Please note that Paul Watson did a summary which may be found at November 9, 2001.
Jun 8, 1999
Spirit was built as a cutter, with a removable inner forestay and fixed (not running) backstays. It's a wonderful rig, and I've never had trouble with the mast pumping or going out of column (and we've sailed under stays'l in near-storm, force 8-9 conditions). I've done away with the club-foot boom (a killer and a space-hog) and am much happier now, with a hank-on stays'l sheeted to secondary cockpit winches via tracks on the cabin roof. (Chaotic tacking single-handed, but life's like that.) If anyone would like measurements of the rig--presumably built to Gilmer's specs--I'd be glad to provide them.
Nov 30, 2000
Standing Rigging: surveys were OK, but I did two things which you should consider if you buy a ketch (let us know if a sloop or cutter), besides rebedding chainplates after electropolishing (to combat crevice corrosion, a potential problem in unaerated stainless steel), which I probably would not have done if I didn't have to upgrade the mizzen chainplates:
(a) bring the mizzen stays back to Gilmer's specified 1/4" 316 SS, if you find that they are slimmer, especially if you plan to use a mizzen staysail. I added a halyard for the latter, with hinged sheaves top and bottom (that one at the height of a primary winch for my wife to pick me up!) so it can be used to pick up loads or MOB on the side, and two flying backstays starting from opposite the top sheave. I used the backstays whenever the mizstaysail is up, or when going hard down wind. You also need heavier chainplates, which led me to rebed and electropolish them on both masts
(b) change the fixed wire triatic (between the two mast tops) to a TR100 line brought down to a cleat on the mizzen mast. This allows to modify tension (the triatic can vibrate in spindle shape in certain not infrequent circumstances). Salty English cruisers, who visited this beautiful little
ship in islands, praided the ability to release or even cut the triatic in emergency eg, if one of the masts "totters", so the other mast can be saved.
I have cleaned the boat with fresh water on returning home, and brushed the bottom of the stays whhere they enter swagings, and am taking the masts down this winter to thoroughly inspect the whole length of the stays which, except for the mizzen's, are the original to my knowledge.
Dec 11, 2000
You mentioned your very interesting triatic - running high strength synthetic line instead of wire, and running it to a block on the mizzen and down to a cleat.
Do you need a winch or tackle to set this up?
I pulled my mizzen mast last week, a very simple operation using just a few friends and no crane. It's time to rerig with the proper 1/4 wire. I find the current wire triatic a pain, as adjusting anything on either mast messes it up, and climbing the mast to adjust that turnbuckle is a real pain!
February 04, 2001
I would like to know if anyone on the list has experienced a standing rigging failure?
If failure was experienced were there any warning signs?
Have any owners replaced standing rigging? Was it done in response to signs of impending failure?
Feb 5, 2001
One more thing: to prevent external halyard from flapping on he mast, I use a 1/8th line tied to a stay (two cloved hitches) and pull the halyards pack on each side away from the mast with one turn and two hitches, the 2nd one with a loop for easy release.
Don't forget to undo before releasing any halyard in the pack, as the knot goes up, fast out of reach!
February 04, 2001
I changed the mizzen rigging from the original under specs to new 1/4" with heavier tang and chainplates (electropolished the chainplates to fight crevice corrosion). This was done when I added a mizzen staysail halyard with two flying backstays on the mizzen. The mizzen staysail halyard acts also as a MOB halyard by having hinged seaves on top as well as at the bottom, the latter on the side in the way of the port primary winch, so that even my wife can lift me or the dinghy up...
I discovered this winter that my main stays are getting old (1977) with rust at the lower swaging, and one fiber broken, so off they all go. Brushing the swagings with a tooth brush and freshwater after a spraying passage will be systematic from now on.
I also am tired of water seeoing along the cable entry into the head, so am fitting a 60deg stanchion base on the mast, connecting to the 1 1/8 tube deck entry via a plastic hose and clamps, so that electric wires and antenna never see the fresh air and spray or rain...
never lost a mast but don't want to start, so check every year every stay at lower swage and change the whole set at first breakage of one wire. am lucky my set lasted 23 years... I have now a completely new set, 3 years on forestay, 2 years on mizzen and flying forestay, and 0 year on main stays, but will brush swaging and check yearly everafter.
Dec 28, 2001
The rope triatic is easier to disassemble/reassemble when unmasting. More importantly, it allows you to tighten the triatic as needed to avoid vibrating gyrations which can be severe and add stress to the rigging. It also allows you to release it or cut it off if one of the masts is on the point of falling, so that the other mast stays up. Several salty English cruisers in the Atlantic Islands lauded this rigging approach for that basic reason, and decided to change their ketch rigging to same, if they had not already done it.
May 18, 2001
The dual headstay chafing problem is the reason why I prefer the sloop rig, and yet fitted a removable headstay with hanked-on sails (8 oz yankee and 10 oz storm jib) instead of a permanent 2nd roller furler (besides cost). As described earlier, that stay is not parallel to the headstay, but from a foot below the mast to the stem (through a slot in the bowsprit), avoiding flying backstays. I padded the forward edge of the spreaders so that the stay, stored on one of the side chainplates, does not eat up that edge when rubbing against it. For the lower connection, I used the cheap Dutch Sliphoek from a Belgian shipchandler mentioned by Practical Sailor, which works very well, but there are sta-lock and other solutions.
May 17, 2001
Shortly I will start replacing the main mast standing rigging as I am starting to see corrosion on some of the fittings. A quick measurement appeared to be 1/4", 1X19 stainless steel cable. This seams to me as being to small diameter cable for main standing rigging. I would have guessed 9/32" minimum. What diameter of cable for your main mast standing rigging do others have? Also, I plan to re-rig the mizzen with 1/4".
May 18, 2001
Pianissimo's 1977 rigging was also 1/4" except on the mizzen where it was the next size down, despite Gilmer's specification of 1/4" throughout. I upgraded the mizzen stays in 1998 before going offshore although they looked OK, and had new chainplates electropolished and installed throughout.
I had changed the forestay to install a Profurl N32 the year before, and also installed a 1/4" flying forestay in 1998.
Back from the sabbaticruise, I found this past Fall a strand broken at the lower fitting of one main stay and some corrosion at several other stays, so I changed all the main mast stays, but kept the 1/4" which served well for 24 years including some hard sailing (half of the perfect storm once, and no fresh water rince after a lot of spray between islands). That does not mean your idea is wrong, but that puts more weight up high, and the boats are not stiff, although with a lot of form stability.
Thank you for reminding me to ST40 the wire entry into the lower fittings, and to religiously fresh water rinse them and brush them thoroughly after heavy spraying, with another drop of ST40 after drying.
May 18, 2001
Gilmer called for 1/4" wire on both masts. I rerigged both with the 1/4, which has worked well.
With such a short mast I can't imagine any need for stronger wire.
May 18, 2001
Thanks for the info. You both make good arguements for remain with 1/4" cable. The shorter main mast and the extra weight aloft are good point to consider. The cost difference between the two is not that much considering the fact that I would increase the breaking strength approximately 2000#. However, since I have not heard of any problems with the 1/4" cable and the original specs called for 1/4", this is probably the path I will take. I also plan to go with either Navtec or Stay lock rigging terminals. Any thoughts, concerns? I read somewhere that it was recommended to go with these for the lower terminals and use swage fittings on the uppers????
Bert, how do you like the profurl? I am currently saving for this upgrade and to date I have read alot of good things about profurl. What problems, if any have you had with profurl? Was installation easy? At what height did you install the drum off of the deck? I also was looking at the C32, do you have the Classic or Elite system?
May 18, 2001
I rerigged using Norseman fittings, which are much like Sta-locks, but seem a little easier to use. Either work well at deck level and aloft. I've rerigged many boats with these with no problems.
BUT... do read the instructions! Don't overtighten, and fill with a decent goop like 3M101. Avoid any goop with a vinegar smell.
Voyager is leaving Baltimore in two weeks for our two month summer cruise. We're headed to Bermuda (just for diesel, ice and rum swizzles) and then to the Turks & Caicos. If anyone has been to the Turks & Caicos, do you have any advice/suggestions about the place? The cruising guide makes these islands sound very inviting.
May 18, 2001
My profurl is 4 years old, and that was the baby of the line: N-32. I have sometimes wondered whether I should not have used the next size up, as there is a lot of work (I practically never switch to the yankee hanked on permanently on the flyinf inner forestay), but it has sofar worked well and is truly maintenance-free, contrary to most other brands which need fresh water rinsing, etc.
I only set the drum high enough for the SS circle on top to clear the anchors and chains on either side, and protected the titanium drum with foam rubber from such. Again that worked well, and the foam rubber is sufficiently marked that its added presence is well warranted. Even that limited raising has taken the long lower end extension option though, if I remember well.
May 18, 2001
1/4" standing rigging all round, except for the backstays of the main mast which is slightly smaller because it is split at the Y, above is 1/4" again.
We chose to change the mizzen to 1/4" after finding out that Allied did not construct according to Gillmer's spec's.
May 18, 2001
After 14 years, we have only had to change the stays, two of them, because the upper swedge had developed a crack. Each time it's the upper swedge and not the lower. According to riggers their experience is the lowers always go first. Could it be that the plastic boots we have on
the lowers are protecting them from salt spray?
May 19, 2001
I'd like to know more about your plastic boots, what shape-make-source, as I have just sprayed my lower stay swages and lifelines swages with ST40, and noticed some corrosion on 3+ year old connections, albeit submitted to severe salty spray coming up the Caribbean Islands chain.
May 19, 2001
Can you tell us what type of cracks, where and how detected (dye penetrant? or mere eye?). We only get to the mast top every couple of year or more, so it may be critical
May 19, 2001
Our plastic boots are commonly found in marine supply stores. They are 20" or so long and 1 1/2" O.D.
We loosen the screws, pull a pin and slide it over the turn buckles, replace the pin, adjust the tension and slide the plastic boot down over. They last for at least 10 years or more in the hot Florida sun and seem to protect well. PS, they also have a removable cap on the top to prevent water from spilling in from the stop.
May 19, 2001
What we do is use a bosun chair, a purchase with about 200 feet of braid and attach it to the halyard with a knot. My wife winches me up the mast to the approprate area and I first clean the swedges real good, then look at them for any suspious area, and finally check the suspious areas with an 80 power magnifier, similar to a jewelers device which will make a small hairline crack look like you just landed on the moon. We go up the mast at least twice a year for the inspections.
I remain puzzeled about the fact that riggers indicate other boat swedges all fail on the lower deck areas, it must be the plastic boots we have are protecting the lower swedges from the salt environment. Not one swedge has failed on the lower areas and only three failed on top in 15
In each case the crack found was in line with the length of the swedge and started by rust forming in a depression caused by the compression of the steel. That's the reason we keep them clean and shineing bright now.
Hope this helps,
November 9, 2001
The news group correspondence volume seems almost continuous lately. The subject areas vary through the entire range so for this installment I'll try to synopsize a few bits about the latest mail on various Rigging.
It's no secret that we have all suffered the fairly common problem of leakage from the chainplates, as have possibly hundreds of thousands of other boat owners.
Certainly the dynamics that effect movement of the rig are generally accepted as the best reason for the failure of most sealants. More importantly is the damage that is caused by the constant exposure to seawater.
The stainless material that appears to be common to most chainplates, pointed out by Don Bundy, # 129K, is either 304 (6) or 316 stainless. His submission indicates that there appears to be little difference visually but provides some valuable structural information:
The density of each is the same at 0.29-lbs./cu. in., where as the yield is different. 316 is 18 tons per sq. in. and 304 is 15 tons per sq. in.
I doubt that would make any difference in the long run.Rates of corrosion are essentially the same in salt or fresh water. As to pitting corrosion, type 304 has more of a tendency to pit than 316 and 316 can successfully be used with cathodic or galvanic protection.
In the case of James Self, #79 K, his were "backed up" with aluminum backing plates and he reports serious corrosion in the back up plates and we must assume that the electrolysis has affected the chainplates as well. He is currently involved in replacing the damaged chainplates and recently wrote;
I am in the process of changing out chain plates, and am stuck on my forward mizzen plates. When I got the new ones I found that the bolts would only go through the top two holes of the backing plates after putting them through the chain plate spacer block and knee. The bolts are skewed to one side to the point that the bottom bolt will not go through. The chain plate and backing plate holes line up by themselves, however. At this point I am
either going to have to re-drill the knee or have a wider backing plate made that can allow for the bottom hole to be offset in order to make it fit. Any suggestions?
Having done the replacement job not so long ago I recall that I had come close to making the same observation along with that recollection I wrote him;
James,If you are sure that you have correctly identified each matched pair and location, and the problem still exists, it appears that you had the new backing plates drilled to match the new chain plates rather than the old backing plates. almost certainly if you are working with the factory holes the original bore was skewed.
If you are certain that there is no rot in the encapsulated knees I suggest you fill all of the holes with a thickened epoxy paste and sand as flush as you can. Then clamp the plate in place and re-drill through the epoxy plugs, then set up the backing plate once again. If you re-drill the knees without protecting the core wood you most certainly will encourage them to rot. The down & dirty alternative is to seat the bolts in GE 5200 after you re-drill the original holes but remember that the inevitable and minor movement of the plates under load will ultimately wear the 5200 thin and probably un-seal the knees...
Stainless is a remarkable material with well-known qualities but hides some rather insidious tendencies. It seems to survive quite well when exposed to fresh air but when encapsulated or a surface is sealed from breathing it holds the corrosives within the micro-pores of its surface. One way to slow the corrosion is to assure the surfaces are polished to a very high degree, reducing the size and amount of the pores. Too often corrosion within these pores provides the initiation of microscopic cracks that are impossible to detect with the eye until the rusty streaks bring attention to a problem.
In my experience of living so long in a third world country I foolishly recommended insuring that stainless replacements be sanded with three grades of paper, finishing with 600 grit and then polished with two successive grades of rouge. I was quickly informed of electro-polishing and soon after researching this method of reducing the porosity of the chainplate surfaces recalled the hours of sanding and polishing. My archaic method got the job done and a very recent inspection showed that no pitting, rust or electrolysis ahs occurred in the five years since that tedium.
Beforeinstalling the chainplates through the deck to each knee comes the decision of how best to seal them. As of this writing I have no current input to share from others but I'll share my own method.
Afteryou have torn all of your references apart to find some old-fashioned hemp cored oakum caulking, (hemp is essentially a banned substance due to a similar or identical chemical compound as cannabis, thus a controlled substance if you believe that) you are ready for step number one.
1.Prepare a retainer cap, similar to the one screwed to the deck, over the chainplate, of stainless or simply one cut one from a plastic milk carton and fit it with GE 5200, to the underside of the deck as you install the new chainplate.
2.After the 5200 has set up, carefully tamp in a 1/2" layer of the oakum into the area surrounding each chainplate leaving a shallow reservoir in the remainder of the void.
3.Try to use a sun-warmed tube of 5200 and drizzle in enough to slightly overflow the remainder of this pocket.
4.Install the original or replacement, stainless cap over the 5200 insuring a visible amount of oozing surrounding the exposed chainplate, through the center slot and install the small self-tapping screws to lightly secure the cap plate.
5.Carefully wipe the excess from the edges of the plate but not the center slot, with paint thinner or acetone.
6.Wait 24-hours and snug up the screws.
7.Wait another 24-hours before "tuning" the rig tension.
The Bobstay & It's Tang
Some owners have replaced the bobstay itself. Typically the replacement bobstay can be wire, chain or rod and all will certainly do the job.
I find that I have had some experience with rod rigging failures while on my watch as the Fleet Maintenance Manager in Tortola for the Moorings (1991-1993) as well as another stretch with BVI Marine Management where we were primarily in the stainless fabrication business among other yacht services.
The 50-foot Beneteau charter boats, from about 1990 - 1993, the entire fleet was experiencing a series of rod rigging failures that saw more than a few rigs topple. The manufacturer mandated complete replacement of each rod and we did dozens of them, between charter booking dates, scary right? The rod extrusions were drawn to such a degree as to encourage spiral cracks at the formed 'ball-end' or where they passed through the spreaders.
Rod bobstays failed on several of the Taiwanese built cruising boats had been threaded from a poor grade 306 stainless rod and screwed into the corresponding end fittings that allowed a nominal amount of turnbuckle-type adjustment. We replaced at least six of these with duplicates fabricated from 316 grade, in our shop, upon the request of the owners. In each case I suggested they replace with chain or wire, neither of which needed to be subject to breaking the manufacturer's polished surface by machining threads into the material. A recent phone conversation with the shop foreman indicates that at least three have consequently failed after three to five years.
That Hidden Tang
To date I am unaware of any particular ASW II owner that has experienced the failure of the bobstay tang but it certainly did call for some attention and investigation.
Quite recently, while working to modify and clean up the electrical chaos in my anchor locker I was to remove the V berth decking.
While so much of the inner hull at the bow was exposed I began to search for a better way to route the drainage from the anchor locker into the bilge. My discovery was that what appears to be a factory designed gusset was formed in modestly thick fiberglass, running from near the stem-head, all the way to the bonding spot at the forward end of the cabin sole. It seems such a natural chase that I have decided to try and run a drain tube through it and attempt to lead it through a new channel in the secure bond of the sole's forward-most end to the forward bilge area and possibly directly to the aft-bilge.
It should prove that the anchor flange for the bobstay tang is actually imbedded beneath this gusset. Measuring the dimension of the distance from the stem-head to the tang can easily be transferred to the inner hull surface. I suspect cutting into the gusset gains access to whatever the configuration of the anchorage web for the tang truly is. Repair or replacement fabrications should not be as tough a job as most of us believe it to be and the gusset can easily be patched when completed.
Mizzen Base Sagging.
Some of the discussion regarding the sagging of the cockpit sole in the area of the Mizzen support seemed to require a bit of illuminating.
It began with a plea from Sal Aloi, hull # 130, about this problem.
Has any one had a similar problem with sagging mizzen? I am having problems finding an expert repairman to solve this problem. Any comments on what is the best approach. Is the type of repair that
oneself can carry out If someone out there has knowledge on this subject please reply. It will definitely be appreciated.
Bert, Pianissimo, # 80K, quickly responded with this:
... The flexing was really occurring on the hull, because these arch feet were resting on relatively large un-reinforced flat sections away from the longitudinal half round stiffeners. We reinforced these flat parts with fiberglass, all the way to the stiffeners, and stronger fairing mats at the junction with the arch feet. That seems to have resolved the problem and I have felt better about flexing of the hull. No cracks or undue motion have been noted during or after half of the Perfect Storm (65Kts wind and 12m waves) encountered in the Gulf Stream on the way to the Azores, July 1999...
Sal Aloi further described his problem with this note:
The sagging has caused severe cracks in the cockpit sole gelcoat and from the thickness of the gelcoat I get the feeling that there was some work done on this before. I also notice, on rainy days, some water collecting at the base of the mizzen making me suspect that it may have jeopardized the integrity of the
balsa core sandwich. Does this mean that I need to cut out a partial area of the cockpit sole and rebuild it?
My own experiences while twice cutting out the cockpit sole, once to repair the original, mild steel fuel tank and the second to replace the original with a new aluminum one reassured that the sole is indeed a sandwich with a balsa core and it is about two and a half inches thick in the center panel.
While immediately accessible, I was to reinforce the original 2X4 bridge with glass matting at each of the upper corners as had been suggested by the insurance surveyor.
However, during the rather extensive refit process, last year we were to discover that the twartships bulkhead beneath the bridge deck had deteriorated badly from water incursion due to the poorly designed placement of the engine instrument panel in the cockpit sole's forward bulkhead. Not only was there some minor sagging in the mizzen step area but also the bridge deck had lost its crown. A rather aggressive and lengthy repair/replacement of most of this structural bulkhead managed to cure both problems. Largely the afterthought to check the hull, where the mizzen bridge was supported proved more significantly that the mizzen support area and the bridge deck became almost integral after the repair and there is no, literally no flexing of the hull or the bridge deck amidships.
Nov 16, 2001
I am planning to upgrade the rigging on my mizzen. Currently it is less than 1/4" wire. I plan to go to 1/4" wire. The tangs on the mizzen mast will need to be replaced to accept the new rigging. Some of you have already gone thru this procedure. Any advice on this subject will be appreciated. My vessel is #116 so vessels 110 thru 120 may have been made identical to mine.
Nov 17, 2001
If you are referring to the tangs located within the lockers on the deck, we had a local machine shop make up new ones out of SS 3l6 or 304, can't remember which. You can use the present ones for a pattern and increase as appropriate.
The attachment at the top of the mast remained the same, not necessary to upgrade.
Nov 17, 2001
With respect, I'd tend to disagree about the tangs at the top of the mast.
I rerigged the mizzen last winter and upgraded the tangs and chain plates. The new wire was 1/4", which is rated at 8000 pounds strength. The tangs were, as I recall, about 1/16" thick and shaped in a fashion that wasn't as strong as the new wire.
Two shrouds, each of 8000# strength on each side, means worst case the tangs have to support 16,000# (if you want all components to have equal strength). So I went to homemade tangs (2 each side much as they are configured now) of 1/8" each, for a total thickness of 1/4", sized so
there's enough material so the tensile strength at each hole of 8,000#. The big hole that goes through the mast is sized at 16,000#.
I also replaced the thru-mast bolt with one 1/2" in diameter to match the strengths. It's actually part of the old bobstay I threaded, since that got replaced last year with wire. I put a bushing (3/4" OD, 1/2" ID) thru the mast to distribute the load over a wider surface.
I have no idea if all of this strength is needed; it probably isn't. The engineer in me just wanted to make sure there was no "weakest link".
Mon Nov 19, 2001
Sounds like you did the job right!! That mast should be standing after a force 11 wind with the full mizzen up!! I choose the lazy way out but our mast tangs were already 1/8" thick so maybe I'm ok. So far no problems have shown up. Have you ever calculated the actual forces that can be applied with a strong gale wind on the mizzen sail and mast and would heel angles modify or reduce those forces. It would be interesting to see a graph on the winds versus the stress applied directly on the shrouds.
Nov 20, 2001
No, never did that calculation exactly, but a rough calculation shows that if we pull hard on the top of the mizzen till the boat is laying over 90 degrees (mizzen parallel to the water), then the shroud load is a bit under 8000 pounds, or the strength of one 1/4 wire. This is a worst case
scenario, since we're assuming the main mast isn't involved. Your 1/8 (times two) tangs are then strong enough to handle this load. Also, of course, as the boat lays over the wind spills so she'll then tend to come back up, reducing the load.
The big unknown is impulsive loads: the shock load when, say, a huge microburst hits, or if the boat rolls so the mast is in the water. Since I'm an electronics, not mechanical, engineer those calculations are beyond me....
I'd imagine that we'd need about hurricane Mitch and a full mizzen, though, to get her over 90 degrees with no other sail up!
Tue Nov 20, 2001
Thanks for the info, I'll rest easy as I really don't want to get tangled up with any storm of that magnitude, 7l knots in the Gulf Stream last year for a day and a half will hold me for the next 25 years.>
1650 Mar 5, 2002
In preparation for replacing all of Windfallís (K064) standing rigging, Iím hoping someone can provide the designed wire dimensions for all standing rigging elements. Iíve noted past discussions of mizzen shroud dimensions but there seems to be no collective agreement as to the correct, read most effective, wire size. Iím particularly interested in the correct dimensions for the triatic stay and the split main backstay, as I believe they are currently undersized. Also, are there any opinions as to using swaged upper terminals and Norseman or Staylok lower terminations? Thanks in advance for any and all info.
1651 Mar 6, 2002
All standing rigging of the mainmast should be ľ" 1x19 wire. It is best to take the length from the old wire as there may be differences from boat to boat as the shape of the boat may change with time and the chainplates might be different. Figure the size so there is a lot of room for take-up in the turnbuckles, as the rigging will stretch a little. The split main backstay from the factory is a size smaller, but there is little advantage in having different wire sizes, particularly when it comes to keeping spare parts. You would need new backstay turnbuckles and drill out the backstay chainplates to fit the larger size turnbuckles. Granted that the usual place for swage fittings to fail is at the deck, I feel safer with staylocks at both ends.
The mizzen stays can be 5/32" 1x19. I am told that the original specifications are for ľ" wire, but there is no need for that. Some will claim it makes the mizzen steadier. But mizzen movement is not a problem
The boat can be sailed without the triatic stay, so strength is not an issue. I think the original was 5/32" 1x19. The triatic eliminates the tendency of the mizzen mast to lean aft with strong mizzen sheet tension.
I have added running backstays to the mizzen for use only with a mizzen staysail. Such a sail does not appear in the sailplan drawing but does provide added speed with the wind aft the beam and less than 10 knots. In higher winds it adds too much weather helm. Without the backstay, the staysail pulls the mast forward quite a bit. I use 1/8" wire and a three-part purchase lead to a pad-eye on the cockpit coaming near the stern rail.
Dick Weaver SWII75K
1655 Mar 6, 2002
Dear All: Dickís points are very good as usual, but I humbly submit that there were some historic recommendations to upgrade the 5/32" mizzen stays to the original ľ" Gilmer spec, possibly downgraded during the Allied yard difficult times.
I have done so, along with beefing up the chainplates. I recommend electropolishing new plates for better resistance to crevice corrosion in the oxygen limited, confined environment through deck. I do not regret it, even though I also added running backstays of smaller gauge when I rigged a staysail, just as Dick did.
I left the triatic unchanged at 5/32" (excuses are limits to money and weight high), but changed the wire joining the two mastheads to a T100 line with a heavy gage sheave at mizzen top and cleat at mizen base, in order to (a) allow tightening to avoid vibrations of the wire and (b) undoing or cutting loose if one of the masts totters. British offshore cruisers noted this very favorably and will do the same on their ketch for reason b.
Be well, Bert dF, Pianissimo 80K
1656 Mar 6, 2002
I think Dick Weaverís advice is very good. Certainly there is no need for ľ wire on the mizzen, because the support for the mast and probably the chain plate attachments would not stand up to to enough force to justify that heavy wire. However, when I rerigged I increased the mizzen rigging to 3/16. The existing chainplates could accomodate that. The rigger used aircraft fittings to allow the extra size. We went with swages for most of the rigging although I think Dick Weaver is correct that Staylok or Norseman are better for just a little more cost. The bobstay should probably be 3/8.
Temple Bayliss (K-32)
1663 Mar 8, 2002
I went with the ľ" because after speaking with Thomas Gillmer he indicated that he designed the SW II with ľ" for the mizzen and the manufacturer did not follow his design. I have found that in moderate to strong winds with the mizzen staysail up the manufacturers wire size is so small that the triatic begins to collapse under the higher wind pressures. With the ľ", I do not have that problem. I have been pleased with making the change as per Gillmers specís. and I do not need running backstays either.