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Old 06-04-2006, 08:35 AM   #1
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Default Tuning your own Rigging?

Anyone have any experience in tuning your own rigging once it has been put up?

I asked my local marina to rig my 32' sailboat but I was told that they would only put the rig in place and would not tune it.

I had read that you can tune your own rig pretty easily but can't seem to find anyone that can elaborate.

Is there anyone that does this and wouldn't mind explaining?

Bajamas
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Old 06-05-2006, 02:21 PM   #2
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hi there

from my limited and mostly racing experience, almost any design of boat will come with a tuning guide which will recommend optimum length and tension on different parts of the standing rigging - forestay / inner shrouds / outer shrouds / backstay / etc.

this forms a kind of box within which you can "play" around depending on your sail choice / configuration and of course weather

am sorry i have little advice to offer by way of cruising boats but if you could elaborate on your boat and rigging setup perhaps more accurate advice would be possible.

cheers
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Old 06-06-2006, 12:10 AM   #3
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Pick up the book "Understanding Rigs and Rigging" if you can; it has a pretty good section on rig tuning.

--Karl SV Mabel Rose
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Old 06-08-2006, 08:21 AM   #4
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Hi Bajamas

I do a weekly rigging inspection, ie: checking tracks, travellers, blocks, stays, sheets and so forth. I rinse any moving parts with fresh water and spray lubricant on the sail tracks and any other moving part to keep them free running. We also will tension the capshouds, forward and backstays ect. as we "feel" necessary. If you hold onto a stay and give it a shake so to speak you should be able to tell if the rigging needs a nip or two to keep good and even tension on all parts. For us this has been trial and error, and we haven't had any issues with any of our rigging. Often after a 2 or 3 day continuous sail especially if the seas and swell haven't been kind you will need to throughly check your rigging. Better to pick up a problem when on anchor in a calm bay than out in a rough sea when something breaks. Hope this helps.

Fair sailing

Jackiy
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Old 06-08-2006, 09:04 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the info. I have been reading what I can on self-rigging and maintenance.

The reason I ask is that my Bristol 32 is ready for the water and the mast will be stepped next week. This is my very first boat and I was told that the marina will only step the mast and ensure that the rigging is in place but I will have to tune it and attach the boom, topping lift etc... Is this unusual or common practice? Does this have anything to do with liability on the part of the marina? I was told that they would certainly give me some advice on how to tune my rigging but after the initial setup.

Then, I had read several differing opinions as to how tight and or how loose a rig can/should be. One article in BoatWorks had suggested that a rig that was overtightened was better off than a rig that was undertuned and that there wasn't any possibility of damage to the rig, mast, boat since there is an equal tensioning on the rigging across all components unless you shockload due to accidental gybe, etc...On the other hand, I have heard others warn against overtuning?!?

Any clarity on this from seasoned salts?

Bajamas
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Old 06-08-2006, 10:16 PM   #6
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My personal rule of thumb is to make the rigging tight enough to keep all of the individual members under load thru all points of sail.

In other words... none of the leeward stays or shrouds are wobbling about unloaded, with no tension at all.

I paid a pro to tune my boat, once. He made everything "guitar string" tight. After he left - I could no longer close the door to the head.

Kirk
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Old 06-09-2006, 05:13 AM   #7
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I used a Polish bloke to tune the rig on 'Belinda'. I thought he had done a poor job so I called him and asked that he return and check the work he had just done. But he refused to do that saying "Oppornockity tunes but once".

[B )]
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Old 06-14-2006, 04:51 AM   #8
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http://www.riggingandsails.com/spar-trials-tuning.html

http://www.riggingandsails.com/spar-rig-tensioning.html

These 2 links should help you out.
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Old 06-20-2006, 03:20 AM   #9
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There is a DVD available:

"Tuning your Rig" by Mark Herlinger

See the BOOKS page:

http://www.cruiser.co.za/books.asp
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Old 06-21-2006, 01:02 AM   #10
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I'd strongly suggest "The Riggers Apprentice" by Brion Toss. It covers measuring your rig to find optimal tensions, wire sizes, et cetera, and is more geared toward cruisers than racers. He's a little cagey in person (he'll answer every question with "you'll just have to run the numbers"), but the book's very thorough and a hardcore DIY can get a lot from it once you get past the math.
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Old 07-12-2006, 11:27 AM   #11
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HI,

My 2 cents for what its worth. Opinions will vary. For a cruisy rig you dont necessarily want a racing tune because a racing tune will sometimes be a bit much (depending on the racer giving the advice) for the downwind sailing a cruiser will be doing. No need to put a huge amount of tension on since you are most likely not going to be beating hard to windward and looking to flatten your mainsail out with the backstay. A good rule of thumb is generally 2 to 3 inches of deflection when you pull on the capshrouds (the ones that go to the top) with your hand reasonably hard. Dont try to rip the thing off, just give it a good steady pull. Inners can be just a bit looser. As far as rig tensioning guages, and the settings for each boat, thats racing stuff. No need to buy an 80 dollar loos guage if youre just cruising. I generally agree with the poster that said they shouldnt be loose on the leeward side, but that comes with a caveat. If its blowing like hell they might just be a touch loose, but they shouldnt be really slack either(swinging all over the place like gramdmas boobs). Backstay tension you can judge by what your forestay looks like under sail. You want that forestay straight, not bowing out to one side, esp to windward. When doing shrouds start each turnbuckle at the same place (one thread on) then tighten each side in turn so that they are reasonably even. Dont worry, odds are pretty good it wont fall over.

B
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Old 07-14-2006, 12:51 AM   #12
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I have purchased a tension measurment tool in order to tune my own rigging. I would loan it to you as I think you are local to me. I live in Paramus NJ and my yacht is on the hudson. You can find more info in my web site:

www.Aliza.talkspot.com

Send me an e-mail if you want.
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Old 07-14-2006, 09:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Converted Post'
Originally posted by Bajamas

Thanks for all the info. I have been reading what I can on self-rigging and maintenance.

The reason I ask is that my Bristol 32 is ready for the water and the mast will be stepped next week. This is my very first boat and I was told that the marina will only step the mast and ensure that the rigging is in place but I will have to tune it and attach the boom, topping lift etc... Is this unusual or common practice?

Reply - not it is certainly not normal in Europe. The rig is normally set up by a rigger and not just yard workmen - and any rigger should be happy to quote to tune it for you. Maybe ask why they won't contract to get this done?

Does this have anything to do with liability on the part of the marina? I was told that they would certainly give me some advice on how to tune my rigging but after the initial setup.

Possibly in USA - you live in what's sadly become a litigatious country.

Then, I had read several differing opinions as to how tight and or how loose a rig can/should be. One article in BoatWorks had suggested that a rig that was overtightened was better off than a rig that was undertuned and that there wasn't any possibility of damage to the rig, mast, boat since there is an equal tensioning on the rigging across all components unless you shockload due to accidental gybe, etc...On the other hand, I have heard others warn against overtuning?!?

Reply. It's rubbish for others to suggest overloading a rig will not harm it. The compression loads you can apply to the mast via the stays is substantial, and could cause the mast to bend / break if it were too much. Equally - stays that flop around will hardly support the rig properly and eventually cause the wire to fracture - usually at the point where it enters the swaged fitting.

As others have said - tuning your own rig is not really too difficult if you bother to read up on it - but it is a lot lot easier to get a professional to do it for you - and I'm suprised you can't find one.

Good luck

JOHN


Any clarity on this from seasoned salts?

Bajamas
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