Replace Standing Rigging


  1. Notes:
    1. When I first bought Siren, the standing rigging was 12 years old and required replacement. I decided to replace everything so I would know the history of all the parts holding the mast up. I replaced the:
      1. Mast step (replaced the steel step with a custom made fiberglass step)
      2. All stays and shrouds
      3. Turnbuckles
      4. Tangs
      5. Chainplates
      6. Toggles
      7. Bolts
    2. I did as much work as I could, then hired Sam Gary to work beside me throughout the process from gathering materials and parts to re-stepping the mast. I supplied as much labor as I could while Sam supplied the knowledge and expertise. I would do it exactly the same if I had to do it over. It felt like a hands-on rigging workshop and I learned a ton without giving up the confidence in knowing the job was done correctly.
    3. I had to leave for a couple months for work, so a few friends helped me out to re-step the mast, re-attach everything and tune the rigging.
      1. Unfortunately, I don’t have as many details regarding that part of the process since I wasn’t present.
  2. Cost ($9798 – Total):
    1. Materials ($6817):
      1. $31 – Misc parts.
      2. $15 – Belt sand paper to clean base of mast after cut.
      3. $50 – Blade for skill saw.
      4. $31 – Fiberglass plates to build mast step.
      5. $97 – Two 3/4″ x 10″ bolts from Hawaii Nut and Bolts with Nylocks and washer-tangs.
      6. $27 – Four 3/8″ x 4″ bolts and 4200 for mast step at deck partners.
      7. $86 – Supplies to re-install chainplates
      8. $152 – Chainplate bolts
      9. $3323 – Standing rigging, turnbuckles, toggles, etc.
      10. $200 – Forestay and backstay toggles
      11. $350 – Custom aluminum baseplate for mast step
      12. $2039 – New chainplates and tangs
      13. $413 – Sales tax.
    2. Labor ($2981):
      1. $314 – Crane operator to un-step mast.
      2. $782 – Crane to step mast.
      3. $780 – Unstep mast, disassemble and measure rig, order
        chainplates and tangs, cut mast base, install misc. lights.
      4. $195 – Troubleshoot toggle assembly and replace wire in
        furling unit.
      5. $260 – Clean mast step and draw plan for new step, locate and
        buy material for step, give drawing to fabricator to make.
      6. $325 – Cut and laminate fiberglass plates.
      7. $325 – Install tangs and rigging, prep for stepping of mast.
  3. Measure, number, and order all parts.
      1. Wiring for stays.
        1. Swaged on both ends by the rigging company.
        2. 5/16” 1×19 mid shrouds and forestay.
        3. 3/8” 1×19 top shrouds and back stay.
      2. Turnbuckles, toggles, etc.
      3. Toggle assembly for Harkin.
      4. Toggles for headstay and backstay from Garhauer.
  4. Remove anything that would prevent the mast from being pulled.
    1. Boom/vang with main still flaked.
    2. Jib.
    3. Lazy jacks from the mast connection point just above the spreaders.
      1. A trip up the mast is required.
    4. SSB Cat 5 cable from the back stay just above the insulator.
    5. All running rigging (or tie out of the way on the mast).
    6. Bolts holding the mast to the deck.
      1. To remove the aft bolt, the vang-to-mast connection must be pulled.
    7. Wiring (stuff the wiring into the mast interior at the base).
    8. Clean the mast step and add PB Blaster to help loosen the connection between the aluminum mast and the mast step.
      1. The old mast step was un-isolated stainless steel and badly corroded. Through galvanic corrosion it had stolen quite a bit of metal from the aluminum mast, causing pitting and thinning of the mast base. Two inches of thinned and pitted aluminum had to be removed from the mast. The step was replaced with an aluminum mast step on 02/15/13.
    9. Clean the through-hole where the mast passes through the deck to help it release when the mast is pulled.
      1. If the through-hole doesn’t slide when the mast step releases its grip, it can damage the deck.
    10. Slack the stays.
      1. Remove the cotter pins with pliers.
      2. Loosen the turnbuckles, lubing with PB Blaster as you go.
      3. The forestay’s Harkin III rollerfurling needs to be loosened. See the Harkin manual for instructions ensuring the lock washer is removed to prevent stripping the threads.
  5. Remove the mast.
    1. Schedule a crane operator for about 1 to 1.5 hours to pull the mast.
      1. Ke’ehi pulled the mast for $300/hr.
      2. Paying additional crew costs more, so bring your own helpers.
      3. I hired a rigger to help in the process for about $2430. This included un-stepping and re-stepping the mast.
      4. Motor to the crane operator.
      5. Remove the stays from the lower attach points.
      6. Lash the mast to the crane using strong straps per the operator’s instructions, and unstep the mast.
        1. A propane flame, banging with a rubber mallet, and coca-cola on the base was required to help it detach.
        2. Ask the crane company if the straps are provided with the crane.
      7. The crane operator will lay the mast on wooden horses with wheels and we rolled the mast to a storage location.
      8. Ke’ehi charges $40 per day to store the mast.
    2. Motor the boat back to the slip.
  6. Pull and inspect/replace the chainplates and tangs.
    1. This is a priority to get the new chainplates started. The mast cannot be stepped until the new chainplates are in.
    2. Mark and remove the chainplates, bolts, and backing plates.
    3. Mark and remove the tangs (the fitting the stays attach to on the mast).
    4. If replacement is required, give the chainplates/backing plates/tangs to a welder to match and manufacture new ones. ($2039 for everything 2/15/13.)
    5. Replace the chainplates/tangs every two rigging replacements or if inspected to be bad.
  7. Prepare the boat for restepping the mast.
    1. Mark and remove the deck-mounted plates where the chainplates go through the deck.
    2. Remove old glue and contaminants from the deck and hull to prepare for new 4200.
      1. Where the mast goes through the deck.
      2. Where the chainplates go through the deck.
      3. Where the backstay chainplate attaches.
      4. The stem fitting if required (see “Replace Stem Fitting”).
    3. Replace mast step (Sam).
      1. Clean and draw plan for new step.
      2. Fabricator builds new mast step using the drawing. ($350 2/15/13.)
      3. Cut and laminate fiberglass plates for mast step.
      4. Cut and prepare the mast step location and install the fiberglass plates.
      5. Install the new mast step in the exactly correct place.
  8. Prepare the mast for restepping.
    1. Sam Gary (the rigger) did most of this, so details are missing.
    2. Cut 2 inches of corrosion off the mast base. (Later made up for by making the new mast step 2 inches taller.)
    3. Replaced broken lights.
      1. Tri was working and not touched.
      2. Anchor light was working but in bad shape. It was replaced by Sam.
      3. Spreader lights were not working. The light assemblies were replaced and re-attached to the mast with 4200. The original wiring remains in place.
    4. Fixed wind instruments.
      1. They were frozen in place and were disassembled, lubed, and reassembled using original wiring.
    5. Replaced the tangs. (Sam.)
    6. Disassemble and measure rig. (Sam.)
    7. Replace wire in furling unit and reassemble the rollerfurler. (Sam.)
    8. Install tangs and rigging. (Sam.)
  9. Re-install chainplates when they are finished with manufacturing (if replacement required). (Sam with free help from Bret Sayers.)
    1. Bolt the shroud chainplates into place. (Each one is different and must match up to its specific location.)
      1. If the chainplate bolts are off a bit due to distortion during polishing, do not force them. Ream them out until the bolts fit.
      2. Place the deck mounts over the chainplates without glue and tape around them for easy clean-up.
      3. Clean with acetone and fill the holes around the chainplates with 4200.
      4. Lay 4200 on the deck and mounting plates and loosely tighten the screws so that the 4200 acts as a gasket.
      5. Let sit for 48 hours, then use a razor knife to cut/peel the excess 4200 from the plates.
    2. Install the backstay chainplate.
      1. Clean with acetone, tape, lay with 4200, and loosely bolt the chainplate into place.
      2. Let sit 48 hours, then remove excess 4200 using the razor knife.
    3. Install the stem fitting per instructions. (“Replace Stem Fitting.”)
    4. Install all toggles.
  10. Re-step the mast. (Sam.)
    1. Motor the boat to the crane.
    2. Lower the mast through the deck and stop.
    3. Feed the wiring through the hole in the mast.
    4. Apply 4200 under the mast’s deck-level plate to seal where the mast passes through the deck.
    5. Continue lowering the mast onto the mast step.
      1. Ensure the mast step is in the exact correct location before detaching the mast from the crane.
    6. Attach the rigging to the toggles and install ring-dings (or cotter pins).
    7. Motor the boat back to the slip.
  11. Prepare the mast for the sails. (Bill and helpers)
    1. Check for proper (un-tuned) tightness of the standing rigging.
    2. Re-attach the boom and vang.
    3. Re-attach the furling jib.
    4. Go up the mast and re-attach the lazy jacks.
  12. Tune the rig.
    1. See “Tune the Rig.”

Here are the deck-level toggles before replacement:

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