When is it time to replace your rigging?
Your Seawind is fitted with all stainless steel 1x19 wire rope, which will give you years of trouble free service. However you still need to have regular inspections of your rigging and turnbuckles due to normal wear and tear.
Under normal conditions your rigging has a lifespan of 5-7 years. I know we have all seen boats that are still going after 10-12 years but there are a couple of problems associated with this. My wire supplier Arcus Wire Groupís CEO David Sheedy has done some extensive research on the subject of rigging and insurance companies. He found that insurance companies will write down the value of the mast and rigging 10% per year and they will virtually pay nothing if the mast breaks and the rigging is over 7 years old. Although this is an unwritten policy, we have found that this situation can be improved with an annual rig inspection and a logged maintenance record.
There are some factors which will reduce the lifespan of your rigging. High humidity, high salinity or mooring near a sea wall with constant sea spray, extremes in temperature and industrial pollution. High loading of the rigging as in race boats and charter boats which are doing some serious work loads will also reduce the lifespan of the rigging.
Unlike running rigging which will show clear signs that it is deteriorating, standing rigging may give no sign that failure is imminent. In most cases the failure point is about 6mm inside the swage terminal, which is a result of crevice corrosion and work hardening. You also need to remember that unlike a monohull where the leeward shrouds hold some of their tension most of the time, on your multihull the leeward shroud will go very loose then snap back to tension when you tack.
Lets not forget the benefits of replacing your rigging, your boat will have a new lease on life! You will find that the boat is more responsive and you will be able to set your sails more sharply. If you are doing some serious cruising miles or your boat has been in Charter service your rigging and sails are as important as your motor and needs to be checked and replaced regularly.
Replace your Boom Topping Lift from Double Braid to Spectra / Dyneema. Do this so that if anything happens to your main halyard, eg: the rope breaks, your mast head sheave blows up, you can then use your Boom Topping Lift as a spare main halyard to get you back to a port safely while still under sail.
Happy Cruising from the Tempo Spars Team
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