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post #1 of 33 Old 04-15-2008 Thread Starter
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Mast/Rig Noise Question

I just bought and brought back to my home marina a 1983 Morgan 323. The standing rigging is original but in excellent condition and was thouroghly inspected while the mast was done prior to launching. 3 days ago, the prior owner and I tuned the rig but on the 10 hour sail home the leward shrouds were a little too slack and in general the rig was a little loose. I read online a number of different areas and found that it is best to tune it to 10-12% of breaking strength. For 1/4 1x19 rigging that means I should be around 850-950 pounds tension. Yesterday afternoon I pulled all the cotter pins and re-tuned the rig and bringing it to this proper tension all around. The mast is very straight with no bend to it and the main halyard confirms it is centered after measuring it on each side of the boat.

Anyway to cut to the chase tonight I got back to the boat just about sundown and noticed small metalic pink sounds coming from the mast. It only made the noise when the boat rocked gently side to side on its mooring but I confirmed that it is definitely not anything inside the mast such as a line or halyard making the noise. It was a pinking metalic noise like a aluminum mast would make under tension. You would hear it once or twice every 5-10 seconds if the boat rocked ever so gently. I never heard this noise before the 2 nights I spent on the boat before tightening and re-tunign the rig. My question is, is this something to worry about? All the shrouds are within 850-950 lbs tension and even while pushing on them they feel the proper tension. Not too tight yet not too loose. Also the mast really is straight. Today the temps got into the 60's while when I was on the boat with the sun down they dropped into the 40's so I was thinknig that it could be the mast and rigging tightening up in the cold making that sound now that I did snug up the rig some more? I just want to make sure that it isn't an indicator that the mast is having too much pressure forced onto it maybe in the wrong location. Any suggestions?

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post #2 of 33 Old 04-15-2008
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It may just be the shrouds stretching a bit. This could be because the rigging was loose prior to your adjusting it, and is now stretching a bit, and settling in. What kind of condition was the rigging in, and how old is it??

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post #3 of 33 Old 04-15-2008 Thread Starter
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Its the original rigging so its abour 24 years old but the boat was rarely used and never beat on for its entire life and a very thorough visual inspection while the mast was done showed the rigging to be in good shape. I am not worried about the rigging failing but was worried if the mast could be over stressed as the noise seems to be coming from the mast itself. I am thinking it is because I did just tighten the whole rig and the fact that the sun and temps were going down causeing everything to tighten up even more. I just wanted to see if other people experienced this.
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post #4 of 33 Old 04-15-2008
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Hard to say unless you can localised the source of the sound. It could be the mast/rigging expanding or contracting.


What makes me a bit wary is the fact that the rigging is 25 years old. Do you know if the rigging was tuned properly when the PO had it ?

Could also be the hull, particularly if the boat has been raced hard. Sometimes the hulls go a little 'soft'. Usually a result of excessiuve bckstay tension. Lift the sole and have a gander to see if there are any cracks there...

Me - I'd be tempted to replace the standing rigging.
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I was originally thinking of replacing the standing rigging but after looking at it closely with the surveryor and another friend who has much more experience than myself it looked to be in excellent shape. The prior owner maintained the boat meticulously and did properly tune the rig but kept it slightly more slack than I would like to see it. Also the boat was never raced and I am almost positive the noise is not coming from the hull but is confined to mid way up the mast.
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Is the mast a single extrusion or does it have a join in it someplace? Are the spreaders bisecting the shroud angles or are they perfectly horizontal? The spreaders should bisect the angle created by the shrouds at their tips. If not, they can be under pressure to bend.

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The spreaders are pretty level. To tell you the truth I do not know if they are bi-secting the angle made by the shrouds. I will have to look next time I go the boat. If not, how do you correct that? Do you just take a boat poll and slowly tap them up or pull them down?
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Originally Posted by nk235 View Post
I was originally thinking of replacing the standing rigging but after looking at it closely with the surveryor and another friend who has much more experience than myself it looked to be in excellent shape. The prior owner maintained the boat meticulously and did properly tune the rig but kept it slightly more slack than I would like to see it. Also the boat was never raced and I am almost positive the noise is not coming from the hull but is confined to mid way up the mast.
Did you check the spreaders?!?

If you've re-tensioned the rig, you'll be putting a lot more strain on the spreaders and particularly the fixing points to the mast. It might be a really good idea to climb up and have a look. If the boat has been sitting in the weather for 20-odd years, one of the spreaders might be working it's way north..

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On most boats, the spreader tips are fastened to the shrouds with clamps or wire. You really need to go aloft and make sure the spreader is as close to bisecting the shroud angle to prevent the shrouds from pressuring them into snapping... Most spreaders, due to the materials they're made of and how they're mounted, are very strong in compression, but weak against torsion. If the angle isn't bisected, the shroud will be twisting the spreader, rather than pushing in on it.

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[IMG]spreaders[/IMG]

Here is a picture of the starboard spreader. Are you saying it should be angled further upward so that the angle formed between the spreader and the shroud are equal on both top and bottom of the spreader?
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