When it comes to rigging best practice, prevention is key: “Replacing a piece of rigging is always more affordable than dealing with the mess of a dismasting,” says HYS Senior Rigger Laura Slye. But what are the items to be aware of?
Standing Rigging—Know the age of your rigging: stainless-steel wire rigging has a lifespan of 10–12 years, rod rigging 15-20 years depending on the environment, and use. If it’s old, replace it. Whatever its age, inspect it: if something is bent, cracked, or not right, replace it.
Furlers—Salt corrosion can lead to costly replacements for genoa or in-mast furlers. Furlers should be inspected and serviced annually and cleaned with freshwater whenever possible.
Running Rigging—Check for chafe and UV damage on a regular basis. If a line is chafing repeatedly in one spot, consider altering the lead. Remember—running rigging raises sails but it also takes people aloft for rigging maintenance.
Winches—A malfunctioning winch can be a liability and if you don’t take care of them dirt and corrosion can set in and clog up the works. Think about servicing them at least once during a season. If you think a winch isn’t working great, let us know and we’ll take a look.
Outhaul Cars and Bearings—Are they in good shape? Too many of us set the lines at the beginning of the season and forget all about them.
Mainsheet Travelers and Genoa Cars—Are they moving smoothly or do they stick?
Lifelines and Stanchions—These should be inspected at least once a year. In good condition they could save your life.
Hydraulic Backstays and Vangs—Hydraulic mechanisms should be serviced every 3 to 5 years. It’s a common misconception that if it’s not being used nothing can go wrong, but UV and salt can be particularly damaging to an idle system.
Chainplates—Built to take tons of stress chainplates are reliant on the bedding around them: if it’s failing salt corrosion can get in to the metal and water ingress can damage the deck, and or chainplate supports.
The difference between affordable and high-budget rigging issues can be as simple as developing a habit of routine visual inspection. If you see something that you’re not sure about, don’t ignore it, talk to our riggers today, they could save you a deal of money.
For more information, please contact your service manager or firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-633-2970.