Inner shrouds "loosening"? - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 05-14-2007
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Inner shrouds "loosening"?

I was down working on the boat yesterday, and noticed that the inner shrouds ('76 Columbia 26K) are "looser" than they used to be. There's actually some noticable play if you hold on and move them about. I know they're not supposed to be piano-string-tight, but this seems to be looser than when I picked up the boat a few weeks ago.

What should I be looking for to diagnose this problem? Should I just tighten up the buckles and check them every so often? Not sure how to proceed, so any advice would be appreciated!

Cheers!
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Old 05-14-2007
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This will be a trial and error adjustment, tighten them so they are slightly tensile at rest, then take the boat for a ride, and get on a reach. The leeward shrouds should be slightly loose, not too much, just taught.
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Old 05-14-2007
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You should be able to put a cotter pin in the turnbuckle to keep the shroud from turning loose. (Or you can use a ring pin) (The ring pins don't take off any skin when you brush against them) All of our shrouds have a pin in them to keep them from turning. The pin acutually goes through the shroud so that it can't turn (or come loose) in the turnbuckle.
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Old 05-14-2007
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If it were me, I'd make sure that everything is functioning properly before going out.
Although I'm not sure what you mean by "picked up the boat", I'm assuming that you mean you picked up the boat from storage and the mast was just stepped a couple of weeks ago....or did you just buy the boat and it came stepped and tuned already?
I guess what I'm asking is do you know the boat, and has this happened before with this boat? Did you race the boat in the interim?
The rigging doesn't usually just slacken by itself that quickly, so you might want to recheck all of the relevant deck hardware, like chainplates, tangs, and turnbuckles, and make sure it's all in order before heading out on a reach.
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Old 05-14-2007
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Another thought, not sure if the mast is deck mounted or not, but a few other local boats like mine, a Jeanneau have had issues with the cabin top compressing if they were raced a bunch. This typically happens if the owners did try to make the shrouds etc piano string tight. My rig was not raced by the OOwner, alwasy cruised with an occasional race here and there. This could also be an issue if you have a deck stepped mast that is finally rearing its ugly head.

Marty
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Old 05-14-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evolve
Although I'm not sure what you mean by "picked up the boat", I'm assuming that you mean you picked up the boat from storage and the mast was just stepped a couple of weeks ago....or did you just buy the boat and it came stepped and tuned already?
I just bought the boat a few weeks ago. Now, I did have it out in about 20kts, and it was overcanvassed for conditions. I don't know if the extra stress on the rig caused the shrouds to loosen or not. I'll be going over the rig and tightening up things here and there before I go out again. Since this is my first boat, I'm not sure what's "normal" and what's not.

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Old 05-14-2007
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If the tension of your forestay, backstay, or jib halyard (in the case of roller furling) has changed then the load on your shrouds will have changed.... ie: if you tighten your backstay then your mast will bend a bit - the center of it will move forward. Usually, the lower shrouds will tighten a bit then, but it depends on where the lowers are attached and whether or not you have intermediates as well...

If you were sailing in heavy weather, there is a chance that your backstay has loosened a tad - particularly if the boat has not been used for a while...

If you can afford it, a Loos rigging gauge is a good investment. But I would suggest that you NOT tighten the rig quite as much as they recommend - (others will tell you different, it's just my personal preference)

Once you have the rig tuned, mark your turnbuckles with a spot of paint or nail polish (smaller brush) for two reasons. Firstly - so that you know where to set them next season, and secondly - so that you can see if your rig is working loose at all. It happens a lot more than most people realise..

Last edited by Sailormann; 05-14-2007 at 11:46 PM.
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Old 05-15-2007
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Why mark the turnbuckles rather than pinning them? By pinning them I am sure they will not work loose. If I find they need adjusting later, remove pins, adjust, re-insert pins. Seems (to me) a lot less trouble than changing tacks and discovering my rig has loosened.
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Old 05-15-2007
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Quote:
Why mark the turnbuckles rather than pinning them?
All of your turnbuckles should be pinned. Marking is an unrelated issue. Usually, the pin goes into the holes on each end of the turnbuckle screws. When you tighten the turnbuckle to tune your rig, there will be thread inside the turnbuckle - could be 1/4 inch (not good) - but usually it's an inch or more. You mark the place on each screw where it meets the turnbuckle body so that you know what the optimum tune for your rig is. Turnbuckles can loosen slightly over the sailing season. If your pin is properly crimped it is not protruding from the turnbuckle body and hence cannot act as a brake to prevent the body from twisting when people or things brush against it. When you restep the mast, and fasten all of your stays and shrouds, the marks make it quick and easy to tighten everything properly. They are also easy to check from time to time to determine if there has been any movement in the turnbuckle.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailormann
If your pin is properly crimped it is not protruding from the turnbuckle body and hence cannot act as a brake to prevent the body from twisting
Remind me to take a picture of mine this weekend.
I'm not sure if we are talking about the same thing.
The way I have it set up, it would be next to impossible for the turnbuckle to turn loose. Any loosening of the shroud would have to come from stretch, and after a couple of years of sailing, the wire shroud should be streched out.
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