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Re: increasing and consolidating standing rigging size
Jeff is spot on with his recommendations.
Increasing the 'strength' of the wire will not increase 'reliability' of the standing rig, unless you also strengthen all the chainplates, the chainplate 'knees', the wire to mast connections, etc. because the rigging should be tensioned to a uniform % of the wire breaking strength - usually to 12-15% tension. This is to precisely control the 'elasticity' of the wire.
If you do choose to increase the wire diameter, you will also have to have the luff of all your jibs, genoas recut to match the new natural 'sag' of the new thicker forestay when sailing. Specifically, if your new forestay (& backstay) is operating at less 'stretch' than the original 'design', you can very easily wind up with a boat that will have significantly less ability to 'point', and will be prone to 'skidding off to leeward' when attempting to point and with much more heeling -- a very 'cranky' boat when 'beating'.
If your intentions are to cross oceans, then perhaps increasing wire size would be prudent, including ALL the other components of the standing rig structure.
Last edited by RichH; 02-14-2015 at 10:37 AM.