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Old 10-28-2009, 06:54 AM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 6

I would like to replace all my halyards and working lines. (mainsheet, etc). How do I make sure I chose the correct type of lines ? Is this something I should do? or is hiring a rigging guy a good idea? I would like to get all my lines replaced and sheeves and blocks inspected and or replaced. This is a new boat to me and I would like to start off knowing the condition of these systems.

Any advice or resources for this in the Fort Lauderdale area would be appreciated.


S/V Raven

Vagabond 47


Vagabond 47 MKII
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Old 10-28-2009, 08:04 AM   #2
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Hello Gary and Raven,

Nice cruising boat The 47 Vagabond - tell us, is your Raven a Sloop or the usual Ketch Rig or a Cutter rigged Ketch? The type is important as when it is rigged as a Cutter/Ketch then the rigging is not subjected to the same loads as you would find on a Ketch or a Sloop.

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Another question is the age of the running rigging, and where was the boat stored or anchored?

The sheeves certainly require inspection, as their condition can effect the halyards in particular.

Very hard to advise as to when to replace unless one can examine at close quarters. If you have new line or rope - then compare the existing line with the new. If the existing is frayed and faded - then a decision should be made to contract a rigger, preferably to x) inspect and give a written report on the condition of all the running rigging; to y) provide a written quotation to supply and fit new line; to z) provide a written quotation to replace sheeves and other running rigging components with new.

With the written quotations in hand, you will be able to ascertain what the rigger is charging for inspection and labour by getting separate quotes for line.

By the way, not to forget the Standing Rigging !

Rigging Resources - Fort Lauderdale:

* Mango Marine, Inc., 2005 SW 20 St., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33315. 954-585-1041.

* Nance & Underwood Rigging & Sails, 262 SW 33rd St., Ft. Lauderdale, FL. 954-764-600

* Rope Inc., 262 SW 33 St., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33315. 954-525-6575.

* TSM Marine 1604 SW 3rd Ave., Ft. Lauderdale, FL. 3315 954-527-4141. 954-219-2333.


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Old 10-28-2009, 01:46 PM   #3
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Do you want to replace the running rigging because it is worn and frayed? How old is it? Is it run inside the mast or outside? Is it all rope or wire/rope combination. These can be reasonable considerations - you might not need to replace the running rigging if it isn't showing signs of wear, for example. If it's all rope, can you see UV damage?

I would assume that the running rigging that you already have on the boat has been adequate. So sizing would not change, so just buy the same size again, unless you want to replace all-rope halyards with wire/rope halyards, for example. As far as what kind of line to buy, most suppliers of line have good information on their web sites, for example, New England Ropes

The type of halyard line that you buy is, to some degree, dependent upon whether you are planning on racing, and thus need the best quality halyard line possible, with as little stretch as possible. Or wire/rope combination. Price.

And, in my opinion, ease of splicing. So for us, we used high quality polyester double braid from New England Ropes, not parallel core lines such as Sta-Set X(tm), for example. (Peter got a very good deal on Sta-SetX one year, and I had to splice it without instructions; the first two eye splices I did were pretty tough until I figured out how to do it. But I cursed it the whole time I was doing the work!)

If you cannot do your own splicing (I think it's pretty easy, though I always have the instructions in front of me when I splice double braid) then please pay a professional to do the splicing. Do Not Use Knots to attach shackles to your halyards. Do Not. Do not use knots on any of your running rigging.

Richard is right that your standing rigging should be checked and perhaps some of it replaced. The standing rigging is more important - it's what keeps that expensive mast up. How old is the rigging? How hard has the boat been sailed with this rigging? For this I would hire a professional.

If your mast was down inspecting sheaves and blocks would be easier than if somebody has to go up the mast to inspect it all, but you can probably do that yourself, even if you decide to hire a professional to re-inspect it and do the work.

Another one, in Riviera Beach, FL is Florida Rigging & Hydraulics

In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

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Old 10-29-2009, 09:09 PM   #4
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Hi Gary,

I'm certainly no expert, but...

I believe the easiest way to replace running rigging on the mast is to simply attach the end of the new line to the end of the old one by butting the ends, passing a few stitches to strongly marry them end-to-end, wrap the temporaty splice with tape to eliminate snaggs and then carefully pull the old halyard up and over with the new one following in tow. Then you can then comfortably dress the ends on deck, at your leisure, in the shade.

This method is certainly best if you have internal halyards.

It's always a good idea to make your halyards several feet longer than necessary as this will enable you to "freshen the nip" periodically and renew the end where it commonly chaffs on the masthead sheave (close to the shackle) and avoid having to replace the halyards so often due to wear.

And - your crew will thank you if you make at least one of the new halyards long enough to go round a mast winch, through a fairlead and several wraps on your anchor windlass capstain, as this will enable you to employ the anchor windlass (or primary cockpit winches) to easily haul you up the mast for periodic inspections and enable your crew to keep a better eye on the person aloft and keep out of the tool drop zone. We have a powerful electric anchor windlass and this method allows my wife to easily haul my fat butt up the mast whenever the notion moves me... even if it's just to enjoy the view!

Plus - if your cruising ground is seasonal, you can double the life of your halyards by stitching a number of short parallel loops onto the bitter end with sail twine so that you can easily replace the expensive halyards with some inexpensive small stuff during the off seasons, by using the above technique. Un-necessary dammage from sun & caffing can thus be eliminated by removing and stowing the halyards below during your winter layup.

Lastly - some rascal stole all of our halyards one time while our mast was off the boat and it was a serious hassle to thread replacements along the entire inside length of the mast without getting anything crossed! Gallivanter has five halyards (four internal & one external) each measuring between 130 & 150 ft in length - that's over 750 ft of expensive line! In 15 years of full time liveaboard / cruising I like to feel that I've become a competent rigger, mechanic, electrician, canvas maker, painter & fire chief by purchasing good manuals & guides, consulting with experienced people I trust and doing the work myself whenever possible. The "experts" you pay big bucks to work on your boat do not LOVE your boat the way you do and I learned early-on that I could usually do a better job myself. Hire the experts when necessary - but learn from them. This is not Rocket Science! The trick to this enterprise is to do your homework, eliminate all un-necessary expense and (above all else) get out and enjoy the water.

Sometimes the costs are staggering! But the rewards are priceless.

To Life!

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Old 10-29-2009, 11:11 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Gallivanters View Post
Sometimes the costs are staggering! But the rewards are priceless.

To Life!


Thanks for your thoughtful reply

I agree--it's not rocket science and its best to know your rig and understand how to fix it. You can get a rigger or surveyor (used to surveying rigs, that is) to do a survey with you and start from there. Its relatively easy to replace things bit - by- bit on the rig. Running rigging, especially. Standing rigging--multiple spreaders make it harder to assure that you're getting the rig tensioned right, but really it's no that big of a deal either.

I just finished all the standing rigging for our 54' schooner--I did every termination (Hi-Mods or splices) myself. The only thing I didn't do is cut the wire-Hubby did that as I don't like his metal cutting bandsaw...it wasn't hard. 830 ft of 316ss 3/8" 1x19, 270' of 3/8" 7x19, some 5/16" 1x19 and some 1/2" 1x19...lots of wire. We also made all our own bronze chainplates and installed them. I'm halfway through the running rigging right now. Its a process to learn what you need, but then you're happy that you took the time to figure it all out.

Fair winds,
"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda

What we're doing - The sailing life aboard and the Schooner Chandlery.

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Old 10-30-2009, 11:07 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=Gallivanters;37726]Hi Gary,

Thank you very much for your adivice, You are right on all of your points!

Vagabond 47 MKII
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Old 11-01-2009, 03:11 PM   #7
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Watch out on elasticity of the lines (halyards - less elastic, sheet ropes - more elastic), bit of a science that

sv Libertalia
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