How to Look After Your Rigging

Some routine maintenance and simple installation improvements can help you avoid rig failure and a yacht insurance claim. Admiral Marine has a number of tips to guide you:

Amongst the most frequent yacht insurance claims are those relating to rig failures, many of which could be avoided. Admiral Yacht Insurance has a few pointers.

  • Vigilance is of course the key factor. Frequent checks on terminals, spreaders and high load areas will help pre-empt failures
  • After stepping the mast, the rig should be set up by a professional. The correct tensions and spreader angles will keep the mast in column. It is important to have the appropriate mast bend and a straight sail track. For in-mast furling mainsails, the mast should have little or no bend when viewed from the side to avoid jamming
  • Toggles for articulation are recommended for all shrouds and essential at both ends of the forestay; never use ordinary shackles on standing rigging
  • T terminals have a pre-set angle in the body, which may well need adjusting to give correct alignment
  • Shroud rollers and rigging screw covers should be lifted regularly for cleaning and inspection
  • Never tie warps to shrouds, as this is likely to bend and weaken the rigging screws. Bent rigging screws and damaged split pins should be replaced and all pins and rings taped over. Always lubricate rigging screws before attempting to adjust them
  • For additional personal safety, be particularly vigilant about loose shackles and missing split pins and the condition of pole tracks and cars, mainsheet tracks and cars and gooseneck castings and pins
  • Check the rig aloft several times during the season, especially after a long passage. Look for signs of wire stranding, particularly by terminals and for chafe on halyards and spreaders. Check for any signs of a halyard wrap at the top of genoa furling gears – a new or replacement deflector may be required

Always investigate unusual or additional resistance to furling.

These tips were provided by Neil Cox of Solent Rigging