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Old 09-21-2012
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35 year old standing rigging - but rigger says it's ok

The rigging on my 1977 tartan 34C is probably the original. At the very least the PO has not replaced it and he had the boat for 15 years, all the time in Long Island Sound.

I just had a professional rigger inspect the lower parts and he said it is fine and does not need replacement. That was even after I told him that I am planning to the the boat to the Bahamas in Nov (between Gulf Stream and coast as much as possible). He offered to go up and inspect there as well, remove spreader boots, etc. He has an established rigging shop and seem professional.

What do people think about this? I am tempted to believe and save the money for a full replacement, but it contradicts what I have read in many places (replace everything after 15+ years).
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Old 09-21-2012
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Re: 35 year old standing rigging - but rigger says it's ok

Is the rigger going to take the trip with you. Is he willing to risk is wekk being and life?

So how much do you trust a 35 year only strand of wire after 35 yaers in the sun/ ice and rain to stay upright while you travel offshore. Many times the weakness and breakage may go sight unseen until the failure occurs. You are already living on borrowed time

Common sense and prudence say I would want to feel secure in my rig, not worry whether it will continue to outkive its time of usefullness.

Replace it.

Dave
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Re: 35 year old standing rigging - but rigger says it's ok

Quote:
I just had a professional rigger inspect the lower parts and he said it is fine and does not need replacement.
I don't know how he could say it doesn't need replacement until he has inspected both ends. He was perhaps making an educated guess as to the condition of the upper fittings. It is more common for the lower fittings to go first, but I've seen the opposite a few times.

When I do an inspection and the owner tells me that the rigging is over 15 years old. I tell them, before I begin, that even if I don't find any obvious defects or problems, I'm still going to recommend a re-rig. This is based on the information that I get from the vendors that I buy my wire and fittings from. As well as personal experience.

I think that the fact that you made a post about it indicates you are somewhat wary and something is telling you that you should be concerned.
Imagine how that feeling will be amplified when you're miles off shore in rough seas and squall on the horizon.
Peace of mind is often worth a lot.

And don't forget the chainplates. They probably haven't been inspected, much less replaced either.
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Old 09-21-2012
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Re: 35 year old standing rigging - but rigger says it's ok

I used to sail on a 40 year old boat, we sailed her hard and we got healed over, cabin side almost in the water, by unexpected squales while having all sails up... She had her original rigging, but on those days, pounding hard when sailing up wind, I would turn around and look at the back stay and wounder, what if??

What I'm saying here is that your standing rigging might still be good, but why would you take any chances?

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Re: 35 year old standing rigging - but rigger says it's ok



My J24 standing and running rigging was WELL KEPT and it was still for crap after after 20 something years
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Re: 35 year old standing rigging - but rigger says it's ok

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Originally Posted by knothead View Post
I'm still going to recommend a re-rig. This is based on the information that I get from the vendors that I buy my wire and fittings from.
Not exactly an impartial source.
You: You think I should spend my money on your equipment, even if it seems to be in good shape?
Vendor: Hmmm... let me check my bottom line. Yes! Change it all at once! And those chain plates as well!

I know, I'm joking, but my point is that if a reputable expert, who stands to gain financially (implied), thinks it is fine, either find another rigger because you don't trust his/her judgement, or go with it. Disclosure: I know diddly about the structural integrity of Stainless Steel at any age.
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Re: 35 year old standing rigging - but rigger says it's ok

I think replacing 35 year old standing rigging is wise but you'll also want to check out the chain plates. Tartans are great boats but this is one area the older boats seem to have problems with.
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Re: 35 year old standing rigging - but rigger says it's ok

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Originally Posted by rbrasi View Post
Not exactly an impartial source.
You: You think I should spend my money on your equipment, even if it seems to be in good shape?
Vendor: Hmmm... let me check my bottom line. Yes! Change it all at once! And those chain plates as well!

I know, I'm joking, but my point is that if a reputable expert, who stands to gain financially (implied), thinks it is fine, either find another rigger because you don't trust his/her judgement, or go with it. Disclosure: I know diddly about the structural integrity of Stainless Steel at any age.
Fortunately or unfortunately, I'm not sure which, there is a mindset in this as well as many other industries to cover one's ass. So there will nearly always be a tendency on the part of a manufacturer or vendor, and the installer to include a big safety margin.
When I meet the customer face to face, I have to make sure that they understand that I'm speaking at one moment as a businessman, one moment as a fellow sailor, and one moment as a potential long term friend. One never knows. So I try to cover all the bases.
On paper, if a rig is 15 plus years. I'm going to recommend a re-rig. I often do inspections for owners who are trying to get insurance. I can't afford not to be over cautious.
As a fellow sailor, I understand the concept of a cruising kitty and limited budget, so I give my opinion on just how long and under what conditions they might be able to get more life out of it.
I try to be completely honest with people while emphasizing the peace of mind factor.
Of course, the fact that I have to make a living influences my opinions, but I try to be honest about that as well.
I never try to sell someone something that I don't honestly think that they want or need.
It does seem though, that rigging is low on the priority list for many.
I saw one guy spend over ten grand on radios, chart plotters and all kinds of stuff and completely disregard the cracked swages that my inspection revealed. They sailed off to the Caribbean.
But by and large most of my customers tell me that they "just want it done right".
I can only try to do my best for my customers based on my experience, the information I get from others and my conscience. I feel that most businesses are run by people like that too.
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Re: 35 year old standing rigging - but rigger says it's ok

There's one very important data point missing...fresh water or salt water.

I was having a chat with a very experienced rigger. He said he has NEVER seen a failure of a rig on a boat always kept in fresh water going back to 70's vintage boats; unless caused by damage or other error.
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Old 09-21-2012
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Re: 35 year old standing rigging - but rigger says it's ok

Change it.
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