Rod v. Wire Rigging - Valiant 42 - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 23 Old 12-05-2016 Thread Starter
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Rod v. Wire Rigging - Valiant 42

I do of course hope that @bobperry will weigh in.

One of my customer's has a Valiant 42 in need of new rigging. Valiants came from the factory with rod rigging. In this case the formed heads at the ends of the rigging are cracked in all six of the fittings that we have inspected (obviously there are a bunch more).

Acting for the owner I am getting estimates to rerig the boat. Obviously, in addition to my own experience I am leaning on friends and colleagues for advice. I thought I would post here so that what I learn can be shared. In addition this community comes up with some startlingly good information.

Breaking strength of replacing the existing rod is about 150# higher than converting to wire, not significant.

Bernie Jakits of Rogue Wave Yacht Sales thinks moving to wire would reduce the resale value of the boat by a lot. Bernie is a very experienced guy (a yacht broker who really sails) and specializes in Valiants and other nice bluewater boats.

I have bids coming in from five riggers for new rod, reforming the ends of the existing rod, and using wire.

Thoughts are welcome. Advice from Bob is especially welcome.

sail fast and eat well, dave S/V Auspicious

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post #2 of 23 Old 12-05-2016
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Re: Rod v. Wire Rigging - Valiant 42

Remember that this should not be a "two answer only" question.
I would get a quote for Dyform wire as well. It has many of the desirable attributes of rod.
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post #3 of 23 Old 12-05-2016
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Re: Rod v. Wire Rigging - Valiant 42

From all my research into rerigging, it's looking like moving to line rigging is the way to go. Certainly more expensive than wire, but not much more than rod, however the advantages seem to outweigh the cost difference.
My only question is how less weight aloft will affect the motion of the boat at anchor. I know a mastless sailboat is horribly uncomfortable in any swell or chop at anchor.

"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
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Re: Rod v. Wire Rigging - Valiant 42

Far be it for me to contradict your experienced friend, but I think whether converting to wire affects the sale price depends on the buyer.

Some buyers won't like the higher cost of re-rigging with rod, and some will shrug it off in exchange for the longer service life of rod. Also, some people will value the ability to reproduce their own wire standing rigging with compression fittings. You can't DIY your own rod rigging (that I'm aware of).

Of course, if the buyer isn't educated on all these variables, then all bets are off.

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post #5 of 23 Old 12-05-2016
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Re: Rod v. Wire Rigging - Valiant 42

I would think that recent/new wire standing rigging would 'outsell' dated, questionable rod. Especially if mechanical end fittings were used for the DIY factor.
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post #6 of 23 Old 12-05-2016
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Re: Rod v. Wire Rigging - Valiant 42

Hi Dave,

I cruised in my Valiant Esprit 37 for a couple of decades- the first with the original rod rigging. Since that boat spent its life in the northern most rain forrest (Prince William Sound, Alaska) the rod seemingly lasted forever.

When it was ~20 years old and being prepped for my next cruise, I re-rigged it myself with wire rigging using Norseman fittings. [I also carried a couple of spare lengths of wire for field replacements- something I would not have been able to do with rod, which coiled into about a 6 ft diameter circle...]

I also upgraded the chainplates, etc. and consulted with Bob re: rig tuning. He was surprised I was able to reduce the weather helm [with the normal ~3° aft mast rake IIRC] these double-enders were known for. [I don't think that had anything to do with the wire rigging... but it was nice to know the boat was better balanced than most.]

If I recall correctly, Bob also indicated rod vs. wire wouldn't matter as long as everything was sized correctly... [But that was 20+ years ago, and I'm not putting words in Bob's mouth- just sharing my experience from way back then...]

In case this is helpful.

Cheers! Bill


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post #7 of 23 Old 12-05-2016
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Re: Rod v. Wire Rigging - Valiant 42

I cannot remember the numbers, but one boat back we re-did the cold heads on existing rod, and I don't think it was outrageously expensive...but that was a while ago.
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post #8 of 23 Old 12-05-2016
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Re: Rod v. Wire Rigging - Valiant 42

SVA - I'll be interested to know what conclusions you come to regarding re-rigging a V42. I have a V32 with rod rigging, age unknown.

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post #9 of 23 Old 12-05-2016
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Re: Rod v. Wire Rigging - Valiant 42

When asking my Rigger about a short rod section just to stiffen up a hydraulic adjuster he led me to believe the system in general is going away. But I wasn't looking to change my rod rigging so maybe he wasn't the guy to talk to. Maybe the new synthetics are closing in on an old market? I don't know just throwing this out there.
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post #10 of 23 Old 12-05-2016
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Re: Rod v. Wire Rigging - Valiant 42

FWIW, I replaced my 22 yr old rod rigging on my double spreader, 35 ft sloop after observing the re-heading of the rod from a newer Saga 43. There were a few head on that Saga that were worn down and of questionable longevity. As some of you know, there is no way to inspect the heads without destroying fittings and then shortening the rod and reheading if the turnbuckles have adequate capacity.

My rigger, who had inspected my rod after a lighting strike a few years before, advised that there were no indications of incipient weaknesses from age or the direct strike, but did not think it silly to replace the rod on a preventative maintenance basis. I did so, with the boat in the water, for a cost of about $3500, with no regrets. Wire was never a consideration.
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