rigging tension on a Nimble 20 - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 4 Old 07-31-2009 Thread Starter
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rigging tension on a Nimble 20

Need advice on rigging and rigging tension: I bought a 1987 Nimble 20 (Nimble doesn't seem to have any manual or support as the boat is out of mfg for some years now) and have been working on it, haven't launched it yet.

Background follows: The boat hadn't been sailed for several years but is generally in good shape as I see it, despite the lack of maintenance. Note: Nimble 20s are yawls with a fractional main. The main only has a lower and upper shrouds and a forestay. In going over the boat I noticed slight stress cracking around the lower shroud deck fittings. I found the backing plates, which to my eyes were very small. I've installed fairly heavy 3" X 16" backing plates, using the original shroud fitting and picking up 4 of the hull to deck joint bolts. And am thinking about setting up the rig for optional running backstays if needed.

The rigging was very loose. I tightened all 4 shrouds (1/8" cable) to the same tension (using an aircraft cable gage). Surprisingly little tension put a slight bend on the main mast (from the forestay). I backed things off a bit and that's the best I can do with what I know. The shroud fittings are swaged and I am going to replace all the rigging with new wire and nicropress fittings. Needless to say I am going to launch this boat into gentle winds. Any advice would be appreciated.

thanks, Jimwood
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-01-2009
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Jim, I think you may be worrying too much. Just tune the rigging as you would any other boat with 1/8" rigging.
Keep the masts in column by sighting the sail tracks, set up and adjust the turnbuckles evenly and that should keep it in the middle of the boat. If you are really concerned about the proper tension, you can buy a cheap tension gauge. But it's not really necessary.
Tune the boat dockside a little looser than you think it should be and then go sailing. Your lee shrouds should not be sloppy when sailing a broad reach in 10 to 15 knots. Your headstay should be tight enough so that it doesn't deflect too much.

There is really no one exact or precise way to tune any boat.

You may want to hire a rigger or another sailor you know to be qualified to tune it up with you the first time. Watch what they are doing and ask questions.

But seriously, don't sweat it too much.
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post #3 of 4 Old 08-03-2009 Thread Starter
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Nimble 20 rigging redux

Thanks for your comments on rigging. I read all the rigging related articles on the SailNet forum and I saw that stressed fittings may be because of loose tension causing the rigging to whip forth and back. Anyway I'll take heart and set the sails soon.

thanks, jimwood
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-12-2009
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Hello everyone. Nice to meet you all.

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