SailNet Community - Reply to Topic
Thread: Rig tuning Reply to Thread
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

Click here to view the posting rules you are bound to when clicking the
'Submit Reply' button below

  Topic Review (Newest First)
03-21-2008 10:50 AM
jimmyb116 Also if you are measuring side to side make sure it is to a point equal distance from the bow, i was measuring to the chain plates only to find they were approx 2" off from each other ? bad build quality i guess.
03-21-2008 08:16 AM
xort If you are going to use a halyard or tape to measure the distance from masthead to each side of the boat...make sure the mast is centered! Measure from the mast base to each side of the boat to see that there are no anomolies in construction or mast placement!
03-21-2008 01:44 AM
artbyjody When I hired "rigging experts" - the one thing I learned was that you do it manually and if it feels tight enough - in other words not to much slop - just enough hand / cable resistance to indicate some resistance ..probably good - check it after sailing if it feels sloppy - tighten a smidgen more... there really is no actual scientific procedure to the matter for most production boats...(that or I paid for a bunch of bad advice which has been known to happen)....
03-21-2008 01:33 AM
Valiente Tighten until it feels right and looks even, and then use a gauge to confirm that. Most non-racing boats are in my experience 20-40% "slack" in stays than gauges suggest is ideal.
03-21-2008 12:02 AM
blt2ski Do as above to straighten out the mast, also sighting up the mast helps too.

Then I "ALSO" recomend the loos guage. I did my rigging by feel, came pretty close, but after borrowing a Loos guage, I found out how loose I still was in tightness!

If a tape is not availible to figure out the side to side straightening of the mast, the jib or main halyard will also work.

03-20-2008 07:30 AM
sailingdog Quick question: Is the niagara 31 rod or wire rigging?

In either case, starting off by loosening the rigging and cleaning and lubing it is a good idea. Depending on the rig, you may or may not want to use a halyard as a safety line when doing this. Do one section at a time... and mark the turnbuckles so that you can get them back to approximately where they were when you're done cleaning and lubing them.

You really will want a Loos gauge. Don't bother getting the non-pro gauges, since they're not anywhere as useful as the pro Loos gauges. You may need more than one, depending on the diameter of the standing rigging on your boat. I got the two gauges last summer for less than $300. Rigging Only in Fairhaven, MA is a good source for them. LINK
03-20-2008 03:31 AM
KeelHaulin Get the appropriate tension gauge; you won't regret the purchase. The only way to know how tight the rig is and how much tension to apply is with a good Loos gauge (or similar). The Loos gauge manual has some good info on how much tension to apply also...
03-20-2008 02:38 AM
Gulfislander Thanks for the advice. I feel better about doing this myself. You read the books but sometimes they can be intimidating. So far I have not found much that I'm not willing to try. This forum is great for guys like me who want to try to do it all. Thanks again.
03-20-2008 01:15 AM
jrd22 I start by snugging up the upper two shrouds then raising a 100' tape to the mast head and measuring from side to side and adjusting until they are exactly the same. Then I tighten each the same number of turns; 5 port/5 stb until I've got the about the right tension on them. The intermediates and lowers I do by sighting up the mast making sure it is straight. I tend to err on the side of being too loose, then adjusting after observing the rig during a sail. I've found that none need be bow string tight.

03-19-2008 11:43 PM
bwindrope Having just gone through this myself on my Gulf 32, I have a few pieces of practical advice. I just replaced all the original 20 year old standing rigging, and so had a bigger job than just tuning. For starters, I think you are on the right track by reading all you can get your hands on. If you have a good local library, Brion Toss produced a video on tuning your rig that is comprehensive. Any of these good sources are going to spell out the procedure.

You can do it "scientifically" by getting a tension gauge or do as Nigel Calder does it and just "feel it". As for lube, you'll hear and read different things. I finally settled on a light treatment of Lanocote, though it is sticky and will attract some grunge. Prevents corrosion and freezing though, and those are bigger ills.

It really all just comes down to sighting up the rig from various angles and keeping it standing straight up and down. After that, you tighten everything to reasonable, not bar tight, tension. After that, you have to do a "dynamic" tuning where you take her out and sail her in 10-20 knots and make sure your leeward shrouds are not going completely slack and that your sail shape is right as far as mast bend and such.

I've learned that it is completely possible to be fanatically zealous about minute details of rig tuning. If you race, then so be it. If you don't, then the perfect is the enemy of the good.

You might want to start messing about, using common sense to not drop your mast on the deck (liberal use of halyards is great), and then come back and ask more specific questions.

In any case, good for you, and don't be scared off by it.

Best wishes
This thread has more than 10 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

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