Standing rigging replacement procedure - SailNet Community

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Old 06-30-2011
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Standing rigging replacement procedure

So say I want to just replace all of my standing rigging, 4 shrouds and 2 stays. What is the normal procedure? On a boat with a 36 foot mast or so would you totally unstep it and just redo everything, or would replacing a cable at a time without taking down the mast be the better route?
Are there folks out there who come to your boat and do it at the dock, what type of gear is needed (I would assume you can't go shooting up and down the mast with a stay missing)
Any advice would be appreciated. I'm not planning this very soon, but will need to do it within a year and am just curious what a common method is.
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Old 06-30-2011
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I would take the mast down. That way you can lay it out on saw-horses and take a good look at everything on nice steady terra firma. No multiple trips up and down the mast; no wondering if the halyard really can hold you, or if you tied all the critical knots properly; no rushing to get things done; no dropping pliers, screwdrivers, et cetera into the water (or on someone's head); and no sore butt from sitting in a climbing harness all day.
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Thanks. I'm no dummy with boats, but when it comes to working with the mast, and the standing rigging, I kind of am as I haven't done it before. I'm an engineer, and can figure the technical stuff out, but the practical, common sense stuff I need advice on.
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Old 06-30-2011
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I recently watched a good rigger and his helper re-rig a Westsail 32 in one day at the dock. Portable swaging machine was used. And yes, you can climb a mast with a stay or 2 missing if you know what you are doing - they even removed the spreaders for checking. They also took extra care making sure there were no sharp edges anywhere that could chafe a line. The boat left Victoria a week later and is now in San Francisco.

This is actually pretty common, at least around here. Many boats are re-rigged while afloat.

I plan to replace my rigging one wire at a time while afloat. A comfortable climbing harness helps. One stay or shroud can be removed at a time and taken to a rigger to duplicate - hopefully one nearby. A halyard can replace the stay/shroud temporarily and the rig should be slackened a bit. Not much tension is needed to keep a mast stable at the dock.
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I'm in need of a new forestay and I was wondering the same thing. I figure to use a halyard in place of the forestay but I'm concerned about going up in a climbing harness having never done it before .. is it safe while using a halyard as your forestay? I figure this will take two trips up the mast. Also, how long does it typically take a rigger or shop to make a new stay? Thanks
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The mast will be stable with a halyard as a replacement for your forestay. Loosen the backstay a bit so there isn't a lot of force pulling the masthead aft.
Use a safety line as well and check the halyard's condition before using it.

A rigger can put a machine swage on a wire in a few minutes. Before you proceed touch base with the rigger you are going to use and make sure the wire and end fittings are in stock.
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