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Leisure 17 Standing Rigging Inspection

The age of the existing standing rigging as fitted is unknown but thought by the previous owner to be at least 8 years old at the time of my purchase of the boat, so that would now make it at least 12 years old by now. Current insurance and marine surveying advice is to replace every standing rigging every 10 years, and a full mast down inspection at least every 5 years.

The wires are terminated using crimps to form the wire into a loop with a metal eye. These ends are then attached to turnbuckles at deck level. The forestay is 4mm stainless wire, and the shrouds are backstay are 3mm.

Bottle Screw

Taluit Type Crimp

Due to the unknown age of the standing rigging, and some of the faults already noticed I have decided to completely replace the standing rigging before even undertaking test sailing.

Current plans for the rig include replacing all of the stainless wires and completing with:

  • Swagged terminations (completed by others)

  • Swageless terminations such as Sta-Lok

I would prefer to carry out the work myself and remeasure the wire rigging and outsource the cutting and crimping, or refit the whole of the standing rigging myself if using swageless fittings.

Swageless terminations will give the advantage of having some wiggle room in being able to shorten the wires if needed. Swageless fittings have a good track record for cruising boats, racing boats, they are also reusable (if certain parts are replaced), and can be easily maintained. At the very least I will be carrying a set of swageless terminals and spare rigging wire on the Atlantic crossing.

A good beginners guide to rigging that I own and recommend is Rig Basics: How to Look After Your Mast, Rigging and Sails by Kim Skov-Nielsen. I use it regularly for reference and a refresher when surveying yacht/boat rigging.


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