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post #1 of 8 Old 09-30-2012 Thread Starter
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DIY Rigging Replacement

I need to replace the rigging on my 28 foot boat (1981 era). I'm a committed do-it-yourselfer, so I'd like to do this job also. I'm well outfitted to climb the mast, but I'm a little concerned about messing with the rigging while aloft, for obvious reasons.

I understand that I can use a halyard as a temporary forestay or backstay, no problem there, but I'm a little less certain about the shrouds. Would it be reasonable to use a halyard as a temporary shroud, with me at the top of the mast?
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post #2 of 8 Old 09-30-2012
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Re: DIY Rigging Replacement

If you're asking, you probably already know the answer....

Why don't you rather drop the mast? Although I didn't redo the rigging, when I dropped my mast (26' boat) I did review the steps I would take to do it.

Definitely the way I'd go.

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post #3 of 8 Old 09-30-2012
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Re: DIY Rigging Replacement

Working on an "experienced" rig is difficult under most conditions - lots of stuff gets seized up over time. When I stripped my then 35 year old mast for painting I had to beat on it with hammers and an impact driver for a week to get everything off the tube. Even simple things like pulling cotter pins from shackles can get very difficult.

I'd pull the rig like Afrinus says - it'll make the work a LOT easier and you'll not only do a better job but you'll probably find other things that need fixing since you'll be able to inspect it in a more leisurely way.

Besides, the tools you don't drop over the side will help to offset the cost of pulling & re-stepping it.

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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post #4 of 8 Old 09-30-2012
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Re: DIY Rigging Replacement

In the old days of wooden ships and iron men, riggers would blithely shinny up an unstayed mast to attach shrouds at the hounds, change worn-out rigging and so forth. The spars were like telephone poles and they were keel stepped and well blocked at the partners too. I remember see a little Dutchman do just that on a 50' ferrocement ketch about 40 years ago; I think those sort of riggers have gone the way of the dodo.

Today it is safer and easier to take your deck-stepped toothpick down and change the rigging while it is horizontal on sawhorses...If you really want to do the DIY thing, you can use Norseman or StaLok fittings and make up the shrouds and stays yourself.

Last edited by jimjazzdad; 09-30-2012 at 12:37 PM.
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post #5 of 8 Old 09-30-2012
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Re: DIY Rigging Replacement

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Originally Posted by Rusty123 View Post
I need to replace the rigging on my 28 foot boat (1981 era). I'm a committed do-it-yourselfer, so I'd like to do this job also. I'm well outfitted to climb the mast, but I'm a little concerned about messing with the rigging while aloft, for obvious reasons.

I understand that I can use a halyard as a temporary forestay or backstay, no problem there, but I'm a little less certain about the shrouds. Would it be reasonable to use a halyard as a temporary shroud, with me at the top of the mast?
Sure, you can use halyards as temporary shrouds. It works best if you can get it over the end of the spreader.
The thing is, you don't want to take too many pieces off at the same time. For instance, take one upper off the port side, and intermediate off the starboard side and then duplicate and replace all four of those before you do your lowers. The headstay and backstay can be removed at the same time as the upper if you have a good topping lift and enough extra halyards.

That said, pulling the mast is always the best option if possible. As Sloopy points out, you will be able to do a more thorough job and address issues that you might not have even considered yet. And it will probably go quicker too.
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post #6 of 8 Old 09-30-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: DIY Rigging Replacement

Dropping the mast sounds like the way to go. But the yards near me don't allow diy work. Can this be done dockside, or am I locked into a yard? there is a diy yard a few hours away.
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post #7 of 8 Old 09-30-2012
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Re: DIY Rigging Replacement

If you are a committed do it yourselfer, then support a do it yourself yard. Plus redoing the standing rigging involves more than the stays and shrouds. With the mast down is a good time to inspect the chain plates. I don't know about your boat, but mine uses tangs through bolted to the mast for the shrouds. Those tangs and bolts need to be inspected. Then with thte mast down you can inspect the wiring, windex, etc. I have to travel several hours by sail to a do it yourself yard, but it is worth it.
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-30-2012
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Re: DIY Rigging Replacement

Ditto above about unstepping the mast-I did this with my Catalina 27, and tha 's how I'd do it again.

There's a U Tube video showing unstepping the mast with a spreader-height 2X4 A frame ?"gallows", to pull the mast out of the cabin-top step, and ease it down-that's what I'll try next time.

I brought my mast home to repaint/rerig, using a small trailer with a 2X4 crutch bolted to the back of it to support one end of the mast, and a roof rack on the front of the minivan to support the other end. It made for a nice, leisurely process.
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