SPARS, RIGGING, AND HARDWARE

Section 3 to 3-18
January 1972

One of the most rewarding activities connected with sailing is tinkering with your boat's rigging and hardware. The best skippers always seem to be looking aloft at the sails and then thinking about new fittings, or new ways of improving old ones. In this way a person acquires a thorough understanding of how and why every piece of sailing equipment works, plus how to repair and maintain it. As sailors, we too are constantly trying to achieve better and easier boat performance, thus the gear that we install is constantly being improved. What we hope to accomplish in this section is to give you the background information for setting up your boat in the beginning for normal sailing conditions.

When you need more help and information, please consult your local dealer. He is prepared to assist you in obtaining the best type of sailing hardware for your needs in your local area. One may also refer to the annual "Lands End Yachtman's Equipment Guide". This book should prove invaluable to you and your dealer in the selection of the best additional equipment for your boat. The latest issue may be obtained for a minimal amount (approximately $2.50) from Lands' End Publishing Corp., 2241 North Elston Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60614, and will be an excellent addition to any sailor's library.

CAUTION

When placing hardware in any position other than that specified on the Deck Hardware Layout Drawing in Section 3-13, ALWAYS consult the WIRING DIAGRAM to avoid cutting any wires or striking electrical fixtures.

3-1 MAST TUNE

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD ANY OF THE RIGGING BE SET UP "BAR TIGHT". FOR ALL SAILING CONDITIONS WE RECOMMEND THAT THE MAST BE VERTICAL AND IN COLUMN, WITH THE RIGGING "FIRM". IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT A KNOWLEDGEABLE PERSON WHO UNDERSTANDS THIS CONCEPT OVERSEES THE INITIAL TUNING OF THE MAST AND RIGGING.

You should be able to stand facing the mast, reach out and pull on any stay and see the mast move in that direction. With a light pull or push by hand at chest height, this dockside starting point will have both stays of equal tension with about 1" to 2" of play in the uppers and 2" to 3" of play in the lowers. The backstay and jib stay should be of equal tension and have about 1" of play. If the mast is stepped on deck the rigging will be tighter than a mast stepped on the keel. With double lowers the after lowers will be looser than the forward lowers by about 1" of play. Some of the newer tall rigs have intermediate shrouds, the tension of which should be between that of the uppers and lowers.

On a large mast you may notice a line of rivet heads running up one side of the mast. These hold a 3/4" PVC tube to the inside of the mast for the running of optional instrument wires.

The final tuning of the mast should take place while sailing to windward in a medium breeze of 8 to 10 knots. Sighting along the backside of the mast from deck level will indicate what further turnbuckle adjustment needs to be made to the WINDWARD side of the mast. The top of the mast SHOULD NOT "hook" to windward. In a medium breeze the mast should be straight and this is normally accomplished by taking up on the lower shrouds. ALWAYS TACK, and then make the turnbuckle adjustments on the now LEE or slack side of the mast and then sight the mast on the new, windward side, for further corrections. After a few tacks, the mast should be straight! Secure the rigging by inserting cotter keys into the turnbuckles, spread them open and cover with tape to prevent any snags!

Special attention should be given to the initial stretch of the rigging, especially after the first sail in a strong breeze. In windy conditions it is actually desirable to have the mast head "fall-off" slightly to leeward, giving the mast a smooth, even curve from head to dock. In a tall rig the intermediates play an important part in controlling the upper mast section and this will be especially noticeable in stronger wind conditions. After a few more sails in strong breezes, the rigging should be checked again for tune as additional stretch will occur.

3-2 BACKSTAYS

When racing, the backstay may be tightened to compensate for the extra forward loading applied by the Genoa. At the conclusion of the race it is very important to "slack-off" the amount you "took-up" on the backstay turnbuckle, as this avoids setting up unnecessary strains on the hull and rig. Since you want to keep the mast straight while racing, you will probably tighten up on the jib stay first so when the backstay is slacked off the mast head will hook slightly forward. When the backstay is tightened up, this "hook" will disappear and the mast will be straight.

Too much tension on the backstay is probably the prime reason for mast and rigging failure. It has been found that tension in the backstay can increase 150% to 200% due to the wind load on the headsail and dynamic loading due to heavy seas. With the optional hydraulic type adjusters (see diagram in Section 3-18) tension can easily be applied far beyond that which is necessary or safe. The tension on a shroud or stay should not exceed 25% to 30% of the cable's breaking strength at the outside limit. Below are the breaking strengths, in pounds, for 1x19 stainless steel wire cable as supplied by the factory:

3/16" = 4,700

3/32" = 1,200

9/32" = 10,300

1/8" = 2,100

5/32" = 3,300

7/32" = 6,300

1/4" = 8,200

5/16" = 12,500

3/8" = 17,500

On insulated backstays, unless otherwise specified, the upper insulator is located 18" down from the top swage eye, while the lower insulator is 7'6" up from the bottom swage eye.

3-3 GENOA GEAR

The trend in modern yacht design has been to smaller main sails and larger jibs or "Genoas". Usually any sail that overlaps the mast is considered a Genoa and is identified by the amount of this overlap. Thus, if the distance from the face of the mast to the bow ("J" on the sail plan) is 10 feet and a line 15 feet distant (LP) was drawn parallel to the headstay, then any Genoa with a CLEW on that line would be a "150% Genoa". What is extremely important to realize is that these large sails can concentrate very high loads over a very small area, hence the gear must have high safe working loads. For example: in 25 knots of wind, a Genoa is subjected to a pressure of about 4 pounds per square foot, or ONE TON for a 500 square foot Genoa.

Since the above load could easily be transmitted to one spot at any given time, ALL of the Genoa Gear has been designed and prepared to accept those extreme loads. The track is thru bolted and all blocks are oversize. All other fittings are of the best possible design and strength FOR THE JOB INTENDED. Most fitting failures occur from improper usage, usually by trying to use a light or cheap fitting instead of the proper factory recommended one. If loads are expected to come close to the SAFE WORKING LOAD of the block, then the next size larger MUST BE USED. Please remember that if a line turns back on itself, like all halyards, spinnaker sheets, guys, and jib top sheets, then the load on that block is almost DOUBLED.

3-4 SPINNAKER GEAR

With the trend to larger Genoas, the spinnakers also get larger and need larger and stronger gear to handle them. As with the Genoa Gear, our Spinnaker Gear has been designed and fabricated to meet the extreme loads that this beautiful, but sometimes frustrating, sail can produce. While not included in the Spinnaker Gear, the optional Reaching Strut is a necessity on boats over 30' and could well be used on smaller ones. In beam reaching conditions, when the pole is up against the headstay, an unnatural load is put on the mast, stay, and pole. The reaching strut allows for a better angle of pull for the after guy, pulling the pole off the headstay and thus reducing the loads to a safer point. This also eliminates chafe of the after guy on the upper shroud. To save wear and tear, read up on spinnakers and then have a couple of experienced friends join you for the first couple of spinnaker drills.

3-5 REEFING GEAR

Two methods of mainsail reefing, roller and cringle (jiffy reefing), are in common use and their pros and cons could be discussed forever. On boats that have their mainsheet on the end of the boom, there may be a roller reefing mechanism contained in the gooseneck fitting. An optional GEARED ROLLER REEFING GOOSENECK may be installed in which a handle cranks the boom around and the sail is rolled down around the boom.

With mid-boom sheeting, most people will use the optional "Cringle Reef System", which is well illustrated and explained by drawing STD-OO-0030 in Section 3-14. This system is quite fast, provides better "sail shape control" than does roller reefing and is definitely recommended for the racing skipper. It is really up to you to figure out if you want to go to roller reefing or cringle reef. After having consulted your own local experts you will know enough so anything we can add would be superfluous!

3-5.1 JIB ROLLER FURLING

This optional item has been included here to draw your attention to the fact that the factory installed Jib Roller Furling IS NOT DESIGNED FOR REEFING THE JIB. Experience has shown that the jib will have a poor shape and can be badly stretched out of shape and torn if an attempt is made to use it partially furled. What we have here is a convenient way to quickly furl ANY HEADSAIL from the cockpit. It is extremely important that when the jib is hoisted IT SHOULD NOT BE HANKED ONTO THE STAY. Only the roller or strap on the crane attached to the upper swivel should be around the headstay. This prevents the halyard from twisting and also gives a fair lead into the jib halyard block.

3-6 SELF-TENDING JIB

Two types of optional, factory installed, arrangements may be used. The simplest, and more common on smaller boats, has the club boom lashed directly to the foot of the jib. A becket block is mounted in the middle while blocks are placed at the base of the forward stanchions. The jib sheet is then rove from the becket block to the port stanchion block, back through the becket block to the starboard stanchion, and aft to the starboard cockpit winch.

A second method, which is used on larger boats, calls for the club boom to be attached to a special longer headstay turnbuckle with a gooseneck. This means that the headstay will be shorter than normal to accommodate this fitting. A boom topping lift block is also attached to the mast at the spreaders while deck blocks will be mounted port and starboard in line with the double block on the boom end. The sheet is led from the starboard becket deck block to the boom, to the port deck block, back to the boom, the starboard deck block, and through a deck fairlead to the starboard cockpit winch. With this rig it will be necessary for the lower jib hanks to be on a lacing line to allow the jib to be lowered without the boom being topped up or the outhaul being slacked.

3-7 BOOM VANG AND MAST HEAD FLY

These two dissimilar but extremely important optional items should be on every sailboat. It's pretty hard to sail if you don't know the wind direction and a mast head fly will always be pointing in the direction the wind is coming FROM. A quick glance aloft will instantly tell you the proper trim for your sails or course change, especially when going downwind when you don't want to gybe.

This brings up the boom vang which will hold the boom horizontal when off the wind, thus keeping the mainsail flat and from bouncing around in light winds and/or a chop. The factory installed boom vang is rigged from the boom to a bail at the base of the mast so it does not have to be down rigged when gybing. This is an added safety feature, since if an accidental gybe were to take place the boom would swing over without lifting up and allowing the leech of the mainsail to catch on the old, leeward spreader. Keep the boom vang slack when going to weather and, when off the wind, set it up tight enough to flatten the mainsail without allowing the leech to "cup" or "hook" inwards.

3-8 FOLDING MAST AND HINGED MAST STEP

If you have equipped your boat with this optional item it is completely explained and illustrated by drawing STD-02-18201 in Section 3-15.

3-9 OPTIONAL SAIL PLANS

When you have a sail plan that is different than standard, this optional sail plan, along with the rigging specifications, mast assembly, and any related information, will be found in Sections 3-16 for the SHORT or TALL RIG and Section 3-17 for the KETCH RIG.

3-10 PEDESTAL STEERING

The pedestal on the optional factory installed Pedestal Steering unit is cast from a corrosion resistant aluminum which is then anodized, primed, and painted with a gloss white polyurethane enamel. All other metal parts are stainless steel or manganese bronze (exterior ones have a marine chrome finish), thus removing any magnetic attraction from around the binnacle mounted compass, which should be adjusted by a professional. Know which are the adjusting screws and then DON'T move them after they have been set.

Aluminum steering wheels are coated with white nylon, while the larger stainless steel steering wheels are polished and may be partially coated with white nylon.

The unit is virtually maintenance free, but prior to your first sail climb down below and check out the entire installation. With someone turning the wheel from stop to stop, make sure the cables are leading properly and EVERYTHING is tightened down. Next, sea trials are in order. Check for leaks at the packing gland where the rudder post tube has been cut away to allow for the installation of the quadrant. Now look for freedom of travel in the system and the cable tension. A MODERATE amount, enough to eliminate "backlash" or "play", is recommended, as excessive tension creates added friction and makes for harder steering.

Periodically check for loosened bolts and cable tension, especially after the first few sails. They usually need tightening as the roller chain seats in. Look for signs of wear or "fish hooks" on the cable and replace as necessary. Three or four times a year, depending upon the frequency of use of the boat, lightly oil the chain, pedestal shaft bearings, and sheave bearings with 3-in-one oil to complete your maintenance routine.

3-11 STERN DAVITS AND DINGHY

The optional, factory installed Stern Davits are constructed from aluminum castings, anodized and painted with a white epoxy resin enamel. They can be easily removed from the chrome plated, cast bronze bases by backing off the four cap screws. The entire installation is very

straightforward, but two items should be noted: it is important that the dinghy be provided with a lifting bridle fore and aft and that when the dinghy is hoisted it bears against the rubber stern rub rail of your boat, not the transom. When underway in a rough sea the dinghy must be securely lashed to your boat to keep it from being damaged. If the dinghy has no cover it must have a drain hole (with plug) to allow any rain water to drain out!

3-12 Rigging Specifications
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3-12.1 Mast Assembly
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3-12.2 Boom Assembly
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3-13 Deck Hardware Layout
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3-14 Cringle Reef System
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Section 3-15 Folding Mast & Hinged Mast Step
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Section 3-16 Optional Tall or Short Rig
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Section 3-17 Optional Ketch Rig
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Section 3-18 Hydraulic Backstay Adjuster
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This page last modified November 15, 1999