The upper shrouds and all the lifelines on my Catalina 30 need to be replaced, but I don't know where to start. Is there any easy way to go about replacing the old stuff?
Thanks for your question. What you're asking about are two vital components in almost every sailboat, so you want to make sure that when you replace this gear, it's done properly, with all the specifications duplicated to exact tolerances. The best way to accomplish that is to take the shrouds and the lifelines to a marine supplier and have the folks there measure new ones using the old gear as templates.
Now, that all seems pretty straightforward, but it prompts the next question, 'where can I take the rigging to get it replaced?' Well, you're in luck. One great option is SailNet's No Hassel Lifelines and Rigging program, which we've been running for over a year with great success. What you do is log on to the above page on the SailNet website, fill out the form you'll find there, and SailNet's Rigging Shop will then mail you a box. All you have to do after that is to label your rigging, put it in that box, ship it off to us, and we'll replace all the components you send to us and mail you the new stuff. We'll even use any parts of the old equipment that are salvageable if you request that.
And what does this cost? Well it varies depending upon the work needed and the size of your rigging, but you can even get an estimated quote on the same web page.
Of course you can also opt to work with a rigger or rigging shop in your local area, but you'll likely have to go through the same steps of bringing your lifelines or shrouds and stays into the shop so that they can make sure they've got the right measurements.
Here's hoping that this information is useful to you.