Time to replace standing rigging

Ariel rolled off the Cape Dory production line in 1979. As far as we know, her standing rigging is original. Even though she’s a freshwater boat and spends half of her life on the hard each year, her rigging – which is in great shape for its age – is now 36 years old. Most riggers out there will probably tell you that 10-15 years in a saltwater environment means it’s time to replace. Take into consideration life as a freshwater boat, and 20-25  might be pushing it. Since we’re not eager to push our luck anymore than we have, Ariel’s getting all new standing rigging, including bronze Hayn turnbuckles.

I know a lot of boat owners decide to go up one wire size when re-rigging because 316 wire is a tad weaker than 304, but I decided to keep the wire sizes the same – 9/32″ and 1/4″ – primarily because I already had on-hand enough Sta-Lok mechanical fittings to handle the cap shrouds, backstay, and headstay. (Sadly, I have a stack of 5/16″ fittings, but the pin sizes are 5/8″ instead of the necessary 1/2″).

Based upon recommendations within the CD community, I ordered wire and fittings through Rigging Only out of Fairhaven, MA. Rather than spend a lot of extra money for Sta-Loks all around, I ordered swaged toggle fittings for the upper ends of the intermediates and lower shrouds. The lower ends will be Sta-Lok threaded studs attached to new bronze turnbuckles. Ordering enough Sta-Loks for all the wire would have increased the cost more than a couple hundred dollars, too much of a stretch for an already-stretched budget.

For anyone considering re-rigging, here’s a list of parts and cost:

ArielRiggingIntermediates ArielRiggingLowerShrouds ArielRiggingLowerStaysail ArielRiggingMasthead

Since no post is complete without a picture, here’s one of the mast ready to be pulled last fall.


2 Responses to Time to replace standing rigging

  1. Chris says:

    Wow that is pretty cool.

    • David says:

      Routing the new wire through the staysail and jib foils might prove interesting, but otherwise things should go smoothly. It’ll be nice to have new rigging.

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