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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 08-28-2006
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Shroud tension

I was out on the SF Bay this last weekend on my 34 Columbia MK 2 and snapped the stay out of the deck for my port side shrould line. I am replacing the stay but don't know or can't find any specs for the tension my wire shroulds should be set at. I have only owned the boat 2 months so still learning. Any help would be greatly appreciated! I am picking up a tension guage from West Marine today.
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Check with a Columbia owners group or on the Columbia forums on this website. Also might be worth checking with this website, as they may have some more information for you.
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Old 08-28-2006
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First off, if you broke one it is likely the others are bad also. I would inspect all or just change them all. If you loose an important one the rig will come down or the mast will break.

I have never used a gage, just set them by feel. If the others are OK (which is unlikely) you can just snug the new one up at the dock. Then go sailing and set it so that it is a little loose on a starboard tack (opposite side). Sight up the mast while sailing to make sure the mast is straight under both tacks.

But please check all the rigging first.
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Gene T's point is a valid one... but did you break the shroud or the chainplate, or something else?? BTW, shrouds are port and starboard of the mast, and stays are fore and aft of the mast. There is no stay on the starboard side of the boat as a general rule.

If it was the chain plate or shroud, then you probably should have a rigger come in and look at your standing rigging, or inspect it yourself. Given that you've broken something, you will probably also want to check the mast head fittings for all of the rigging, but I would highly recommend you not use a bosun's chair until the rigging has been inspected and passed the inspection... doing otherwise is a good way to earn a Darwin award.
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knothead has a spectacular aura about knothead has a spectacular aura about knothead has a spectacular aura about
"snapped the stay out of the deck"

That sounds like a chainplate to me. You really need to have the rig inspected.
There are some very good riggers in the Bay area.
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Don't sail her until you check the entire rig. A lot of old boats are fitted with aircraft style terminals that are swaged on. This method allows lots of wire to buried out of sight and may well be rusted out.
When I built new shrouds for My Sabre I used Stay Lock fittings, Just for kicks I cut one of the old swaged on fittings in half and almost all of the wire had corroded even though their was only a slight sign of rust above the terminal.
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The cable and tensioner is fine- It broke the ear off the plate that is mounted under the deck. The ear petrudes through the deck then the turnbuckle for tension on the shroud attaches to the ear with a clevis pin. This must be the chain plate? you guys are refering too? Anyway it is made of 1/4 inch stainless plate- I took it to a local specialty welder after remocing the plate from inside the boat. It appears to have been cracked for some time He said and the last 1/4 inch holding it together let go. I would have to pull all the deck plates to check this and doesn't look like alot of fun. Something must have cracked it prior to me owning this boat. The rigging feels taunt all the way around except for the back aft line has some flex. The side shrouds all seem tight? Thanks Ken
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You've broken an ear off the chainplate. You're going to have to replace the chainplates...and while you're at it, you should replace the ones on the otehr side and inspect the ones at the bow and stern for the forestay and backstay respectively. I would also recommend you check the masthead fittings for the stays and shrouds... it sounds like your boat has a bit of a corrosion problem.

BTW, welding one isn't always a good choice, as the welds tend to corrode faster than a new, machined chainplate would. The problem with the welds is that the carbon ties up the chromium in the stainless steel, and that prevents the stainless steel from passivating properly and it rusts fairly quickly.

BTW, I'd be wary of saying the cable and turnbuckle are fine until someone inspects them thouroughly.
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Ditto everything sailingdog says. Change them all, do not weld. Inspect rigging. This is one area of a boat where people can get killed if things go wrong. I have no problem using old rigging if it is inspected. Chain-plates by their very nature are notorious for failing in spots where you can't see them. One failure almost guarantees another is bad.
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Whwere would I get chainplates made?It is in the shape of a upside down T. The lower part of the T protrude through the deck which I am refering to as the ear. the ear had broke off just above the factory weld to the plate (that would be the top of the T) that is roughly 8 X 8 inches square. Corrosion issues? Well the boat is 30 years old and in the bay. There is s slight amount of surface rust in rigging in some areas. I'm sure it would be wise to replace all of the rigging but I don't know if I can without pulling the boat out. Maybe I can get hoisted up in a bosum chair and change the cables one at a time? Is this something I can build from West marine or do I have to have the shroud cables made somewhere? Someone has to replace the rigging on sailboats in the Bay area! I have always had boats in the Delta so am still learning my way around. Thanks for the advise Ken
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