Lower shroud tension thoughts - SailNet Community

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Old 10-23-2012
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Lower shroud tension thoughts

I realize this is an opinion forum, but if your going to give an ass remark, I'd appreciate you passing on responding.
Does anyone have a simple measure of lower shroud tension?, simple put, when sailing with a load, my leeward lower shroud is slack but the spar is straight.
I believe the "if it ain't broke, don't mess with it" concept, however, a slack lower shroud seems to be suggestion instability.
Professional and informative responses appreciated.
Thank you.
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Old 10-23-2012
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Re: Lower shroud tension thoughts

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Originally Posted by grandcapri View Post
I realize this is an opinion forum, but if your going to give an ass remark, I'd appreciate you passing on responding.
Does anyone have a simple measure of lower shroud tension?, simple put, when sailing with a load, my leeward lower shroud is slack but the spar is straight.
I believe the "if it ain't broke, don't mess with it" concept, however, a slack lower shroud seems to be suggestion instability.
Professional and informative responses appreciated.
Thank you.
It's pretty normal for your looward shrouds to slacken. My rule of thumb is to set them to where they are not tensioned, but also not loose, (As in flopping around), when sailing a reach in about 15 knots.
If the mast is still in column and your shrouds aren't floppy. You're fine.

That said, there are a lot of different rigs and some of them require a lot more attention to detail.
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Old 10-23-2012
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Re: Lower shroud tension thoughts

I have the same thing. My upper shroud stays fairly taut but the lowers get real loose. I talked to a friend who is a licensed captain with offshore experience and he tells me its normal.
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Old 10-23-2012
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Re: Lower shroud tension thoughts

Gotta say, Grand, that's a bit of an odd choice for your avatar!

You should know that your first response is from our resident professional rigger - you won't get better advice.
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Old 10-23-2012
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Re: Lower shroud tension thoughts

There you have it, advice from a pro. I was about to say the same thing but my opinion carries less weight even with me.
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Old 10-23-2012
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Re: Lower shroud tension thoughts

And it is consistent with what my rigger friends have told me too! "slack but not floppy".
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Old 10-23-2012
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Re: Lower shroud tension thoughts

Isn't your mast supposed to be straight and centered on both tacks? If that's the case, who cares how tight or loose the lowers are? They're doing their job when they need to do it.
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Old 10-23-2012
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Re: Lower shroud tension thoughts

Some boats, especially one-design racing boats, have tuning guides written for them by sailmakers or experienced owners, which give suggested shroud tension settings in pounds or tuning gauge numbers. Some of these boats are even designed to use different tension settings for different wind and sea conditions. Specific advice would depend upon the kind of boat, rig design, number and position of shrouds, and so on. Riggers have to deal with a huge variety of rig designs. But it's pretty easy to set the shroud tension on a Freedom!
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Old 10-24-2012
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Re: Lower shroud tension thoughts

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Isn't your mast supposed to be straight and centered on both tacks? If that's the case, who cares how tight or loose the lowers are? They're doing their job when they need to do it.
Would there, then, be a concern for shock loading when suddenly loading the other shrouds?
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Old 10-24-2012
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Re: Lower shroud tension thoughts

Borrow or purchase a loos gauge and check the tension.
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