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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 09-07-2008
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How exact must rigging be?

I was adjusting my shoruds and staye today, getting ready for my first sail and I realized I don't really know what I'm doing.

I read the manual, and a sailing book I had, I went to other Cat22's and jiggled theirs(they were all different) and in the end I basically made the mast pretty in column with a bit of a sweep back at the top. The stays are pretty tight, the upper shrous about the same as the stays, and the lower shrouds are loosish. A bit wiggly. This is how the manual said to.

I sure don't want my mast to fall. Is that likely? How exact do I need to be. I mean, I don't mind sacrificing some performance while I fine tune everthing, I just don't want a disaster. I'll be regualarily sailing in winds from 15-20 mph.
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Old 09-07-2008
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Pros will use a Loos gage to get things even ..what you have done is a good starting point ..however I dont know what you mean wen you say pretty tight that is a wide cassem..

Take it out sailing and see how it acts..The leeward shrouds should loosen in a good blow and not remain as tight as at the dock but not wiggly loose just noticeably looser that way the windward rigging isn't fighting both the wind and leeward rigging tension..other then that you just have to play with back stay tension to get pointing ability out of your head sail...
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Old 09-07-2008
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luckily I have a cleat and line to easily adjust the backstay on the go.

I guess by pretty tight I mean, and I know it's hard to say on the computer. That if I grabbed on hung off it, it would bend maybe 3 inches in the middle.
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Old 09-07-2008
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I'd say the biggest hasle is getting the mast perfectly vertical without any shroud-induced bends. It might be worth the expense to have a rigger come and do the initial adjustment just to get it right and to learn how it's done in the process (tale lots of pix). Once the mast is properly adjusted, it pretty much stays that way for the duration unless you need to drop the mast for some reason. Of course, if you're a racer, then disregard all of the above.
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Old 09-07-2008
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We need Knothead to come in here...

To do the job right, you really need a good Loos Tension Gauge. Don't bother with the "non-pro" Loos Gauges, which are junk IMHO... get the pro-quality Loos tension gauges. On your boat, all you probably will need is the smallest size one..

BTW, there is a sticky thread on adjusting your rigging that you should probably read.
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Old 09-07-2008
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Unless you're racing, or are obsessive about maximum performance, rig tuning need not be "exact". Keeping the mast in column and the tension even among the stays without over or under tensioning is sufficient. That's not an endorsement of not making it exact, but it seems more like what you were asking.
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Old 09-07-2008
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Truth be known, tuning is more an art than science. Get the masthead centered, spar in column, then go sailing. Leeward shrouds should be just loose but not so loose that they flop around. Tack the boat and check the other side. Then go home and recheck that masthead is centered and the spar is in column. You should be good to go at that point.

Cheers,

MikeR (retired rigger)

Quote:
Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
I was adjusting my shoruds and staye today, getting ready for my first sail and I realized I don't really know what I'm doing.

I read the manual, and a sailing book I had, I went to other Cat22's and jiggled theirs(they were all different) and in the end I basically made the mast pretty in column with a bit of a sweep back at the top. The stays are pretty tight, the upper shrous about the same as the stays, and the lower shrouds are loosish. A bit wiggly. This is how the manual said to.

I sure don't want my mast to fall. Is that likely? How exact do I need to be. I mean, I don't mind sacrificing some performance while I fine tune everthing, I just don't want a disaster. I'll be regualarily sailing in winds from 15-20 mph.
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Old 09-07-2008
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This really is a great question and I for one, would love to see this discussed to it's fullest.
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I spent so much time in the beginning of this season with my new boat trying to tune it exactly right. I read all the books, spoke to a lot of people and I think even had some good discussions here on sailnet. I used a guage and also tried to judge it by going out sailing.

I think I got it pretty close but now at the end of the season I am much less anal about it. After crewing on others bigger, nicer boats and speaking to even more people it seems that there is a lot of room to play with in terms of what is acceptable for tuning your rig.

I like you did not care so much about having the best performance for racing. My sole concern was to have the boat setup right for safety (so the mast wouldn't fall down) and also tuned right enough that it didn't over or under stress the stainless rigging. As long as you have a good idea of how tight/loose everything should be and you spend some time getting it close to there I wouldn't worry about trying to get it absolutely perfect. Don't get me wrong I would love to have it be perfect and if I was the racer type thats how it would be (at the expense of much more time spent on it) but based on what you posted it seems like your personality is like mine where you want it setup right for safety and maintenance purpouses so in which case I am just trying to tell you read up on it, get it close and then go enjoy sailing.

I hope I continue to learn about rig tuning and will follow this thread closely so hopefully one day I can get it close to "perfect" without spending the entire summer working on it
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Old 09-07-2008
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Here is a good place to start

Basic Rig Tune for Most Sailboats

I think unless your are going to be racing or crossing the Atlantic close will be good enough, no high tech tools needed. In any case I would worry more about getting them too tight than not tight enough in most cases. With a Keel stepped mast getting them correct becomes more important than with a deck stepped mast because movement beyond what it is designed for can cause serious damage to the cabin/deck structure.
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