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RIGGING SURVEYS

Why is necessary to conduct rigging surveys?

Rigging surveyor job is to check and review the key components of the boat system to ensure that is fit for purpose.

In general, a Rigging system survey has three objectives:

  1. Check that the system has been regularly inspected and serviced.
  2. Check the states of the sails
  3. Check that the rigging is less than 10 years old.

Regular service periods:

The regular service period is calculated by Insurance companies, flag states, Cost guard, and standards organizations, based on FATIGUE LOAD CYCLE of the rigging. The statistical data shows that rigging failure rates are higher after 10 years.

The picture below shows how a load cycle in the normal operating range, due to the large numbers of such cycles can cause cumulative damage to the material.

The 5 years inspection needs to be done with the mast un-stepped, as it is impossible to check key components (Terminal, plates, buckles, wires, stays, etc.) with the rigging fully un-assembled. Also, NDT (nondestructive Test) as a penetrant liquid test need to complete with the system on the floor.

The 10-year rigging checks need to be completed with all rigging wires replaced, due to the FATIGUE LOAD CYCLES, which normally cause Cracks, deformations that affect the structural properties of the rigging system.

See the video below where you can see many comon failures we have colledted during years of rigging surveys.

The list below shows the most common issues found after rigging collapses:

  1. Terminal and fittings failures
  2. Turn Buckle failures
  3. Mast deformations
  4. Chain Plates failures
  5. Stays (wire) failures
  6. Rod heads

Below few notes from the Rigging experts:

  • Keep your rigging clear of corrosion, ALWAYS
  • Regularly check tension on stays
  • Never remove safety pins from Turnbuckles
  • Recommended to use Split pins.
  • Never replace only one side Stays or Shroud, the other side (older) will be a weak link.
  • If replacing a stay, is recommended to replace the associated turnbuckles.
  • Bring mast down every 5 years for inspection, if needed perform NDT (Nondestructive test)
  • Bring mast down every 10 years for inspection and ALL rigging components replacement.

The US Coast Guard published a Marine Safety Alert 07-09, call SAILBOAT RIGGING DANGER, you can download on the link below, has many useful information and tips for any sailor.

If you have any comments, please write to us.

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