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Im a racer and aggressive long distance cruiser, I often to validate my 'settings' by using a rig tension gage while underway and when 'hard over' so that the caps and lowers when at the heel angle I normally 'max-out' at doesnt go much or often go beyond 30% tension - 30% is where stainless rigging begins to 'yield' or develop permanent 'stretch'. Also constant cycling the rigging beyond 30% leads to rapid premature metal fatigue in the wire and end fittings, as well as chainplates.
Are you saying to take tension measurements while sailing at the most efficient heeling angle for the wind condition and that tension should be no more than 30 per cent of breaking load?
What then do you prescribe for the lee shrouds, just snug, hanging..., or does it matter so long as they do not exceed 30 per cent of breaking load when loaded?
Also if I read this correctly, what point of sail do you recommend when taking tension readings as point of sail will greatly affect fore stay and aft stay loads?
John
 

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HELP!
I've been reading this thread as I have recently removed and serviced my chain plates and would like to insure my rig is properly tuned. On the Pearson 28 it may not be such a big deal with fore stay, back stay upper shrouds and single lower shrouds. The keel stepped mast is rather robust, more like a battering ram Hagar the Horrible would want. The stays are 1/4 inch, the uppers 7/32 and the lowers 9/32. I had no problems getting the mast "in column" at the dock, and over a couple of sails adjusted the shrouds so that there is only a little slack in the lees with a pretty good wind, and no reef in the main.
So my question is "how do you know that the mast is still "in column" while sailing?"
I have tried to lay on deck with my head at the base of the mast and sight up the mast, but I wear trifocals, and it is very hard to see a straight line for that distance, especially while heeled and crashing through the chop that normally goes with a brisk wind.
Any tricks to the trade?
John
 

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OK, thanks. I don't think that back in 1976 Pearson could manufacture a boat to that level of specification, so it would be overkill to apply those standards now. It seems to me that if the mast is "in column" at the slip, then it would have to be the same when sailing (even though that column is at an angle) and that the looseness of the shrouds comes only from hull flex, which would not necessitate adjustment to the shroud tension as that would take the mast "out of column" when the stresses are removed. What an opportunity for some circular reasoning!
As to tension, a gauge would be useful to insure that one is not over tightening the shrouds and stays for reasons noted above, but certainly not to "tune" every wire to a specific number. Kind of like building a bicycle wheel.
John
 
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