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Ornery Cuss
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the process of wrapping up a complete refit of a sabre 28. Boat included a whole gut job, mostly all new structural bulkheads and stringers etc. Lots of glass work as well as fancy new (read "overpriced") wood work and paint too. The boat is nearing launch and Ive fabricated all new chain plates but am left with the same old rigging. Time for a replacement but which wire? Heres the issue: I have kept the clevis pin holes in the chainplates the same 3/8" size. This matches all the sizes on mast tangs too. My original wire is 7/32 but I cannot get swages from anywhere for new 7/32 wire to fit any of the 3/8 existing conditions. Do I go down to 3/16 wire or do I go up to 1/4"?? both allow 3/8 forks and eyes. I understand the "bigger is better" and "if stuck in a blow" peace of mind idea, but in my trade we overbuild everything to the point that it is unnecessary at times. Id rather not overbuild and add extra weight. Is going to 1/4" overbuilding? Will new 3/16 be suitable? I understand the basic dynamics of rig loading and can see advantages to both ideas but am looking for some fellow sailor insight. All ideas on such matters helpful. I know you've all been in these shoes wracking your brains about your boats and i need food for thought! Thanks in advance!
 

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My J24 uses 3/16 wire and given what we put it through it seems about right

Your current 7/32 is right in the middle of 3/16 and 1/4

(3/16 .187 ) (7/32 .218 ) (1/4 .250)

I would give a rigger final say BUT cant see steping down in size as a good idea
 

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If it were my boat I would step up to the 1/4. Going down a notch would worry me as I usually like to go one notch bigger/beefier on everything but that is just me.

I just replaced my standing rigging last month with 1/4" (had 1/4" originally) but I remember that the rigger had to ream out the chain plates and tangs slightly to make them the right diameter for the rigging pins. Maybe you could do that, change the diameter of the hole on the chain plates and tangs?
 

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Break, curse, fix, repeat
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Something important to keep in mind that I learned from Brion Toss out here in Washington, is that bigger wire is almost never better than what was originally specified. Besides the weight issue, there is a serious problem of not being able to tension the wire sufficiently to make it strong, without warping the hull, pulling out your chainplates, or distorting some other piece of gear not designed to handle the forces of tensioning the bigger wire.

I redid all the standing rigging on Aeolus last year and so am familiar with your struggles to find gear.

I'm not giving you a solution, but did want to add my two cents about the drawbacks of going bigger with wire.

Good luck and I assume you have found all the online rigging shops. Let us know if you need help in that regard. :)
 

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Consider going synthetic / rod where possible. Weight savings are about 20% under than that of wire when it is all said and done, and usually stronger than their counterpart. If going new that is what I did do.
First off synthetic has a 3-5 year life expectancy if that so who wants to be changing it out that often. Also Rod rigging has many of its own problems. For all you saying that the extra weight is so detrimental to the hull/boat how much weight do you really think it is adding for a 28ft boat? I can see if someone has 1/8 and wants to go to 1/2 but going up such a slight little amount will not even be noticable and in my opinion would be far better than going a size too small!

I can see if this were a state of the art 40ft racer with a huge mast and complex rig but for a 28' Sabre? Comon. Also I am not bashing the synthetic rigging as I think it is great for tri's and people who are serious about racing but for your average racer cruiser....
 

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Gee guys, The boat was designed for 7/32" 1 x 19. It has always had 7/32" 1 x 19. There are fittings available by reputable manufacturers that will fit the pin sizes he needs and the 7/32" 1 x 19. There are riggers available that can swage the fittings onto 7/32" 1 x 19.
DyForm, which is difficult to find these days, and synthetics are much more expensive than 7/32' 1 x 19.

If you ask me, I'd say stick with 7/32 1 x 19 wire.
But whatdo I know, I'm just a rigger. :D
 

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Gee guys, The boat was designed for 7/32" 1 x 19. It has always had 7/32" 1 x 19. There are fittings available by reputable manufacturers that will fit the pin sizes he needs and the 7/32" 1 x 19. There are riggers available that can swage the fittings onto 7/32" 1 x 19.
DyForm, which is difficult to find these days, and synthetics are much more expensive than 7/32' 1 x 19.

If you ask me, I'd say stick with 7/32 1 x 19 wire.
But whatdo I know, I'm just a rigger. :D
Dyform was I think was discontinued due to return issues by most middlemen that provided the product. Your major point depends on the brand of synthetics, area, and usage. Most of my rig is now rod with Dynmea for the backstay, and various synthetics for the lines. It was about 20% over cost of wire - and your right about life expectancy to some degree. The savings is in the weight, resale value, and handling of the boat - even for a Sabre 28.

Rod will outlive the failure rate of wire.

Where dynmea is used - UV - locale, etc greatly determine the outcome. Where it comes to rigging for critical non halyard issues usually provided within a nice UV plastic shield? My back stay at least is. Just providing options for the OP. There is always a failure point and important to note it varies according to materials used and expected use of the boat.
 

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Ornery Cuss
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Lots of great ideas guys, thanks!

Artby- the synthetic is not feasible for me if keeping my existing chainplate holes at 3/8" as the only mating hardware i find is 1/2" plus in size. Great idea though, i hadnt ever considered synthetic. If i had thought about this before hand, id have fabricated bigger chainplates to support the larger holes but, silly me, thought id have no problem keeping everything the same (then i was informed that they quit the 7/32" wire and 3/8" fitting thing in the 70's when the boat was built.)

Knothead, I was not aware of the ronstan fittings... I was told by my own rigger that my current setup could not be exactly replicated and that id rather go up to 1/4" wire. I guess that now i just try and get the stuff right from ronstan? Or should i let the rigger get the stuff?

The lesson im learning here from searching the net and searching the forums is that there is no real way to calculate accurately required wire size. There is lots of guessing even on the manufacturer end. Its like just go buy old rules of thumb and so be it... Not that i dont want a strong wire but shouldnt the systems be designed so that all the pieces are of the same load carrying capacity? So if the 3/8" clevis pin has a shear strength of say 2000 lbs and that connects the whole mess together, do we really need 8000 lb wire?

Another for instance: I sailed the boat all the way up from near new york city to cape cod in an average of 10-20 knots of wind. There was a pretty good load on the rig and we experienced all points of sail. The mast stayed up even with a severly rotted bulkhead (unbenounced to captain and crew) where maybe 1/4" of the plywood was still intact beneath the dryed out rot. Nothing else held the rig up. Im guessing, being a carpenter, that 1/4 plywood wouldnt support a shear load of even 150 lbs, nevermind the thousands the wire is rated for and even still the rig made 230 miles in moderate wind. This is the root cause of my idea to go down a wire size. Im sure the 3/16 wire is hundreds if not thousands of times stronger than the existing conditions that kept the boat sailing for the past atleast five years. Similarly a friend of mine bought a J24 this year and boy did we sail the heck out of it, only to find at the end of the season the same thing. Bulkheads holding chainplates almost rotted away to nothing at all beneath the paint and junk down below. Are these rigs really seeing the loads that we think?

Im Just trying to better understand and make this a good learning experience. Thanks very much everyones comments!
 

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It's not just about the breaking strength, it's also about stretch. A smaller diameter wire will stretch more under the same load which can affect sail shape, mast position and bend, etc. I am still amazed at how much the leeward shrouds will loosen when heeled in a good breeze - and that's with 1/4 inch wire on my 30-footer. I can't imagine what they would do if I had 3/16 wire.
 

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Ornery Cuss
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Good point Jim, i haven't really considered the stretch factor especially affecting the sail shape etc... I somehow overlooked the noresman fittings which seem to be of the correct size for my usage. But i have a concern with them that in an independent test the norseman fittings were only good for some percentage less than 100 percent wire strength. The others such as suncor and sta lok were good for over 100. Any feedback on norseman? Im going to read some back threads.
 

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Knothead, I was not aware of the ronstan fittings... I was told by my own rigger that my current setup could not be exactly replicated and that id rather go up to 1/4" wire. I guess that now i just try and get the stuff right from ronstan? Or should i let the rigger get the stuff?
I would let your rigger acquire the parts and material. I often have people bring me fittings and wire that they picked up somewhere and ask me to swage it for them. I usually do but I charge them more for it. I equate it to taking your own oil and filter to your mechanic and then asking him to change the oil in your car. The markup on items is an important part of a small businesses income.

Any feedback on norseman?
Definetly not my favorite mechanical fitting.
 

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The lesson im learning here from searching the net and searching the forums is that there is no real way to calculate accurately required wire size. There is lots of guessing even on the manufacturer end. Its like just go buy old rules of thumb and so be it...
Ummm, Brion Toss might not agree with statement. Everyone should probably own his book
Amazon.com: The Complete Rigger's Apprentice: Tools and Techniques for Modern and Traditional Rigging: Brion Toss: Books
 
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