Re: Replacing Standing Rigging

Craig Briggs

Hi Kent,
We just finished replacing ours - here's my 2 cents:

You didn't say if you'd had a problem or not, or if you just judge your rigging to be too old and want the added comfort of new rigging (or maybe your insurer wants it)(what year is Kristy?). Would be interested in your thinking.

Ours was 18 years old with a few years in the tropics and we had a mizzen lower break on us last year at the lower swage - that's a clarion call in my book!

Per great advice from Joel - replace everything including turnbuckles and clevis pins. I'd include new bolts for the toggles at the spreaders and mast top, too.

We found a great price and super support from Seco South (and had great experience on previous boat with them)- unfortunately, the shipping and customs into Italy about doubled the cost. Thus we went with ACMO - the original French supplier to Amel. They didn't charge us VAT, as they billed our US address, and shipping was only 190E. The advantage, of course, was that they had the exact specifications.

By the way, ACMO apparently used to engrave the exact measurement of the shrouds on the lower swage. If yours is the right vintage you'll see numbers like 19285 (or whatever) which is the millimeters of length from pin-to-pin with the turnbuckle in the 1/2 closed position.
On our new rigging from them they've changed that and now engrave the date of manufacture. If you contact ACMO, they may be willing to email the original specs, which you can cross check with the engraved numebers on the boat.

As for mechanicals over swaged, I'd have preferred mechanicals, at least on the bottom, but the price was about 20% more, so we went with swaged and that did save me a lot of time when I installed the rigging.

That took about a week with Katherine hoisting me up and down the masts as we replaced the shrouds one-by-one. I much prefer "hugging" my rigging myself and knowing it's done right (I recall finding your "professional rigger" in Texas having left out the headstay cotter pins)- but hiring it done is easier - remember you get what you inspect, not what you expect!

Had we gone with Seco South, we'd have changed to US sizes, and right hand threads, instead of the left-hand threads that Amel put on the boat for some reason (if anyone knows why, I'd be curious.) Btw, we saved a bundle by going right handed, even through ACMO.

One peculiarity you may have to address is that the head stay turnbuckle may be a specialty item that's shorter than normal - we only had 14" from the bottom of the furler (the wrench flat on the swaged bolt) to the pin and the American suppliers didn't quite know how to address it - Acmo had the original size turnbuckle. (This may be a peculiarity of the Santorin, not your SM, but do check - also, you may not be able to use a mechanical fitting there.)

We debated on keeping some of the old rigging for emergency repairs but decided against it - too many "treasures of the bilge" on board already, but belts and suspenders aren't all bad.

Good luck with the project,
Craig Briggs,
s/v "Sangaris" - Santorin #68 - cruising Croatia.

I'm going to have my standing rigging replaced this summer and have read all the previous posts I could find regarding same. What are your thoughts about swaged vs mechanical fittings? Would you replace all the hardware, too? I'm thinking I'll go with the swaged fittings and keep the best old one of each size as spares. Maybe buy an extra-long mechanical fitting of each size to do repairs as I'm told that breaks usually occur at the lower-end fittings. Could maybe do a repair even at sea??? Would you change to US sizes instead of metric?...I'll be sailing in S. Pacific before these start to wear out, so I'd like to have some ability to do repairs if something snapped.

Any thoughts?


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