SailNet Community

SailNet Community (
-   General Discussion (sailing related) (
-   -   Loose shrouds (

matthewwhill 10-29-2013 11:47 PM

Loose shrouds
I recently got the 40 year old standing rigging replaced on my 24 footer here in Seattle (by CSR Marine). Everything seems fine, happy with their work.

But the shrouds are noticeably looser than the old ones were. For instance while on a starboard tack, the aft-most port shroud wobbles like a big guitar string (or maybe a bass guitar - slowly).

My questions are:
1. How tight should they be? How much tension? It looks like one could adjust them.
2. I think I have seen tension measuring devices... do they exist?
3. Does anyone in Seattle want to loan/rent me theres?

BTW, again very happy with CSR. Also got a new mainsail from Ballard Sails. Very happy with that as well.

PaulinVictoria 10-29-2013 11:52 PM

Re: Loose shrouds
1. Normally the initial adjustment is done based on a percentage of the breaking strength of the wire. They are indeed adjustable, and you can tune them for different wind strengths. What size are the wires?
2. Yes, Loos gauges are the most common.
3. Can't help you there, but they aren't that expensive.

Faster 10-29-2013 11:55 PM

Re: Loose shrouds
Did you have CSR 'tune' the rig? Or just replace the rigging? The final tensioning/tuning is usually done under sail to ensure the rig is true under load.. Maybe get some help with that.

The tensioning tool is, ironically, called a "loos" gauge, there are tow sizes, guessing you'd want the smaller...

matthewwhill 10-30-2013 12:00 AM

Re: Loose shrouds
Ah... Sailnet helps once again.

No I didn't have CSR tune the rig. I'll have to look at the invoice to get the size of the wire.

I am not a racer, so speed is not really as important to me as safety.

If we assume that the rig is not in tune and the shrouds are a bit loose, is this a big safety risk?

I was just out in 20 knot winds with gusts to 25+. Seemed fine with a reef in the main.

PaulinVictoria 10-30-2013 12:03 AM

Re: Loose shrouds
Having the rig set up properly is a safety deal, it's what holds your mast up :) In 20kts then I am not surprised the shroud looked rather loose, doesn't sound like you have anything to worry about though.
What boat do you have?

matthewwhill 10-30-2013 12:13 AM

Re: Loose shrouds
Its a Kent Ranger 24 (Ray Richards designed, not the Gary Mull southern California Ranger). Displacement is 3000 pounds with 1300 pound ballast. Sail area / displacement ratio I think is 17.8.

Although I do realize that the rig is what supports the mast, I guess I was just wondering whether a newly installed rig which may not be tuned perfectly presents a risk of catastrophic failure.

blt2ski 10-30-2013 12:19 AM

Re: Loose shrouds
You will also find that the rig will loosen or stretch after some use. SO you may have the end result of this too. You can get a cheap "Loos" guage from Fisheries or WM. You will probably need the smallest of the three. I will swag $20-40. Then next better one is just over $100, but more accurate.

The folks at Ballard sails may have a general how to tune you rig. As many sail makers do. I have one from Ullman. There is a sticky on here with a general how to tune a rig too. Helpfull to have a rig centered and the rig tensioned correctly. If it is not, you may not point as high, nor get the max speed out of the boat too!


DrB 10-30-2013 01:21 AM

New Rigging
Some folks may disagree with this, but no shroud should be loose/wobbly. When you get new rigging, they do it on land and the boat isn't in it's proper shape. It needs to be in the water for a few weeks before the final tune is done.

When properly tuned, when sailing in a light breeze and heeled, the leeward shrouds should not have any flop or sag in them. If you can move the shrouds without much effort with your hand, they need to be tensioned. Your mast should remain straight even in moderate/strong breezes. Having the shrouds too loose will allow the mast to flex when loaded.

The rigger should be able to properly fine tune your rig if you don't feel comfortable doing it yourself. It's not that hard, but it does require a few steps.


Faster 10-30-2013 01:39 AM

Re: New Rigging

Originally Posted by DrB (Post 1112136)
Some folks may disagree with this, but no shroud should not be loose/wobbly. .......


I'm guessing you meant to say that no shroud should be loose/wobbly... ;)

Generally agree, but in reality it's not unusual for a leeward shroud to go visibly slack in 20+ knots of wind, and expect that an awful lot of boats will fall into that category without risk of imminent failure..

The OP isn't concerned about the last degree of pointing or 1/4 knot of speed, so he's probably OK.. but going through the exercise of removing some of that slack would be a good thing..

DrB 10-30-2013 01:44 AM

Re: New Rigging

Originally Posted by Faster (Post 1112144)
I'm guessing you meant to say that no shroud should be loose/wobbly... ;)

Yes, thanks for the catch. I corrected it.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:15 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
(c) LLC 2000-2012

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome