Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Cape Cod
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Re: Tuning Standing Rigging after Mast Stepped
Admitting that the gauge is a good idea, I've done it by hand and eye now for 25 years.
As described by others, halyard brought to chainplates to get it pointed straight up port/starboard, using the uppers, then working my way down on the rest of the shrouds while sighting up the mast to make sure it stays straight and true. Forestay is usually left untouched with the roller furler, backstay is dynamically adjusted anyway based on wind conditions. If you've got mast wedges, put them in after the static tune.
After doing all that, take it sailing, load up the rig on both tacks, and sight up the mast and make sure it's straight under load. Retune if necessary. Then in go the pins.
I've heard different opinions on how loose the leeward shrouds should be when not under load on a tack. Personally, I don't like them to be rattling around. I set them tight enough not to sag.
One good idea when you get it set, mark the turnbuckles with tape before stepping so next year's setup is easy. A good yard will usually do this to save themselves the trouble.