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Old 12-05-2012
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rod rigging replacement

I am considering a boat with rod rigging. I understand the benefits of rod, but it is a 1983 boat and is all original. I don't even think they have pulled it and have had it inspected since the current owner had the boat. I am wondering about replacement rigging, could I go to wire? It seems like it would be considerably less expensive and seems to work for most boats. The Boat is a C&C Landfall, and I will be cruising with it, some offshore and no racing. What are the options. Sounds like replacement rod would be in the range of 8,000 and that would push the boat out of my range, unless the owner came way down price wise. How about dynema? would that be an option?

So would I be turning the boat into a turd by changing out to wire? I like the idea of the long term value of rod but it would push the boat over my budget.
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Old 12-05-2012
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Re: rod rigging replacement

Landfall 38?.. nice cruiser. I can't see any reason not to go with wire, not sure about Dyneema or composite, cost and terminals might be the biggie with those.

The fact that rod can fail with little warning - esp old rod (don't ask...) and wire can usually let you know when it's getting close I'd think that esp for cruising wire would do just as well. Use mechanical fittings at deck level and you've got some DIY-ability too.. But I'd expect you'd be looking at somewhere around $3-4K for complete standing rigging even with wire???
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Old 12-05-2012
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Re: rod rigging replacement

Wire rope will be just fine. It won't make any difference to the way the boat sails, or the strength of the rig. Rod was a popular option for racers back then, but for the average cruiser it is not worth the additional expense IMHO.
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Old 12-05-2012
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Re: rod rigging replacement

We replaced our rod...with rod to the tune of 7400 five years ago so 8000 sounds aboiut right. We could have gone with wire, but the savings was that much if I remember. Its usually the fitting which fail anyway. I was told by the C&C designers that the rod led to the stiffness of the boat vs wire, Some Sabres are also rod rigged too.

You can replace with wire. Not sure I would do dyneema.


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Old 12-05-2012
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Re: rod rigging replacement

There are options. Talk to a rigger. Change to wire, re-heading the stuff you have, mail order, maybe the rigging is just fine?

My next big project might be to try to do my own changeover to wire by using swage-less type fittings. It won't be cheap but I could also do it over time. A high end, full service, changeover to new rod rigging probably isn't in my budget.

I'm no expert but at $4 a foot for wire and $50 for a terminal, it seems pretty reasonable to duplicate your own and have the ability to do your own repair if you plan on cruising/offshore. ...then again, I haven't tried it yet.

I have a split backstay. I think I might try fabricating that with wire and hayn just to see how it works out.
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Old 12-05-2012
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Re: rod rigging replacement

the conversion is not always easy to do one wire at a time. it depends on the type of tang you have on the mast. if it is a tang and fork with clevis pin it is not difficult. if they used the stem ball tangs with the threaded cross bar then it means the removal of the mast. have it inspected as it might be possible to re-head the rods. the rod itself will last forever.
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Old 12-05-2012
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Re: rod rigging replacement

The one issue with switching to wire as opposed to rod is that you have to have someone re-engineer the rigging size. Rod is lighter, stronger, and has a smaller cross section than the wire that it would replace, as well as being more corrosion resistant. You really need to know what you are doing to get this right.

If I was considering this, I would give Brion Toss a call and ask his opinion on it, and let a real rigger design it for you. Messing around with masts and standing rigging is no place to just guess.

The second option you raise is to switch to dyneema. It is absolutely doable. Give John Franta a call at Colligio Marine about it. You will save massively on weight and increase the strength. Figure a reduction in weight by more than half compared to wire. The cost tends to be about the same as wire the first time, with subsequent rerigs being a fraction of the price.

The down side to dyneema is that the rope will wear out long before wire would typically need replacing. Most wire is pushed to 15-20 years of service, while the dyneema is currently at about 8. The upside though is at 8 years you don't replace the while system, just the rope, the fittings since they are aluminium can be replaced forever. So the rerig at 8 years is more like $200. This is why a lot of new performance boats are switching to Dynex rigging.

Most cruisers seem to think that weight isn't their problem, but it really is. Reducing the weight of a rigging system by more than half can make a huge difference in how the boat sails, as well as how a boat rides at anchor. She will be stiffer, carry less heel, meaning less weather helm, ect.. All for about the price of switching to wire.
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Last edited by Stumble; 12-05-2012 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 12-05-2012
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Re: rod rigging replacement

I would suggest that if you convert, and eventually sell the boat, you will lose the value of the difference between the two. Plus the buyers will be asking why you removed one of the features C&C's are known for, what was wrong. What else you cheaped out on, perhaps?
It certainly CAN be done, but personally I wouldn't. And while rod can be reheaded, etc., if it is original it is probably time for a whole change. You'd have to have someone who works with rod actually pull the rigging, inspect it, and see if it can be reheaded but I suspect they'll advise against it, purely based on age.
Dyneema and other synthetics are also an option, but I think you'll find them more than double the cost of rod rigging. Wire if you must, knowing that can raise questions down the line. But it is, after all, a key feature of the boat. C&C must have had some reason for it.

Paul, just a thought: Wally Bryant has a marvelous web site up about his C&C "Stella Blue" and all the work he did bringing it back from the dead. A MARVELOUS resource to explore what a Landfall can be hiding, or how to deal with the common problems and surprises they can have. Wally is one of those guys who didn't just fix things--he fixed 'em right. And nicely.

Last edited by hellosailor; 12-05-2012 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 12-05-2012
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Re: rod rigging replacement

I had the rod on my 83 C&C re headed by a reputable rigger. He never suggested replacing it.
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Old 12-05-2012
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Re: rod rigging replacement

Strongly recommend Dynex Dux through Colligo. I recently completed replacement of original rods stays on my '76 C&C 38. Did the install myself in an afternoon and had the mast stepped the next day. John Franta was terrific to work with, especially making some custom parts to deal with the original Navtangs. (They shouldn't be custom for you now!) I decided to use Colligo after seeing how easy the product was to work with and reasonable in terms of cost. I'm hands on and liked the idea of being able to do this on my own. If a problem surfaces later on, I know I can deal with it without needed specialized equipment or help. It sure attracted a lot of attention in the yard, too!
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