04 Sep What to look for when checking the rig
The condition of your rig is fundamental when considering any sea passage, but no more so than when undertaking a long offshore trip.
At Halcyon Yachts offshore passages are second nature, many of our yacht deliveries cover thousands of miles. To ensure peace of mind during a yacht delivery we always check the rig for any wear or tear.
There are several things to look out for, and there are regular maintenance tasks that can help prolong the life and condition of your rig:
We recommend checking the rig by going aloft using either a bosuns chair or climbing harness. Taking a camera with you can be useful to record any marks or signs of damage (but make sure it is tied off with a lanyard!). The pictures will then help when explaining any issues to a professional rigger.
Starting at the top of the mast, here are a few things to look for:
- Check the navigation light attachment and any other fittings. Make sure everything is firmly secured. Also check the quality of the light fitting. Crazing on the plastic will significantly affect the quality and range of the light.
- Check the top of the furling gear, if you have had a halyard wrap then look out for signs that the wire halyard has started to unwind and breakdown or if there is excessive chafe on a rope halyard.In extreme cases the forestay can also be damaged. Check all sheaves are running freely and in good working order. If there is too much sideways or vertical play in a sheave, then it’s time to look at replacing it. If sheaves are not running freely, they may simply require some silicon spray.
- Check all ropes for signs of fraying, there is no harm in swapping ropes ‘end for end’; leading the worn top end back to the cockpit and using the less worn end at the top of the mast.
- Check the mainsail track looking for excessive wear, loose fasteners and loose joints in the track. Many masts have damaged track where the headboard car sits whilst sailing.Inspect the whole of the mast including the sheave boxes for signs of cracking
- Check all shackles and pins to ensure they are tight and in good condition, make sure they are wired or cable tied to prevent them coming loose.
- Check all wire terminal backing plates for splits. Depending on your level of knowledge, you might need to check with an expert if you are unsure.
- Check for missing or loose rivets, if there is any play in them, they need to be drilled out and replaced.
- Check your radar mounting (if you have one). It is vulnerable as it is heavy and prone to getting swiped by the jib.
- Also check the security of the spreaders, both the inboard ends that are attached to the mast and the outboard ends that the rigging passes through or is attached to.If you have spreader end protectors on the tips, take them off and inspect for corrosion underneath. If you don’t have protectors, it’s well worth fitting them to protect the sail.
- Check the sail entry gate. If the mainsail slides have been falling out over the course of the season then the pin or stop is missing, which is easy to replace.
- Run your hands carefully along wire rigging, any bumps or broken strands mean the rigging is damaged and will need to be replaced.
- If your mast is keel stepped, check the drain holes in the mast are clear. Salt water sitting in the bottom of your mast is a breeding ground for corrosion.
There are three main points of weakness on a boom: The gooseneck, vang and mainsheet. These will be put under a lot of strain when sailing, so it’s essential that they are firmly attached.
- Check for any signs of stress cracks or excessive wearing.
- Make sure that the gooseneck toggle has a washer above and below where it fits into the bracket and perhaps the boom.
- Ensure all the sheaves are running freely.
If anything seems out of place or damaged then we highly recommend that you contact a professional rigger to replace or repair as required.
Halcyon Yachts Ltd is a dedicated international yacht delivery specialist with highly experienced and qualified crew. For more information or to see details of their recent deliveries please visit www.halcyonyachts.com