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post #4 of Old 03-19-2008
Break, curse, fix, repeat
bwindrope's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Bainbridge Island, WA
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Having just gone through this myself on my Gulf 32, I have a few pieces of practical advice. I just replaced all the original 20 year old standing rigging, and so had a bigger job than just tuning. For starters, I think you are on the right track by reading all you can get your hands on. If you have a good local library, Brion Toss produced a video on tuning your rig that is comprehensive. Any of these good sources are going to spell out the procedure.

You can do it "scientifically" by getting a tension gauge or do as Nigel Calder does it and just "feel it". As for lube, you'll hear and read different things. I finally settled on a light treatment of Lanocote, though it is sticky and will attract some grunge. Prevents corrosion and freezing though, and those are bigger ills.

It really all just comes down to sighting up the rig from various angles and keeping it standing straight up and down. After that, you tighten everything to reasonable, not bar tight, tension. After that, you have to do a "dynamic" tuning where you take her out and sail her in 10-20 knots and make sure your leeward shrouds are not going completely slack and that your sail shape is right as far as mast bend and such.

I've learned that it is completely possible to be fanatically zealous about minute details of rig tuning. If you race, then so be it. If you don't, then the perfect is the enemy of the good.

You might want to start messing about, using common sense to not drop your mast on the deck (liberal use of halyards is great), and then come back and ask more specific questions.

In any case, good for you, and don't be scared off by it.

Best wishes

Gulf 32
Bainbridge Island, WA

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