We accomplished another hurdle recently. We brought aboard a rigging team (2 people) to perform a thorough inspection of our rigging.
A sailboat’s rigging consists of the heavy wires forward and aft (called Stays) and on the port and starboard side (called Shrouds) that support the mast. The tall mast takes a tremendous amount of pressure from the wind as it holds the sails aloft, allowing them to make us go places.
I referred previously to the Chain Plates, which anchor the rigging to the hull of the boat. We did uncover both the port and starboard chain plates (6 in all) and found they are all in good shape. If we keep the deck fittings sealed around them so a minimum of moisture seeps through and deteriorates them, we should be in good shape for several more years.
The rigging however is exposed to those harsh elements I’ve referred to over and over, and sailors have to keep a wary eye on this and provide some TLC periodically. Even so sailors should pony up the dough for a full fledged inspection every 6-8 years to ensure this vital system is not hiding any defects that would cause it to give way catastrophically in heavy weather. If the rigging fails it’s a pretty sure bet that the mast will break and topple down like a felled tree, and that’s something I hope I never experience.
The condition of the rigging was one of the B list items on our survey and we’d intended on handling it in St. Thomas, but the insurance company brought the issue up, so we decided to tackle it before leaving.
With much anticipation we brought the riggers and their gear aboard and let them loose to inspect every inch of the rigging from the deck to the top of the mast.
To our relief things went quite well. Only three items came up, two of which require replacememt parts, which the lead rigger is researching for us now.
Unfortunately it forces yet another delay in our departure until we get these items resolved. We’re now awaiting details on parts availability so we can schedule the work and move forward, that being south and then east to the Bahamas.