Recommended Guide for Optimal Rigging and Mast Maintenance

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In the following article, we are pleased to present a recommended guide to ensure the optimal and proper functioning of your vessel’s rigging and mast. This manual has been created following the official service programs of BSI and OYS, thereby guaranteeing the quality and reliability of the recommendations you will find below.

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SERVICE RECOMMENDATIONS

New Yacht – Six-Month Inspection and Visual Inspections

Annual Service

⚓ Rigging Service 1: at 5 years of sailing or 50,000-60,000 miles

⚓ Rigging Service 2: at 9 years of sailing or 90,000-100,000 miles

⚓ Rigging Service 3: at 13 years of sailing or 120,000-130,000 miles

⚓ Rigging Service 4: at 17 years of sailing or 160,000-170,000 miles

⚓ Rigging Service 5: at 21 years of sailing or 200,000-220,000 miles

VISUAL INSPECTION

It is recommended to perform an onboard visual inspection at least once a year for the standing rigging, running rigging, mast, boom, furling systems, and all connections and pulleys.

This inspection should be conducted according to the necessary parameters and markers provided by the manufacturer of the standing rigging.

Depending on the age and intensity of the vessel’s use, we can provide standard visual inspection and visual inspection with applied non-destructive testing (NDT) techniques for all critical areas and connections.

You will be provided with a comprehensive report including images, conclusions, and suggestions to enhance the functionality and safety of your rigging and vessel.

BSI recommends establishing the following:

NEW YACHT – SIX-MONTH INSPECTION

Optional visual inspection of all rigging and interfaces.

This inspection is typically conducted four to six months after the purchase. In cases where the yacht undergoes sea trials and inspection prior to delivery, this inspection can be deferred to an annual service.

Comprehensive inspection of rigging systems. Adjustment of mast tuning if necessary. Send inspection notes to BSI for BSI record update.

ROUTINE CREW INSPECTION

Recommended inspection of rigging systems several times a year and before and after long voyages. Contact a specialist for advice if any doubts arise.

ANNUAL SERVICE

Recommended every twelve to fourteen months. The rigging is loosened to allow for inspection and service. The masts will remain in place throughout the process, which includes:

Full visual inspection of the sail system and running rigging. Complete inspection of all accessible rod heads. Relubrication of all rod heads and connections. Adjustment of equipment as necessary. Send inspection notes to BSI for BSI service record update.

PRE-INSPECTIONS

To be conducted prior to each rigging service 1-4. BSI recommends a pre-service inspection to record all rigging lengths, tensioner adjustments, and any modifications or adjustments.

This allows for a comprehensive technical review and a materials list in advance, reducing downtime and cost for the vessel. If the rigging was not manufactured by BSI, a pre-service inspection is required to allow for an effective technical review.

All accessory and pin sizes, lengths, and angles are recorded with equipment under supervision. An estimate of refurbishment and recommendations can be generated, and service schedules can be reviewed to minimize vessel downtime.

NON-DESTRUCTIVE TESTING

While NDT is an important part of preventive maintenance for yacht rigging, it is important to remember that the result, regardless of the testing process, only tells you the state of the material or fit at the time of testing. It does not provide any indication of how much longer the pieces can be expected to remain in satisfactory conditions.

Once a crack develops, it can lead to catastrophic failure within a few months, depending on usage. We will notify you when it is time to replace them.

RIGGING SERVICE 1 – At 5 years of sailing or 50,000-60,000 miles

Partial refurbishment services include:

  • Disassembling the mast and removing all rigging components.
  • Cleaning and inspecting all fittings, rigging, and rod heads.
  • Non-destructive testing (NDT) with dye penetrant, as necessary.
  • Reheading all diagonals, forestay, and backstay if deemed necessary.
  • Restoration and polishing of all fittings according to manufacturer guidelines.
  • Review of composite rigging history, load testing, or replacement per manufacturer recommendations.
  • Kevlar cables are generally replaced at this time.
  • Lubrication and greasing. Reinstallation of the mast.
  • Rigging adjustment and sea trial.
  • Send inspection notes to BSI for BSI service record update.

RIGGING SERVICE 2 – At 9 years of sailing or 90,000-100,000 miles

Full repair services include:

  • Disassembling the rigging and removing all rigging components.
  • Cleaning and inspecting all fittings, rigging, and rods.
  • Non-destructive testing (NDT), as determined necessary.
  • Reheading or replacement of all vertical rods.
  • Reheading all diagonals, forestay, and backstay.
  • Restoration and polishing of all fittings according to manufacturer guidelines.
  • Review of composite rigging history, load testing, or replacement per manufacturer recommendations.
  • Kevlar cables are generally replaced at this time.
  • Lubrication and greasing. Reinstallation of the mast.
  • Rigging adjustment and sea trial.
  • Inspection notes are sent to BSI for BSI service record update.

RIGGING SERVICE 3 – At 13 years of sailing or 120,000-130,000 miles

Partial refurbishment services include:

  • Disassembling the mast and removing all rigging components.
  • Cleaning and inspecting all fittings, rigging, and ropes.
  • Non-destructive testing (NDT) with dye penetrant, as determined necessary.
  • Replacement of any original manufacturer’s rods.
  • Reheading all diagonals, forestay, and backstay.
  • Restoration and polishing of all fittings according to manufacturer guidelines.
  • Review of composite rigging history, load testing, or replacement per manufacturer recommendations.
  • Kevlar cables are generally replaced at this time. Reinstallation of the mast.
  • Rigging adjustment and sea trial.
  • Send inspection notes to BSI for BSI service record update.

RIGGING SERVICE 4 – At 17 years of sailing or 160,000-170,000 miles

At this point, any original materials are nearing the end of their service life and should likely be replaced. It should also be noted that in the next refurbishment, BSI Rigging Service 5, it will be when the yacht and any other supplied rigging material is over 20 years old. The full service history should be reviewed along with future navigation plans, and BSI will issue a recommendation, but generally, we recommend a complete service following the lines of Rigging Service 2, adjusted to replace original material as necessary.

RIGGING SERVICE 5 – At 21 years of sailing or 200,000-220,000 miles

At this point, any original materials should be replaced, and if the yacht has followed the recommended service program above, now is the time for another partial repair.

  • Partial refurbishment services include:
  • Disassembling the mast and removing all rigging components.
  • Cleaning and inspecting all fittings, ropes, and rods. Non-destructive testing (NDT), as determined necessary.
  • Replacement of any original rods and fittings.
  • Reheading all diagonals, forestay, and backstay.
  • Restoration and polishing of all fittings according to manufacturer guidelines.
  • Review of composite rigging history, bench testing, or replacement per manufacturer recommendations.
  • Kevlar cables are generally replaced at this time.
  • Lubrication and greasing. Reinstallation of the mast.
  • Rigging adjustment and sea trial.
  • Send inspection notes to BSI for BSI service record update.

The Rigging Point Service Manual

SAIL AND FURLER EQUIPMENT INSPECTIONS

Each onboard furling system should be inspected, maintained, and reviewed according to the manufacturer’s requirements, taking into account their specific usage.

As a general rule, furling systems require a complete service every 5 years or 40,000-50,000 miles. However, depending on the intensity of use and the purpose of each unit, this may vary.

Within this 5-year period, it is necessary to perform a comprehensive inspection at least once a year to ensure proper functionality.

As part of the service, we offer complete inspections of the furling systems combined with sea trials, where the furlers can be tested under load, both on deck and at the top of the mast, during navigation.

We have direct contact with all manufacturers to supply the necessary parts and have the required equipment to organize an efficient and proper service.

HIGH-LOAD TEXTILE RUNNING RIGGING

In the following manual, we would like to suggest the recommended program for optimal and proper functioning of your running rigging.

This manual was created in accordance with the recommendations of leading rope manufacturers.

Running rigging is an important part of the sailboat, and the correct installation and operation of the ropes are essential for both safety and the condition of the yacht.

LIFESPAN

Depending on condition, installation, and intensity of use, you can expect the running rigging to last up to 5-6 years.

Of course, this will depend on the purpose, installation, and intensity of use of each rope.

INSPECTIONS

It is recommended to perform an annual inspection of all running rigging and the condition of the installation.

Our professionals can conduct this inspection for both sailboats and motorboats and ensure that the installation is secure and everything is functioning properly.

Each rope onboard should be individually inspected based on its construction, purpose, and installation characteristics. Special attention should be given to chafing and attachment points, as well as positions where the ropes pass around pulleys or blocks. Fibers located at attachment points or deflection pulleys are exposed to greater forces than those acting in a straight line. Even with modern high-strength cores and fibers, increased load over time will reduce strength.

Overloaded ropes with partially broken fibers show signs of wear and should be detected in time.

Occasionally, some of the onboard ropes may be subjected to impact loads. Impact loading damage remains in the memory of the fibers and can cause weakening at that point. It is important to regularly check for changes in stiffness and diameter to prevent and replace it in time before it breaks.

INSTALLATION AND SPLICE

Proper installation and the correct use of each rope line are among the most important points to gain all the advantages of running rigging onboard.

Each rope should be connected correctly to minimize friction and facilitate load distribution. Using the appropriate splices for all connections is recommended. A typical knot can reduce the breaking strength of the rope by up to 35%.

As leaders in the field of rigging, we offer much more than just a service.

Our company takes pride in having a comprehensive and top-notch infrastructure. With a spacious 500 square meter shop and workshop in Palma, as well as a large facility in Son Noguera with outdoor storage for masts, rigging, and equipment, we have everything needed to meet all your needs.

Our team of highly skilled professionals has over 15 years of experience in mast unstepping and standing rigging service. We are committed to providing high-quality solutions for your equipment, whether it be composite, rod, or wire. In our facilities, we have a fully equipped workshop with splicing table and a 30-ton test bench to thoroughly prepare and evaluate all running rigging and its connections.

When it comes to textile connections, we have a specialized department dedicated to the manufacturing and production of all types of soft connections. From loops and soft shackles to dog bone connectors and strops, we can customize each of them to your specific load and length requirements, with or without protective covering. Additionally, our connections undergo rigorous testing on our 30-ton test bench using load sensors to ensure they meet the required standards for their working load. We can also provide a load certificate upon request as a guarantee for the produced connections.

In summary, by choosing our rigging services, you not only gain access to first-class experience and knowledge, but also a complete infrastructure and customized solutions for every need. Trust us to keep your rigging and mast in optimal condition, allowing you to sail with peace of mind.

Feel free to contact us for more information or to discuss how we can assist you with your specific needs. We are here to provide exceptional service!

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2 thoughts on “Recommended Guide for Optimal Rigging and Mast Maintenance”

  1. My father is determined to work with a rigging business because he has big plans for our backyard, including the removal of a big tree and the installation of heavy machinery. He is aware that hiring experts to manage the rigging work is essential for both the project’s safety and success. I’ll let Gim know that it’s advised to conduct an onboard visual examination of the mast, boom, furling systems, running rigging, standing rigging, and all connections and pulleys at least once a year.

    1. Araceli Tanco

      Hello, and thank you for your comment! It’s great to hear that your father has big plans for the backyard, including the installation of heavy machinery and the removal of a large tree. I agree that having experts for rigging work is essential to ensure the safety and success of the project.

      It’s an excellent idea that your father is considering conducting an onboard visual examination of key rigging components such as the mast, boom, furling systems, running rigging, standing rigging, and all connections and pulleys at least once a year. This helps detect and address any potential wear or damage before it becomes a bigger issue. Additionally, it can greatly contribute to keeping the rigging in optimal condition and extending its lifespan.

      If your father has any specific questions about rigging maintenance or needs further recommendations, please feel free to ask. I’m here to help! Best of luck with the backyard projects!

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