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Standing Rigging

You will see most folks rinsing their boats off after every dousing of the boat in the water.., fresh or salt. A very good idea unless you live in an area where water is not plentiful and/or expensive.

But, despite all the washing and rinsing of your standing rigging, it may still go bad in a few years. And worse, often you do not know it is going bad – stays often rot from the inside out.

The outside of the cable may show no signs of going bad. It is difficult to assess the wire rope condition by external visual examination and in any event it is not possible when internal deterioration takes place.

Adding to the problem of inspecting the wire rope itself, we also usually like to have our standing rigging plastic covered. Now, there is nothing to see even when it would be obvious to see.

What to Look For

There are some things you can look for, however:

  • Look for any kinks in the wire — that will be where a weakness may occur.
  • Look for rust or any deterioration around the ends where the wire has been compressed into an ending fitting – if there are any cracks in the end fitting, it is ready to let go and is dangerous.
  • Another obvious problem is broken strands of wire. Any single wire that is broken means the rest are getting close to breaking as well.

A good idea is to replace your standing rigging every few years. The cost is by far less than it would be should the mast fall down while sailing or in dry sail.

You can buy standing rigging and other wire products that are already made up for your boat make and model. However, made up wire rope is not an exact science. Many boat manufacturers do not put out exact lengths for sidestays and forestays.., rather the lengths seem to change from time to time.

If you have your boat tuned well and are happy with the length of your standing rigging, measure it and order your new standing rigging to your specs.

For beach cats we recommend HYDRAULIC SWAGED SHROUDS W/ STAINLESS FITTINGS for various boats.

Hydraulic swages produces a cleaner, stronger shroud. A marine eye is installed at the bottom end fitting where breakage commonly occurs. Electrolysis is reduced because both wire and marine eye are stainless steel. Wire manufacturers recommend stainless steel marine eye terminal fittings for 1 x 19 wire to assure full rated strength of wire. Purchase two to ensure equal lengths.

This helpful boating pointer is provided by Catamaran Sailors Magazine, tips are useful to boaters of all types.

ABA assumes no responsibility or liability for events that occur due to actions you or others on your behalf take based on the information given. You are proceeding at your own risk.