradition   
Eight minutes between Podium players as Spanish win VOR leg 4   
Volvo Ocean Race - Leg 4 - fleet arrives in Auckland and the winner is   
Volvo Ocean Race - Leg 4 - the fleet approaches Auckland   
Volvo Ocean Race - Less than 10 miles to Auckland finish   
2015 RORC Caribbean 600 - Third time lucky for happy Hap   
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 4 Finish - Auckland - Live Video and Updates   
Barcelona World Race - Neutrogena crosses Cape Horn with 40 knots wind   
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - Natty Rico will close the final night   
Barcelona World Race - At Cape Horn memories are made. and recalled   
Big winds for SCYA Manning Regatta at ABY Club   
Hutchinson and Roble honored at US Sailing’s Rolex Awards ceremony   
Finn World Masters Championships 2015 - Pre registration open   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT