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post #11 of 20 Old 12-05-2012
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Re: rod rigging replacement

Navtec talks about "load cycles" rather than "years" for replacing rigging. Every time you tack, every time you bounce, every time the rigging takes a load and then slacks off, you add one cycle to the rigging. To REALLY know when to replace your rigging you would have to record load cycles, which used to be a really absurd thought but these days the little accelerometers that are in every smartphone could actually be adapted to do the job very nicely--and cheaply. Which doesn't matter, you can't buy a "load cycle meter" off the self yet anyhow.

So Navtec estimates load cycles based on type of use, on miles sailed, on age, a variety of criteria. After 30 years a dock queen might have no load cycles and if a rigger actually looked the rig over, saw no signs of stress, saw the heads hadn't eaten into the sockets, etc, a rig certainly could be re-headed and kept. But I suspect the more conservative folks who make the rigging would just say (perhaps not so objectively) that 30 years was "enough".

Question is, will your rigger give you a guarantee that the reheaded 30+ year old rigging won't fail during the next year? Or two? Odds are it won't fail, but will he back that up?

How does that Dynex compare to rod, for cost and durability?

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post #12 of 20 Old 12-06-2012
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Re: rod rigging replacement

We have rod on our '81 J/36. We replaced the forestay two seasons ago when we put in roller-furling and discovered that we'd been sailing (who knows for how long) with a kink in the original one. The rest is still original. We don't baby it: three day beats up to Maine - and back, and racing in 30 knot Nor'easters, and whatever else happens. We do inspect it carefully each season however.
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post #13 of 20 Old 12-06-2012
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Re: rod rigging replacement

Originally Posted by CCTrillium View Post
Strongly recommend Dynex Dux through Colligo. I recently completed replacement of original rods stays on my '76 C&C 38. Did the install myself in an afternoon and had the mast stepped the next day. John Franta was terrific to work with, especially making some custom parts to deal with the original Navtangs. (They shouldn't be custom for you now!) I decided to use Colligo after seeing how easy the product was to work with and reasonable in terms of cost. I'm hands on and liked the idea of being able to do this on my own. If a problem surfaces later on, I know I can deal with it without needed specialized equipment or help. It sure attracted a lot of attention in the yard, too!
Is the Dux covered for UV protection? What is the 'life expectancy' vs wire or rod?


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Re: rod rigging replacement

Originally Posted by Faster View Post
Is the Dux covered for UV protection? What is the 'life expectancy' vs wire or rod?
The last time I talked to John at Colligio about Dux they are seeing 8 years in the tropics on the line itself. At which point you splice in a new line at a fraction the cost of wire, and god forbid rod. When I priced out replacing the rod on my Olson 30, Dynex was about the same price as wire (+/- 5%), and about 1/2 the cost of rod. The terminal fittings are milled, then anodized aluminium (I keep trying to get him to switch to titanium ) and at the loads they see should last forever, particularly since they are galvanically insulated by the rope.

Technically wire is only supposed to last for 8-10 years, and rod is 6-8. But no one I know has ever replaced it on that interval. The advantage of Dux here is that the Dux is specced for creep control not strength. So you generally wind up with line that is more than twice as strong as the wire it would replace. So even if you have pretty severe UV damage, you likely have more actual strength than the wire that would be specced.

The major advantage of Dynex over wire is weight savings. The line itself is about 1/6th the weight, and the system is probably more like 1/4 to 1/2 the weight. So you take a huge amount of weight out of the top of the mast. On the Olson switching to Dynex was the equivalent to having one 250lbs person on the rail when we did the stiffness calculations.
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post #15 of 20 Old 12-06-2012
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Re: rod rigging replacement

Rod fails at the head on the ends which formed in a machine as part of the assembly process

The ONLY way to see if the head has work hardened(which is why it fails) is to remove it and try and form a NEW head

On Zzzoom it failed this test at about 15 years
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Re: rod rigging replacement

Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post

Paul, just a thought: Wally Bryant has a marvelous web site up about his C&C "Stella Blue" and all the work he did bringing it back from the dead. A MARVELOUS resource to explore what a Landfall can be hiding, or how to deal with the common problems and surprises they can have. Wally is one of those guys who didn't just fix things--he fixed 'em right. And nicely.

Wow what a job he had done! I was reading about his Rig Restoration, he really does the job right!
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post #17 of 20 Old 02-28-2013
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Re: rod rigging replacement

I'm reviving this thread to get an opinion on Rod Rigging in the Great Lakes, since this months Sail Magazine put my rod rigging back on my radar...

Win Fowler responded to an "Ask Sail" question about Rod Rigging with the following (summarized):

Inspect and re-head after 40,000 miles, this adds 20,000 miles.
95 percent of failures are head failures.
Replace after 20 years regarless of use.

First of all, my rigging is 29 years old this April (1984 C&C Mkiii, boat is new to me this winter). However, the boat will have no where near 40,000 miles on it. Boat is sailed May - September and has never left the anything-but-tropical, fresh water enviroment of Lake Michigan.

So I look at this two ways: 1) "regardless of use" means no matter the enviroment or use as racer/cruiser, etc. In this case, I'm at 150% of the rigs recommended life, period.

2)or I can reduce the age of my rigging by some factor based on it's short, four month sailing season per year and fresh water. The boat has raced; beer cans and 7 or 8 Mac races, so I'm sure it's experienced significant loading at times, but was used mostly as a family cruiser in the 90's.

The mast is down and stored inside (boat is outside). I will inspect heads thoroughly before rigging this spring. I'm aware you can apply a magnaflux dye penetrant to SS, but I'm not sure if this something most yards offer for rigging?

Basically, I've searched previous threads and the internet and haven't seen a specific answer about fresh water or augmented sailing seasons. I understand that the passage of time is itself a factor, regardless of use.

So... Any feedback would be nice. Do I get any bonus points here for Lake Michigan, or is my heart rate gonna jump a little extra bit when it's blowing stink?
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post #18 of 20 Old 02-28-2013
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Re: rod rigging replacement

Rod substitution times are longer (lasts longer), that is also to consider in what regards price.

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post #19 of 20 Old 02-28-2013
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Re: rod rigging replacement

Navtec, who are probably "the" source on rod rigging, would tell you that rigging fatigues based on the number of cycles that it is loaded (stressed) and unloaded. Sitting on a shelf, it takes no stress cycles. Rigged on a boat, it takes "one" cycle every time you tack, every time the boat slams, every time the wind gusts, etc.

So you could literally put a stress guage and recorder on each piece and run a tally on it. Or, take all the hours logged under sail and use that with an average "per hour" figure. They have averages for cruising, racing, offshore, inshore, etc. but they'll still say after 20 years, it is time to pull the stick and do a close examination, with the thought of replacement in mind.

Fresh water, short season, rig out in the winter, all mean yours might well still be good, but it is time for a "Class C" inspection, where they pull and check everything. The first clue would be any galvanic corrosion, distortion, or wear at the cups. Apparently they are supposed to be kept lubricated and few people do, and if they are unlubricated and overtensioned in salt air they are more likely to stick and wear.

Dye checking ain't rocket science. All things considered, I would look over the rigging carefully. If it looks "mint" and totally undistorted, unquestionable, and you are just daysailing, I might say just clean it up and go, despite the 29-year clock. More conservatively, look into dye kits (McMaster, Grainger, etc should stock them) and consider doing your own dye check, because doing it correctly means TIME and everyone in a yard is always in a rush, so someone who takes the time to do a job carefully is not easy to find.

The right way to do it, at this point, would be to call a rigger. Ask Navtec who their authorized vendors are in your area, unless you find a better recommendation for someone who has the right equipment to rehead the rigging if that is needed. I'd be more comfortable having a pro do the inspection, watching what he does, and for the next couple or five years, do your own inspections using that as a baseline.

"Time" is just easier to measure than "cycles". Everyone picks their own comfort zone after that. Unless your insurer has something to say about it, like "20 years will void your policy".
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post #20 of 20 Old 02-28-2013
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Re: rod rigging replacement

Thank you! Exactly what I needed to know.
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