Since we got our boat last May the standing rigging has been the most important project. It took us until November and the actual work took us just 3 days. We purchased the wire after measuring out the width and length we needed, and finally deciding that we needed to stop talking about it and just order the wire. Then we could re-rig the boat and actually do some sailing! Our standing rigging was around 10 years old, and 7-10 is the suggested lifetime for the wires. Other than a few light wind sails, and the mandatory trips to get the boat where it needed to be we had not wanted to risk sailing the boat with the old rigging. It was a daunting project at first, at least to me. None of us had replaced rigging on a sailboat, but we wanted to learn and to do it ourselves. Luckily our friend Jim Nealon did help us on the first day. He walked us through a few stays, and then we took it from there.
Our boat lives out on a mooring where it rocks pretty consistently. With a project of this magnitude, importance and risk we needed to move her to calmer waters. There was a spot on the wall and we quietly slipped in there with the whole ‘ask for forgiveness … rather than permission’ mentality. Then got to work right away. We were able to reuse the stay locks and fittings, and just needed to change out the wire and the clevis pins. Here is what it looks like to fit the wire with the clevis pin. That little tiny pin slips inside the wire on the other side of the fitting making it so the wire can’t pull through and keeps the mast held up. Genius at work.
Wire by wire we worked our way around the boat, changing a few out at a time and sending Matt up the mast to connect each stay. Once the new wires were all in place another friend, Kevin, came out with us for a short sail and helped us tune the rigging. We were all ready to get the heck off the wall as soon as it was done. Too close to land for me though it seemed romantic at first, being able to just step onto the boat. The bugs coming over on the dock lines, the people, mosquitoes and not being able to shower naked under the stars made me really appreciate our quiet rocking space on the mooring. Overall it was a great project, and now we can sail as much as we want to!