Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Edmonds, WA
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Standing Rigging Too Old?
I have a 30 year old Cascade 36. It was a kit boat that was built by a private party.
I want to put a roller furling jib on it, and to do that I will most likely have to replace the forestay because it is way too big (by too big - I mean the gauge of the wire).
I was talking to a rigger at the Boat Show and he told me that 30 year old standing rigging was too old, and that it should be replaced. After doing some research on the internet, I found that the acceptable age for standing rigging is 10-20 years. Talking to my friends (boat owners), I hear that most 30 YO boats still have their original standing rigging.
I plan to have a couple of riggers look at the boat and estimate what it would take (if anything) to prepare it for a roller furling jib, and of course to evaluate the seaworthiness of it's standing rigging. However, I know that the rigger is going to be motivated to advise me to replace it - why shouldn't they?
The boat was "over-rigged", in that the rigging is way more heavy-duty than would normally be required. I examined the wires as far as I can reach (all nice and smooth) and the places where it joins to the deck. It all looks ok to me - no cracks or rust showing. I have not examined the wires all the way up, nor have I inspected the connections to the mast.
The boat has been up the inside passage to Alaska at least once, and it sat in a slip without being used for 15 years. That's pretty much all I know about it's history (except for my own use of the boat over the past year - which has been light-duty sailing).
I'd hate to replace perfectly good standing rigging. However, I'd also really hate to have my standing rigging fail when we are out sailing!