Originally Posted by sailaway21
There was a good article on rig tuning in Good Old Boat last summer; it'll give you most of what you need to know. You'll need to pick up a Loos tension guage. They are available from west marine, etc and be sure to get the one, of two offered, for your diameter wire rope.
I'll definitely check into it, thanks for the pointer!
Most offshore boats carry a spare stay/shroud of the longest length employed on the vessel along with Sta-lok or other fiege type fittings so that they can fabricate a new piece of standing rigging if necessary. But that is done after they stabilise the situation, if possible, usually using a halyard.
I've never actually faced this situation, but I had assumed that any kind of a situation bad enough to break a stay is going to send the mast crashing. I mean how could it even stay up if it's only backstay for example is broken ? There would be nothing holding it there except maybe the weight of the boom. Seems like it would already be too late and that any real protection you are going to give it needs to be there before, not after.
Before you embark upon doubling up your rigging I think you should consider that most boats are amply rigged as built and there is much more to such a project than just running some extra "wires".
I don't understand why, no doubt I am just not thinking it through well enough. But you've got your deck there, and so long as you have a strong enough attachment point on deck and strong enough on the mast, why wouldn't you just be able to run the extra wires ? I mean I realize it would change the tension on your existing rigging, probably be harder to tune. Maybe you would have to reinforce the area under the mast to allow for the heavier load. I am having trouble seeing downside to it except for the expense in terms of time and money to get the extra "wires" up there in the first place. What would be bad about extra rigging ? They get in the way of something that I haven't thought of ?
Assuming that your chainplates, tangs, turnbuckles, and such are in good shape you should not have a problem in most weather. Most sailors endeavor to take measures to reduce the strain on the rigging long before it's safe working load is exceeded. Anotherwords, the conditions where you part a shroud or stay are likely to be quite severe and the loss of your mast, while undesirable, may be unavoidable and possibly incidental to survival. Have a pro at your local yard look over your standing rigging and make recommendations, then go sailing.
I can kind of see what you are saying here, but my intuition (though inexperienced, and often wrong) is telling me more is better in this case. Not always, but in this case. I know that a lot of sailboats are built for "extreme conditions", but are those the same extremes that a blue water boat is going to be facing ? Same as a go anywhere type of a boat often has a steel or aluminum hull, I would think that a go anywhere boat would have stronger rigging. The "two is one, one is none" philosophy.
This is all of great interest to me right now, thank you for the thoughtful response.