Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Replacing standing rigging

Ian Shepherd

Hello Mike,

20 years seems a very generous allowance by you insurance agent. A friend of mines insurance company insists on new standing rigging after 10 years, which could be considered harsh as mileage and weather conditions should really be taken into consideration. I think that at 18 years age you should be seriously considering replacement.

I changed my rig after 13 years and 26,000 nms. Having been dis-masted once, I have no desire to repeat the experience. The failure was not caused by a wire failure but due to a failed weld on the lower port spreader to mast bracket joint, when the boat was just 13 weeks old.

A point also worth considering is that when you have lost your main mast the stability of the boat is completely changed. I was unable to exceed 1.4 knots under engine without violent rolling from side to side. It took me over 6 hours to cover 10 miles back to port. Don't try this a long way from shore. In fact don't try it at all. In my view it is just not worth trying to extend the rig life.

A couple of months ago I represented another SM2K owner whilst he had a pre-sale survey carried out in his absence. The yacht was built in 2001. The surveyor and I talked about rig failures at length. He said that if the wire breaks outside the swaged fittings, it will do so a couple of millimetres above the top of the swage. I have seen two Amels, where luckily only a strand has failed at this point, both on a mainmast lower.

During the survey, he found two serious rig problems using a small mirror. Both the forestay eye that attaches to the top of the mast and an eye at the top of one of the cap shrouds had serious cracks, and in his view were a disaster waiting to happen. Other parts can fail before the wire does.

By the way Mike, I am told you can get the complete Amel kit from ACMO in France  on a pallet for €8000. You might be able to save a bit by shipping the parts from France. I had Crusader re-rigged in Marmaris Turkey for €8000 including labour using ACMO fittings and a Danish made wire.

One other point picked up from the surveyor which is worth passing on, concerns the battery compartment. He was involved with an Amel whose battery compartment exploded so violently that it damaged the ceiling, the engine compartment wall and blew the aft cabin door off its hinges, even though it was open at the time! It was determined that the cause of the ignition of the hydrogen build up in the battery compartment was a loose battery cable. Something we all need to check from time to time.

Good luck with your new rig.

Ian Shepherd SM2K 414 (2003) Crusader Larnaca Cyprus

On 02/01/2018 22:05, 'Mike Ondra' mdondra@... [amelyachtowners] wrote:

Aletes SM#240 1999 is also facing the re-rigging decision. Various people and sources on internet search suggest wire rigging service life of 16, 12, or even 6 years. Most recommendations are by those with vested interest in replacements, ie. riggers and wire manufacturers. I have seen a Coast Guard report relating to failures on commercial catamarans in Hawaii that talk about 10 years. Finally I checked with our insurance agent. I figure if any entity has skin in the game (other than the boat owner/occupants) it would be the insurance industry. Our agent was quick to say that the insurance carriers are OK with standing rigging up to 20 years. Thereafter they will require detailed rigging inspections (not just looking up from the deck) every 2 to 5 years (depending on the insurer). This seems like a reasonable and reasoned way to address the aging rigging question and for me was comforting relative to the somewhat arbitrary nature of the shorter lifespan recommendations.


So. Here we are with an 18 year old boat that in Amel terms I would consider lightly used (probably less than 12 months total in the open ocean). We are looking at a $13K investment with Gaetan at Caraibe Marine, possibly later this month. This is not quite a case of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” but it does feel like, if a  thorough inspection does not identify any problems, why replace a perfectly good rig, especially one this robust.


Anyway, we are leaning towards doing it. There seems to be no way to evaluate investing $13K in the equation of risk v. peace of mind.


Thoughts welcome.


Mike Ondra

Aletes SM#240 Falmouth, Antigua


From: amelyachtowners@... [mailto:amelyachtowners@...]
Sent: Tuesday, January 02, 2018 11:48 AM
To: amelyachtowners@...
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Riggers In Trinidad and Martinique



I've been in the group a while but don't often access it.  I' finishing up a circumnavigation and planning to replace the rigging on my 1995 Super Maramu.  It looks great to me, but it is 22 years old.  I have three quotes from different riggers in different countries. The costs vary greatly for both labor and parts, but especially labor.  I have included a summary of the quotes below broken down by labor and parts.  All quotes are for 316 stainless steel and includes all turnbuckles and upper eye pieces.  My question to this forum is whether any of you have knowledge of Jason Romell in Trinidad.  I've had good reports on Gaetan of Caraibe Marine  in Martinique who is recommended by the local Amel office.   Romell is recommended by Peake Yachts in Trinidad where my boat is on the hard.  I include these details since it may help other owners thinking of re-rigging.  BTW, one owner not ed that he was told by Gaetan that he had never seen an Amel with a failed rig.  I provide the costs in Euros and US Dollars converted at a rate of 1.19 US dollars per Euro.  



Quote From  

          Euro              Labor

          Euro            Parts

        Euro          Total

    Dollars      Total

Trinidad - Jason Romell





Martinique - Caraibe Marine





Seattle - Northwest Rigging





Seattle Higher Than Trinidad By





Martinique Higher Than Trinidad By





NW Higher Than Trinidad By





I am trending toward the less expensive quote from Trinidad contingent on meeting Jason on Friday.  But I'm very tempted to go for the more expensive quote from Martinique given the recommendation form Amel.   Ken Powers had Aquarius rigged in Martinique last year and was quite happy.  


Any comments appreciated.  Happy New Year to all!


Bill Shaproski

S/V Pacific Cool


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