#1 2019-01-14 18:48:21

Registered: 2017-08-10
Posts: 41

Rigging checks and replacing standing rigging - guidance please.

Hi folks,
Having recently removed the mast from my V34, I am in the process of checking the standing rigging. From what I can establish, it was last replaced in 2006 and checked regularly in the interim period. The boat has been lightly used since then and all the rigging wire (with the exception of the forestay inside the Harken furling gear), terminals and bottle screws looks to be in excellent condition. I do plan to take apart the Harken gear and replace the forestay (as I will have to cut the lower end of the stay to remove it).

My insurance company hasn't insisted on anything being replaced and it is up to me to decide on what should be replaced.

The rubberised gator (if that's the correct term) that provides the seal around the deck join is in good condition, but obviously, now is the time to think about replacing it. Does anyone know who might provide this type of seal?

Any general advise on the approach to replacing the rigging would be most welcome. I could opt to replace the forestay, cap shrouds and back stay this year and perhaps replace the running backstays and lowers next year to spread the cost?

Coastal sailing is what is planned for the next few years.

Many thanks.

V34 cutter - 'Anitra'.


#2 2019-01-14 23:39:43

From: Chester
Registered: 2017-06-25
Posts: 29

Re: Rigging checks and replacing standing rigging - guidance please.

Can't help much there. Most of the rigging had been renewed in the two years prior to sale apart from the fore and cutter stays. These were renewed while the mast was down when trucked up Conwy. Again, I can look up what was used and get back to you.

Relaunch tomorrow all being well

Don Smith


#3 2019-01-15 12:14:42

Registered: 2007-06-11
Posts: 14

Re: Rigging checks and replacing standing rigging - guidance please.

Hi Charlie,

I had all the standing rigging on Kaya (V34) replaced by a rigger just last year. I didn't really intend to do this but my Mk 1 Harken furler (fitted back in 1989) failed in the Autumn of 2017 - basically the RF genoa ended up in the water under the boat (I was sailing in an F5 at the time!). I had checked the furler system at the start of the season and there was no warning of any problem until it happened when ball bearings started to rain from the top of the mast just seconds before the sail came down. I had been very impressed with the Harken (simplicity of maintenance, ease of use and longevity) and so I replaced this with the latest Harken version and took the opportunity to replace all the standing rigging at the same time.

Kaya's standing rigging had previously been replaced by me when I bought her in 2007. Back in 2007 I measured it all myself when the mast was down and had Jimmy Green make up new parts. This was certainly cheaper than having the work done by a rigger (about £300 back in 2007 v about £900 in 2018) and the only real difficult is making sure that your measurements are accurate. In my experience the real advantage of using a professional rigger is that they come and tune the rig as part of the job! 

I suspect your rigging will be okay if the use has been light, but bear in mind that it has still been open to the elements. If I were you I'd either have a professional rigger check it over or start your staged replacement as you suggest.

As to the mast boot, some years ago I had my sailmaker make up a canvas cover for the rubber boot. This protects it from UV which is the real enemy of the rubber. If the boot is okay on Anitra I'd be tempted to get a canvas cover in place to protect it.

Hope this helps!


V34 Kaya


#4 2019-01-15 16:46:30

Registered: 2004-03-23
Posts: 94

Re: Rigging checks and replacing standing rigging - guidance please.

Charlie -

Some quote a 10 year rule, others are quite happy to go to 15 years, some just leave it and hope.   In the past I have tried to find out whether the '10 year rule' was based on any empirical data but to no avail.  Since insurance companies do not seem to have a fixed policy then it does seem to be driven anecdotally.

Some say that that even lightly used rig will suffer from age - for example masts typically pump a bit even in a breeze in the marina.

Having said that, I currently look to change by 15 years as it does deteriorate.   Deciding to change some of yours whilst the mast is down sounds a sensible plan - the forestay is probably at most risk due to possible roller furling wear, and it is the part of the rig which gets least inspection.   All the top of the mast stays/shrouds are probably more critical, and the lowers are easier to change with the rig up at a later date.

Mast boot:   I got mine from Hamble Yacht Services (Tim Ormond).   They seem to have metamorphosed over the years since, but worth a try.   They just needed to know the circumference of the mast and the molding the boot sits on (as far as I remember).   Otherwise perhaps try Allspars.


#5 2019-01-15 17:51:00

Registered: 2017-08-10
Posts: 41

Re: Rigging checks and replacing standing rigging - guidance please.

Again, many thanks for everyone's input. Much appreciated. I spoke with a local yacht surveyor today too, just to sound him out reference rig checks and any 'rule of thumb' guidance. His advice was to carry out whatever maintenance you feel is required to maintain the integrity of the rig. Insurers ultimately will look to see what maintenance and checks are carried out by the owner should a failure subsequently happen. Common sense I guess. I'll stagger the replacement of the standing rigging. Thanks.


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