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Old 03-03-2007
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replacing standing rigging

I need to replace my standing rigging. I have heard some people have replaced their own and I'm curious to get people's impressions and advice on the best way to go about doing this... Is it something that I can do myself or should I pay to have someone do it for me? Does anyone know of a good rigger in the los angeles area? Thanks in advance.
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Take the mast down. get some Sta-loks, wire cutters and a spool of wire. match the stays length. Install the Sta-lok (easy). Should take less than a day.
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is it important to get the right tension? I've heard that's the most difficult part. Also how do i get the mast down without a crane or something to support it? I have a 68' bristol 29 sailboat. Is it necessary to bring the mast down to replace the rigging? Thanks for your help.
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Old 03-03-2007
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It depends on the design of the rig. You don't always have to lower the mast to replace the rigging. You can often do one piece at a time, and leave the stick up. If you're replacing the backstay or forestay, and only have the one..you can often temporarily support the mast using a halyard or topping lift, tightened to an appropriate spot.
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Old 03-05-2007
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We just had rigging replaced in Sausalito by JP of JP Boatworks. He did a great job and was able to advise us on some other smaller issues that needed attention. He also went out to sail with us after he completed the job to check the tension, etc. We did not have to remove the mast. He sometimes delivers boats up and down the california coast and might come to LA to do the job. At any rate, i am sure he could reccomend someone in the area. Good luck!
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Old 03-05-2007
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I would remove the mast. You will probably need a crane. Any marina should have one. I think the cost is something like $50 to $75 dollars around here.

Without taking the mast down, you will need a bosun's chair ($150 or so) and much more time. Each shroud will have to be removed, measured and replaced separately. You'll also want to inspect everything which will be so much easier to do on the ground. Working at the top of the mast is fine for quick jobs. Being small, I seem to get the job more than most. I enjoy going up for quick jobs but would not want to replace everything. Especially since I'll be the guy at the top of the mast. I'm guessing your mast would be about 40 feet off the deck.

Rig tension can be critical for speed. I've always adjusted my own though and nothing has fallen down yet. I just try to get the shroud tension even, by standing between them and pulling with my fingers. On most sloops, I think the mast is mostly held up by the two outer shrouds, which are anchored slightly behind the mast, and the forestay. The backstay bends the mast for sail shape and I guess the inner shrouds help support the forces on the outer shrouds. I've always started by setting my forestay and adding tension to the outer shrouds til it 'feels' right. Then I tweak the inner shrouds to be something less than the outer shrouds, even tension of course. Then I walk around the boat, look at the mast from very angle, tweak here, adjust there til I'm satisfied.

There are tension gauges that can be bought to remove the guesswork. You can get it all set up and have a local expert check the tension for you. When I say expert, I mean a fellow sailor at the marina.
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Old 03-06-2007
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I am going to have my standing rigging and lifelines replaced this spring. I decided to pay a professional to do this for three reasons:
1. I am not particularly talented mechanicly.
2. If I screw up the standing rigging and it lets go in a blow, I am looking at a $10,000.00 repair job to replace a bunch of stuff.
3. If I mess up the lifelines and my wife goes overboard, I am looking at an even more expensive divorce.

I guess it depends on your level of confidence in your skills and your ability to accept the possibility that doing it yourself can cause injury, death or result in spending even more money fixing the things that got broken as a result of your work. If a pro dose it at least you can sue the SOB.
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