Join Date: Aug 2006
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Confirming safety of Standing Rigging and essential systems
I’ve recently taken over care and ownership of my family’s boat, an Albin Nibus 42. I grew up sailing on her, but until now have had little involvement in her upkeep and maintenance. She’s in generally good shape, I think, but I still have a lot to learn, and probably to spend, to keep her running well. I’m planning on thoroughly going through the boat to confirm the major systems are in order (ie standing rigging, steering systems, through hulls, etc).
Starting with the standing rigging: A recent article in Practical Sailor suggests a cruiser should have the rigging inspected and all the standing wire rigging replaced every 10-12 years…is anyone actually doing this? Our boat is 25 years old, we’ve never had a formal inspection, and have never replaced any of the wire rigging (it always looked fine). I’ll go over it when we recommission in a few weeks, but as I recall when I looked last season, there are no obvious problems (to my amateur eye) with the terminals, end fittings or swage fittings, no broken wire strands or visible rust. It may not be tuned very well, as we haven’t really known how to do that. Is it likely that the rig needs to be replaced just based on age (normal coastal cruiser type use over the last 25 years)? Do I really need a “professional” inspection, or is looking for obvious problems on my own good enough? I don’t want to skimp on safety (I’ll have my little toddler on the boat with me this summer), but I also don’t want to throw money at the boat unnecessarily.
Other similar questions: Is my own visual inspection of the steering system (I believe rack and pinion chain/cable), looking for obvious signs of wear in the wire, good enough, or do I need to call in a pro?
Through hulls: There are one or two that are covered with a thin, fine coat of corrosion/dust/rust, but the valves move fine and otherwise look secure. Is this superficial corrosion a sign that something more sinister is going on within?