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  #1  
Old 08-07-2013
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Would You Sail This Rig Across an Ocean?

I'd be interested to know from those who build/repair/understand rigging, if the following setup on a "bluewater" boat sounds correct:

Boat in this case is a 42 foot masthead sloop (modified fin keel and skeg hung rudder) of excellent reputation. All standing rigging is wire. But the following don't add up.

1.) deck stepped mast
2.) double spreaders (not swept back)
3.) all shrouds (uppers and lowers) connect to a large single chainplate each side in line with the spreaders.
4.) there are NO fore and aft lower shrouds
5.) it is a cutter rig with removable staysail stay
6.) standard heavy single forestay and single backstay

As I looked at the photos of this boat it struck me that it might be at a high risk for rig loss. This due to the fact that since the spreaders are not swept back creating a secure "tripod" to stabilize the rig there would be nothing much to stop the rig from going overboard if part of the rig failed. There are no fore and aft lower shrouds to keep the rig upright should part of the rig fail (headstay, backstay). All shrouds connect to one beefy chainplate. Why would someone design rigging in this way without any fore and aft lowers? Is there something I'm missing? These boats are known to cross many of the worlds oceans but I'm thinking whoa, without a keel stepped mast the rig depends on complete non-failure of just about any part of the standing rigging. I would have thought that due it being a deck stepped mast fore and aft lower shrouds should be mandatory.
...scratching my head.
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Old 08-07-2013
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Re: Would You Sail This Rig Across an Ocean?

I am no rigging expert, but I will give my two cents any way since this is the internet.

1.) deck stepped mast

Nothing wrong with this as long as it is properly engineered.

2.) double spreaders (not swept back)

No problem. Do not need swept back spreaders if you have a properly-sized backstay.

3.) all shrouds (uppers and lowers) connect to a large single chainplate each side in line with the spreaders.

This would make me nervous. One chainplate failure is catastrophic. I would for sure replace the chain plate every 10 years on a rig like this so i could sleep at night.

4.) there are NO fore and aft lower shrouds

You mean just one lower on each side of the mast?

5.) it is a cutter rig with removable staysail stay

This is a good thing, although if the staysail stay does not go to the top of the mast, you should have running backstays if you will use this stay in high winds.

6.) standard heavy single forestay and single backstay

Sounds good.
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Old 08-07-2013
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Re: Would You Sail This Rig Across an Ocean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CheckedOutRob View Post
I'd be interested to know from those who build/repair/understand rigging, if the following setup on a "bluewater" boat sounds correct:

Boat in this case is a 42 foot masthead sloop (modified fin keel and skeg hung rudder) of excellent reputation. All standing rigging is wire. But the following don't add up.

1.) deck stepped mast
2.) double spreaders (not swept back)
3.) all shrouds (uppers and lowers) connect to a large single chainplate each side in line with the spreaders.
4.) there are NO fore and aft lower shrouds
5.) it is a cutter rig with removable staysail stay
6.) standard heavy single forestay and single backstay

As I looked at the photos of this boat it struck me that it might be at a high risk for rig loss. This due to the fact that since the spreaders are not swept back creating a secure "tripod" to stabilize the rig there would be nothing much to stop the rig from going overboard if part of the rig failed. There are no fore and aft lower shrouds to keep the rig upright should part of the rig fail (headstay, backstay). All shrouds connect to one beefy chainplate. Why would someone design rigging in this way without any fore and aft lowers? Is there something I'm missing? These boats are known to cross many of the worlds oceans but I'm thinking whoa, without a keel stepped mast the rig depends on complete non-failure of just about any part of the standing rigging. I would have thought that due it being a deck stepped mast fore and aft lower shrouds should be mandatory.
...scratching my head.
My Cal 2-27 has such a set-up, with the exception of the cutter rig, and it has a singe pair of spreaders. Granted, it's only a 27' boat, and not considered a "bluewater" boat at all, but the rig seems to be fine. My boat also has massive shroud chain plates (relative to the size of the boat). The biggest problem with such rigs is that in very heavy winds the mast can have a tendency to "pump". On the Cal 2-27 that may be part of the reason that the mast section is pretty beefy relative to most boats of that size (although, it still will pump just a little in strong winds). On your boat, the inner stay may help with such "pumping". I have heard of folks replacing the single lowers with fore and aft lowers to help with the pumping problem (on other models, not the 2-27).
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Old 08-07-2013
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Re: Would You Sail This Rig Across an Ocean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CheckedOutRob View Post
I'd be interested to know from those who build/repair/understand rigging, if the following setup on a "bluewater" boat sounds correct:

Boat in this case is a 42 foot masthead sloop (modified fin keel and skeg hung rudder) of excellent reputation. All standing rigging is wire. But the following don't add up.

1.) deck stepped mast
2.) double spreaders (not swept back)
3.) all shrouds (uppers and lowers) connect to a large single chainplate each side in line with the spreaders.
4.) there are NO fore and aft lower shrouds
5.) it is a cutter rig with removable staysail stay
6.) standard heavy single forestay and single backstay

As I looked at the photos of this boat it struck me that it might be at a high risk for rig loss. This due to the fact that since the spreaders are not swept back creating a secure "tripod" to stabilize the rig there would be nothing much to stop the rig from going overboard if part of the rig failed. There are no fore and aft lower shrouds to keep the rig upright should part of the rig fail (headstay, backstay). All shrouds connect to one beefy chainplate. Why would someone design rigging in this way without any fore and aft lowers? Is there something I'm missing? These boats are known to cross many of the worlds oceans but I'm thinking whoa, without a keel stepped mast the rig depends on complete non-failure of just about any part of the standing rigging. I would have thought that due it being a deck stepped mast fore and aft lower shrouds should be mandatory.
...scratching my head.
Just curious, what kind of boat are you talking about?

While the configuration you describe is not the optimum or most bulletproof for offshore, I wouldn't necessarily rule it out for sailing anywhere... It's pretty much the same as I have on my boat, for example, except I have a baby stay to help prevent pumping, and I always put on the running backs when the breeze pipes up...

I replaced my single pair of chainplates with new that are considerably oversized. Properly engineered and constructed, I wouldn't worry too much about relying on a single chainplate, that's what many of today's boats with spreaders swept aft do, after all... I really don't like deeply swept spreaders for offshore anyway, they can be problematic when sailing deep downwind, inline spreaders are much friendlier, in that regard... Besides, even with a 3 chainplates per side, if you lose the uppers, there's a good chance the mast is gonna fold in half above the lowers, anyway, perhaps even with a keel-stepped rig... I believe that's what may have happened to Patrick Childress recently on his Valiant 40 in the South Pacific, when they lost their rig above the spreaders...

As always, tradeoffs... Sure, I like to have a pair of fore & aft lowers on my boat, but it's not gonna keep me from going offshore... Good maintenance and inspection of the rig is probably far more important, anyway... Using materials like Dyform wire, and mechanical rather than swaged fittings, is worth a lot, in my book...

One thing I do notice very often on boats with fore and aft lowers... It is exceedingly rare that the chainplates are properly aligned with the load of the shroud, anyway, which can negate much of their strength... To do so, one usually has to either angle the bulkhead they're attached to (which very few builders are gonna do), or bend the chainplate at deck level... I'm always surprised at the failure of builders on even boats of the highest caliber and bluewater reputation, to get this not-so-minor sort of detail right... And, 'correcting' the mis-alignment by throwing in a toggle is NOT the proper way to do it...

Now, don't get me started on some of the chintzy backstay attachment points I see on many production boats at The Shows, these days, and how unbelievably half-assed some of those arrangements might be, if you're thinking of sailing offshore... :-)

Yeah, I know, with swept spreaders the loads on the backstay are minimal to begin with, blah, blah... But I wish someone would tell some of the builders today, that U-bolts are NOT the same as chainplates... :-) Or, if they do insist on using u-bolts, can't they at least align them properly to the load? It's not like it's gonna COST more to do that, after all...



Last edited by JonEisberg; 08-07-2013 at 07:37 AM.
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Old 08-07-2013
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Re: Would You Sail This Rig Across an Ocean?

Surely there must be running backstays for the inner stays? Are you sure that this is a true cutter rather than a sloop with a removable stay. Lack of fore and aft lowers would bother me more than one chain plate. Without knowing all the specifics could not say for sure whether I would want to go offshore on this boat.
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Re: Would You Sail This Rig Across an Ocean?

Well, this boat is a Perry designed '81 Golden Wave 42. It apparently does have running backs but they are not attached to the lower shrouds under the lower spreader. They run somewhat much higher up the mast. And this looks like a "solent" rig with a provision for a second headsail on a removable stay about 2 feet behind the headstay.

To answer the first reply to this post, there are NO other stays other than two shrouds. One to the masthead where it splits at the lower spreader into two (discontiguous?) and the other a diagonal from chainplate to the lower spreader tangs.

So from what I can see there is no provision to prevent mast pump. Seems whacky.

So, if I were to purchase this boat it would immediately need chainplates pulled/replaced and all standing rigging up to new specs or replaced. I don't know why the running backs go so high but I assume it's to backup the staysail. Not logical. I'd prefer it attach at the lower spreader tangs where the lower shrouds attach. It looks like this has potential to pump going to weather.

Perry spec'd this boat to have a keel stepped mast. The builders went against his wishes and built it as deck stepped. My thoughts go to having an architect or rigger design a flat plate welded to the mast step and then having the same plate welded to the belowdecks mast support. When joined by bolts through the deck it would create a keel stepped mast in essence. I might go this route. Only other option would be new mast and huge re-wire (electronics) and re-rig project. Wondering if anyone has heard of this modification to a deck stepped rig (the deck plate welded to mast option)?
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Re: Would You Sail This Rig Across an Ocean?

I would expect running backstays to attach to the mast at the same height at the removable forestay. Their purpose is to create balance for the force generated by that stay to keep it from bending the mast.
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Re: Would You Sail This Rig Across an Ocean?

As you describe the rig, unless the mast section is wildly stiff, there should be a baby stay (or jib stay) and runners to prevent pumping. The runners should be attached where the removable jib stay attaches to the mast. It would not make sense to have runners (or checkstays) below that unless the spar is a 'noodle'.

The moment connection at the base of the mast and below the deck, is similar to what I had a small boat (28 foot) rigged and I would do something similar to that on my current boat if I planned to go offshore. But this modification may be more extensive than simply adding welded plate. To be effective, the plate below the deck should be welded to the top of a column with a similar moment capacity to the mast and which is attached and braced at the hull near the keel and so it can distribute vertical, longitudinal, and side forces, and which is attached and braced at the deck so that it can distribute longitudinal, and side forces.
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Old 08-07-2013
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Re: Would You Sail This Rig Across an Ocean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CheckedOutRob View Post
Well, this boat is a Perry designed '81 Golden Wave 42. It apparently does have running backs but they are not attached to the lower shrouds under the lower spreader. They run somewhat much higher up the mast. And this looks like a "solent" rig with a provision for a second headsail on a removable stay about 2 feet behind the headstay.

To answer the first reply to this post, there are NO other stays other than two shrouds. One to the masthead where it splits at the lower spreader into two (discontiguous?) and the other a diagonal from chainplate to the lower spreader tangs.

So from what I can see there is no provision to prevent mast pump. Seems whacky.

So, if I were to purchase this boat it would immediately need chainplates pulled/replaced and all standing rigging up to new specs or replaced. I don't know why the running backs go so high but I assume it's to backup the staysail. Not logical. I'd prefer it attach at the lower spreader tangs where the lower shrouds attach. It looks like this has potential to pump going to weather.

Perry spec'd this boat to have a keel stepped mast. The builders went against his wishes and built it as deck stepped. My thoughts go to having an architect or rigger design a flat plate welded to the mast step and then having the same plate welded to the belowdecks mast support. When joined by bolts through the deck it would create a keel stepped mast in essence. I might go this route. Only other option would be new mast and huge re-wire (electronics) and re-rig project. Wondering if anyone has heard of this modification to a deck stepped rig (the deck plate welded to mast option)?
The yacht is fitted with a removable "baby stay" on the foredeck with runners aft. There is also a sizable compression post supporting the mast-step. This is a fairly conventional rig for boats of the era and has proven quite robust. If you have questions, it might be wise to correspond with Perry himself. He has a very inexpensive consulting service for prospective boat buyers that is a worthwhile investment. (See Yacht Design According to Perry)

FWIW, the rig on our yacht is much the same and ours and many of her sister ships have made transatlantic and long off-shore passages without difficulty.

FWIW..
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Old 08-07-2013
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Re: Would You Sail This Rig Across an Ocean?

There are a lot of experts here. Maybe I'll just sit back and see what I can learn. I'll keep the TV on to a ballgame, muted, and I'll put a nice LP on the tunrtable, but I'll be paying a lot of attention.
I've been sailing all day and I'm tired and my knees are wrecks. Maybe tomorrow I will be in a more civil mood. Now I'll just turn it over to Jeff. Jeff knows.
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