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Check your Standing Rigging Folks

Sep 30, 2016
301
Hunter 23.5 Patoka Lake, IN
My 1995 H 23.5 is holding up well. And these little boats are simple and forgiving. However, parts don't last forever. Our boat has had a fresh water life all its 26 years, Im sure. But corrosion of stainless steel cable still occurs. Ive gotten in the habit of inspecting my standing rigging every season when I bring it on the hard for winter. The last three years Ive found two (out of 5) stays needing replaced.

I didn't catch on to this requirement right away. After a summer trip the the North Channel 2-3 years ago and while wrapping up the season, as I was bringing the mast down for trailering I noticed a few whiskers of wire strand at the connection between the cable and the t-ball at the top. Notice how the previous owner had the whiskers neatly hidden in electrical tape. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess. Closer inspection showed this on the port upper stay:



Yikes!! We had some pretty serious wind on one of the days in the North Channel. Scares me to think of a de-masting a few miles from shore. Anytime, for that matter. The fact that we were well reefed is probably what saved us, because it shifted most of the side load to the lower stay.

So that is where I learned my lesson on rig inspection. Then last fall, as I was bringing the mast down, I was checking the turnbuckle hiding within the roller furler. Yep, the forestay popped a strand. So that was replaced this spring.



I replaced both upper stays the first time around. The lowers are still looking good. Although my point of this is, Im sure a lot of our small, older boats out there are sporting their original standing rigging, and its wearing out. Be sure to look it over. If there is a popped strand you have to assume there are more, or soon will be.

Be safe out there folks.

Oh, and a shout out to the the Sailboat Owners Parts Store here on this website! Both orders for the stays were spot on, plug and play replacements. Perfect fit. Thanks guys for keeping our boats alive.
 
Last edited:
Nov 1, 2014
26
H23.5 H23.5 Bradenton fl
Wow , that’s basically criminal to hide a stay wire damage with electrical tape !!!!!!! I’d give that previous owner an ear full . I’m curious about these t ball fittings where they lock inside the mast , how to inspect the mast wire openings???????
 
Sep 30, 2016
301
Hunter 23.5 Patoka Lake, IN
^^^^^ What do you mean by "wire openings"? Are you talking about where the t-ball fits into the mast?
 
Nov 1, 2014
26
H23.5 H23.5 Bradenton fl
Yes , how would you inspect for wear inside the mast with t ball design . I’m use to mast tangs that stay wires attached to , which are easily visible for inspection for wear .
 
Sep 30, 2016
301
Hunter 23.5 Patoka Lake, IN
I dont think that area is a concern. Yes, look it over. But the way its designed, it has a stainless steel backing plate inside the mast where the t-ball fittings go in. The stays and ball fittings dont move at all, so there is no wear. If the fitting isnt bulging, or corroded, or the backing plate not missing, I think your good.