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Check Alex's (Giulietta's) rig-tuning article here: http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-maintenance/42542-adjusting-your-rig.html
Also Ivar Dedekam's Sail and Rig Tuning. The procedure of tightening the leeward shrouds while under way is pretty standard.

As for stressing or galling the threads: Yes, this can be a problem, but not if you keep them well-lubricated. I use a lanolin-based product available from West Marine. Kinda smelly when you're first putting it on :p, but it lasted all season for us, last season.

Consider: There's got to be a way to adjust turnbuckles w/o taking all the load off them. What about the fore- and back-stays? What about when you want to un-step the mast?

We have a backstay adjuster that basically works like a big ol' turnbuckle. That thing gets adjusted while we're going to weather. It got galled (turned out it had obviously happened before we owned the boat), but I was told by the machinist that machined the replacement stainless "nut" that, as long as we kept it lubed, it would be no problem.

Jim
 

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Jim,

What does "galled" mean?
It's damage to steel surfaces that can occur due to improper lubrication and friction. What happens is that material is stripped from one surface and deposited on the other. Stainless-on-stainless is particularly susceptible to galling, which is why it's important to keep SS parts well-lubricated.

Galling can't really be fully repaired, except by replacing the damaged parts, because it involves the removal of material from one or both.

I learned all about galling when I administered the coup de grace (it turned out) to our backstay adjuster at the end of the season-before-last :p. Luckily we had a friend-of-a-friend who's an accomplished machinist with access to CNC machines :). (Upon the machinist disassembling the thing, it turned out I wasn't the first to abuse it, as there'd been precious few threads in the "nut" left to destroy.) The "nut" must've been of softer stainless than the screw, because the screw was fine. He didn't even have to chase it.

Jim
 
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