Rod VS Wire, The endless question! - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 13 Old 02-06-2007 Thread Starter
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Rod VS Wire, The endless question!

Hey all.
Just bought a 23 year old boat with original rod rigging. I really like the rod but there is a question of its reliability at this age. I read the thread about the old wire rigging but just curious if the rod, which I understand is much more durable would be as unreliable at this age. I plan to take the boat offshore for extensive cruising and have heard "I trust older rod over new wire" and I have heard just the opposite. The plan is to get it checked by a rigger, but in the meantime, interested to hear your thoughts.
Cheers!
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post #2 of 13 Old 02-06-2007
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While Rod rigging is generally quite reliable, it does have one major disadvantage over wire rigging. It can fail catastrophically, with little or no warning. I highly recommend inspecting rod rigging very thoroughly at least twice a year. If you don't know how to do so, hire a rigger to do so and have them teach you how while they are doing it.

The real problem for a cruising boat is a that rod rigging is very difficult to replace in remote areas... wire rigging is fairly easy to replace, with the advent of swageless fittings, like Hayn Hi-Mod, StaLok, etc. You can usually carry a single piece of 1x19 that is as long as your longest piece of rigging and the fittings, and use it to replace anything that fails. That isn't possible with rod rigging.

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post #3 of 13 Old 02-06-2007
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Your planning to have it inspected is good and you might want to learn how for future use should you keep it. The issue of which is better is like choosing your favorite color - everyone has an opinion.
Replacement is really not that big an issue, regardless of where you go - it used to be but rod rigging is alot more common now than years ago.
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post #4 of 13 Old 02-06-2007
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You should take a look at the following articles from Navtec:

http://www.navtec.net/support/rodrigging.cfm

http://www.navtec.net/support/riggingmatt.cfm


There's also some discussion on the question of rod vs. wire rigging on cruising boats here:

http://www.sailinganarchy.com/forums...howtopic=45356
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post #5 of 13 Old 02-06-2007
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Catamount,
WOW, great links.
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post #6 of 13 Old 02-06-2007
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I have a very similar situation. I have a 23 year old boat that has her original rod rigging as well. My research yeilded four options.
1)Cut off the ends of the rods where 90% of the breaks occure and replace with longer fittings.
2)Pay to have it all x-rayed to look for weak points and replace as needed.
3)Replace it all because the word on the street is that there is a 20 year life expectancy.
4) Pray

As posted above, rod doesn't give any warning, it just fails. Wire doesn't always warn you eather but it's obvious when it's getting tired. We've decided to go with new wire. I'd like rod again but it's expensive and doesnt; easily facilitate repairs. We're heading offshore and we don;t trust the old rod. But even if you're staying close to home and you don't sail hard rod can fail from fatigue with little stress on it at all. A good friend of mine was on vacation in Hawaii a few months ago. She was aboard a tour boat in a 25knt breeze. They returned to the lee of the island and the mast failed in less that 15knts. Not sure if it was rod but a 10 year old boy was killed. In my mind the lives of your crew warrent the replacement considering the age of the rig.
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post #7 of 13 Old 02-06-2007
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I have a boat that is 30 y.o.. I took all the rigging to a rigger in my area that was recomended by Navtec. The rigger reformed all the ends and replaced the terminals with an open tang less prone to the crevice corrosion. The rigger said it was good for another 20 years. What part of the country are you in? Stixnrign is the company I used in Houston area outside the Houston area, Navtec will give you a recomendation as they support their products.
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post #8 of 13 Old 02-06-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newport41
I have a very similar situation. I have a 23 year old boat that has her original rod rigging as well. My research yeilded four options.
1)Cut off the ends of the rods where 90% of the breaks occure and replace with longer fittings.
2)Pay to have it all x-rayed to look for weak points and replace as needed.
3)Replace it all because the word on the street is that there is a 20 year life expectancy.
4) Pray

As posted above, rod doesn't give any warning, it just fails. Wire doesn't always warn you eather but it's obvious when it's getting tired. We've decided to go with new wire. I'd like rod again but it's expensive and doesnt; easily facilitate repairs. We're heading offshore and we don;t trust the old rod. But even if you're staying close to home and you don't sail hard rod can fail from fatigue with little stress on it at all. A good friend of mine was on vacation in Hawaii a few months ago. She was aboard a tour boat in a 25knt breeze. They returned to the lee of the island and the mast failed in less that 15knts. Not sure if it was rod but a 10 year old boy was killed. In my mind the lives of your crew warrent the replacement considering the age of the rig.
It was wire. Just hauled in the same yard where the boat is being held. They are doing a major overhaul while the coasties do there year long investigation.
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post #9 of 13 Old 02-06-2007
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Just wondering if what would be the result of mixed rigging. Ie. cruise with rod and end up having to replace one shroud with wire on Coconut Atoll. Anyone tried this?
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post #10 of 13 Old 02-07-2007
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I think that mixing types of rigging isn't probably an ideal situation as the loads will change depending on what type of rigging is in use. Rod stretches less than wire under load, and it presents less windage... so doing this for a long time could be bad. It could lead to an unbalanced or unevenly stressed rig.

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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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