Monday, May 11, 2015

"New" Standing rigging

My new standing rigging is finished!  After much research, and a bit of stepping back to look at the big picture, I decided to go with the "nico-press" type of fittings because it was inexpensive, I could to the work myself, I didn't need expensive new tools or machines, and I could reuse a bit of the material I already had.  I fully realize that many might be critical of the use of this type of fitting, and I might be to, if I were setting up a boat bound for open water or even strong weather, but in this case the boat is to be used for recreational, fair weather sailing, and having "made" the rig myself, I will be more mindful, and aware of the conditions of both the rig and the weather.
Had I been using this rig a year ago, I might have been more conservative about what I put the boat thru, decided to quit sooner, or not gone out at all, and saved my self the experience of being very, very cold and wet. (on the good side, I now know what that is like.  Ignorance can breed fear, and knowledge allows for better judgement, I hope)
SS thimble, 2-Swaged copper sleeves on lower shrouds
coated with anhydrous lanolin, then covered in shrink wrap tubing
Some info on this rigging technique:
-1x19 S.S. doesn't want to bend the short radius of the thimbles.  It seems that the sharp bend may compromise some of the strength of the rig.
-1x19 S.S. requires 2 copper sleeves, each swaged 3 times along their length.
-I made sure that the sleeves did not actually touch the thimble, or each other.  I did this to promote a full compression of each swage.
-The end of the SS wire stuck out of the lower swage, but was covered by the heat shrink tubing.  Before the tubing was applied the entire fitting was slathered in anhydrous Lanolin for protection.
-I used a swaging tool that uses 2 bolts, tightened down to compress the copper sleeves.  This tool was the least expensive(a priority in this boat), smallest (so that in the future it can be kept on board my larger boat for emergency rigging), and it was simple.
- I checked the swages with a micro meter to see if they fell in the specs that I found on a forum thread about home built airplanes and this type of rigging.  the tool was pretty consistent with the thickness of the finished swage and that dimension collaborated with the aviation specs.

I believe that Brian Toss mentioned that most of the boats he'd seen rigged in this way were in the UK.  He didn't recommend these fittings very highly and seemed to think they were the wrong "tool for the job".  I wouldn't disagree with him ultimately, but, I think that they will serve fine in this application.  Most of the negative comments I found on the forums about pressed copper sleeves seemed to be about the way the finished fitting looked.  I actually like the work boat kind of look they have.  It is even more attractive because the look reflects that I did the work myself.

Using this tool with these parts required really taking my time setting up and making each swage, three for each sleeve, two sleeves for each eye, two eyes per stay, six stays, plus a few practice sleeves.  I have to enjoy each moment of the work or I will rush to be done and botch the job.

Now on to recutting the sails.

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