When to change standing rigging?

G

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Not knowing the age of the rigging on my boat, i wonder should i renew?
The mast is down and everything looks fine. Would an experienced rigger know
if there were any hidden dangers just by a visual inspection? thanks forany help.
 

philip_stevens

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Most insurance company't want rigging changed after 10 or 15 years.

I had my boat surveyed for charter, with the surveyor taking great pains to look at the rigging. A week later the lower SS T-terminal of the cap shroud broke a quarter inch above the weld. The actual rigging SS wire was OK.

As it had just been surveyed, insurance cover was no problem. Mast and rigging were completely replaced.

All the terminals are now chrome covered bronze.

regards,
Philip
 
G

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I agree with Mr. Stevens. 10 to 15 years is plenty of time on rigging. Can you contact the previous owner to get information regarding the age of the rigging? If not, definitely have a professional rigger go over it with a fine tooth comb. There are many things that a rigger can find...and some that they cannot, such as what happened to Mr. Stevens.

It would best to find all of this out before something happens.
 
G

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It is very difficult to ascertain condition of rigging from visual inspection. Second there are very few tests that actually determine it as well. The inside of the talurits / swages etc. is a hidden factor that only very experienced Ultrasonic or other testing MAY identify.

It is fraught with problems and the only advise really is ..... If your'e not happy, change it. False inspection and security is not so reliable structuraly, but does help in the case of Insurance claim ..... so if only for insurance, the inspection is worth it.

Sorry if this sounds contradictory .......
 

AndrewB

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Testing rigging

I do put faith in micro-resistance testing as some indication of the condition of swage terminals, but it only works if the test value can be compared with one made when the terminal was in good condition.

Otherwise I agree with what you say. A broken strand, particularly at the crosstrees, is indicative, but otherwise it is extremely hard to tell the condition of stainless rigging, as most the problems are hidden within the terminal.

For that reason I've taken to reusing old wire with new terminals on shorter shrouds from time to time, rather than replacing all the wire.

Incidentally, a comment on Phillip Stevens' posting: T-terminals seem to give way far more commonly conventional swages, probably because they involve a twist in the direction of pull. They save weight but in my opinion have no place on a cruising boat.
 

Boathook

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Re: Testing rigging

Many years ago we had our rigging tested using a company just started. The insurance company then accepted the test instead of replacing the rigging. The company Maidment? was at Southampton boat show this year. Due to other problems we replaced the rigging 5 years later but I would certainly have the tests done again as long as the insurance company accepts it instead of replacement.
 

philip_stevens

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Re: Testing rigging

Andrew,
from your reply, you are probably thinking that the T terminal in question was the top one. My apologies for not making it clearer.

The T terminal that parted company was the lower one, from the bottle screw to the "chain plate". This T terminal goes into a U bracket affair, that is connected to the chain plate. The T terminal parted about quarter inch above the weld to the T top hat (looking at the T terminal upside down).

The mast didn't come down, as the boat was taken through the wind so that the opposite cap shroud took all the strain. The mast did bend above the spreaders though, and there was no way to get it straight again. When I replaced the cap shroud terminal and got the mast secure again, there was a definite ? mark bend to the mast!!

As I said, all the terminals on the boat are now chrome plated bronze.

I sent the T terminal (both pieces) to PBO in the hope that they would photograph it and show it in the mag. They did make a comment in one of the issues concerning it. A pity they did not show it.

In my case I was lucky the survey was only a week before, and GJW Direct were very good in processing the claim.

regards,
Philip
 

PeterGibbs

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There are tests but no one seems too enthusiastic about them; the heads-up would be if the insurance companies insisted on electronic tests every so many years, but from what I see they are content with an inspection by a qualified surveyor at 10-12 year intervals. Some insist on replacing it at 12 years, others just reduce the level of cover ie not new for old etc - worth checking your insurer's attitude.Taking it down every winter probabaly scores with some insurers if only on the grounds that it allows a better level of inspection.

In your case, if you are asked to declare when your rig was changed or inspected, how do you answer in such a way as to preserve your insurance cover and peace of mind? I think the answer lies in the physical state of the rigging now and the use to which you will put it. If the boat has been and is likely to be subject to relatively light loads with few shock episodes, ie bashing to wind with the mast strumming like an old violin, you could argue for a longer interval before replacing. Almost a look carefully and watch approach.

When I faced a similar situation I replaced the forestay as the most critical piece of gear on my 3/4 back-swept rig, then the remainder after four more seasons. But I was careful to get up the rig personally at least twice a year and inspect closely all parts, but shouldn't we do that anyway?

PWG
 

Plum

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Re: Do not rely on testing!

If you just want to satisfy your insurance company then get any check from a qualified rigger that will satisfy them. But if you want peace of mind, please note: Stainless steel does not have a particularly good fatigue resistance and there is no test available that will tell you what the residual life is. The visual/ultrasonic/resistance/X-ray type tests will ony tell you whether the rig will fail in the VERY near future (eg. the very next time you go out in a F6). They cannot tell you that the rig will be fine for another, say, 6 months. The only real way to get peace of mind is to heed the general advice based on historical failure data and to replace the rigging every 10 years, for a cruising boat, more frequently on one that is raced regularly/hard. A rigging failure may cost you your life. If you are worried about the cost, then purchase your wire from an industrial supplier and learn how to hand splice.
 

VMALLOWS

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Re: Do not rely on testing!

Can anyone add any useful advice on obtaining SS wire from industrial sources?
What specifications do they use etc? The 'boat magasine' prices certainly seem over the top. I guess we're talking of around 100m to re-rig a 9m yacht. Probably
7mm or 8mm diameter.
 

philip_stevens

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Re: Do not rely on testing!

The original specs for my Konsort specified 6mm 1x19.

You may have read my earlier reply when the cap shroud parted. All rigging was replaced even though only one shroud bottle screw T-connector parted - not the wire.

The boat is '84 and I have no way of knowing if the rigging had been replaced before. Therefore the riggers (David Carne) replaced all.

regards,
Philip
 

Plum

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Re: Do not rely on testing!

try an internet search for "stainless wire 1X19". Can't remember the ones I found, but I got prices of 2 to 2.5 GB pounds per m for 8mm 7X7. I ended up buying from a rigging wholesaler in Burnham on Crouch. Reply if you want more details
 
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