Yachting Monthly

  • Digital edition

Yachting Monthly cover

Yacht rigging: your essential pre-season rig check guide

  • Duncan Kent
  • February 7, 2023

Few things are more important during the spring fit-out than a thorough yacht rigging and spar inspection. Duncan Kent runs through the priorities

yacht rigging inspection checklist

During the spring fit-out we often appear to lavish far more attention on the engine and electrical systems than we do on the rig, despite the latter presenting a much greater risk to both yacht and crew should it fail in any way. However, because a yacht’s standing rigging has so many possible weak points it can be tricky to predict when any part of it is about to break. Close inspection should be a mandatory element of the pre-season preparations and checks.

A detailed rig check will rarely take more than a couple of hours to complete and should really be carried out prior to any long passage or extended cruise.

There are a number of telltale signs that should be looked for before, or soon after you launch for the new season, and several maintenance tasks that can be carried out to prolong the life of the rigging.

When inspecting your rig, it makes good sense to make an inventory of all the parts and their dimensions, as well as taking photographs of them.

It’s always advisable to un-step the mast every few years to check it over thoroughly at ground level. It makes close inspection of areas like the spreader roots, mast terminals and halyard sheaves much easier. If you are in any doubt about the condition of any part of the rig, it’s worth getting your local rigger to come and have a look.

This level of inspection may also keep your insurance company happy to continue covering an ageing rig, so it is worth doing every few years.

yacht rigging inspection checklist

The mast step is a cast fitting under heavy loads and needs a thorough check

I always start the pre-season rig checks by inspecting the spars, commencing with the mast step and foot. The high compression forces on the mast step can put severe strain on both the T-bar (the plate on the deck) and step (the cast fitting that takes the loads in the bottom of the mast tube), particularly if there is any imbalance in the rig tension.

This is also an area where the salt water can gather in a pool, making it very prone to corrosion. Look closely at any rivets around the base and at the mast section itself for signs of corrosion or cracks. Get them looked at by a professional if there are working signs, to evaluate what repairs may be necessary.

With keel-stepped masts it’s especially important to check for corrosion at the foot as often they sit in the damp bilge and, being out of sight, are often overlooked. The same with the deck seal which, if leaking, will cause water to dribble slowly down the mast, creating a puddle at the foot. Replace any seals that are looking worn or perished.

With regards to the boom, first and foremost is the gooseneck. This is a common weak spot on any rig and one that has to withstand massive forces in several different directions when under sail. If it fails it can cause considerable damage, especially if it tears itself out of the mast, which will then be severely weakened. Always remove the main pivot bolt as, though it might look OK from the outside, salt water can drip into and settle inside the guide holes, seriously corroding the bolt just where it can’t be seen.

yacht rigging inspection checklist

The gooseneck may look OK but it’s best to remove the securing bolt to check it

As with all the other mast fixtures, check closely for hairline cracks around the gooseneck fitting, either on the mast or on the fitting itself. This is best done using a dye, which will help make cracks more visible to the naked eye.

Other notoriously weak points on the boom are the vang fittings. They undergo similar stress levels under way, so it’s wise to give them the same once-over as the gooseneck.

yacht rigging inspection checklist

All mast attachments and their locations are worth recording

Make a rig check inventory

When inspecting your rig for the first time it’s a good idea to make an inventory of all the components and their dimensions. Use a pair of Vernier callipers to note wire and pin diameters and measure the wire lengths as accurately as possible between pin centres at each end with full tension still in the rig.

For later reference, photograph each wire end, terminal, and mast attachment. The same for the lower ends, turnbuckles, toggles, and chain plates, taking note of the positions of the turnbuckles.

If wire stretch means they’re turned up so tight as to not have any further adjustment, compensate for that in your wire length measurement if replacing. The turnbuckles should capture one third of the screw length when fully tensioned.

yacht rigging inspection checklist

Check chain plates for corrosion

Turnbuckles

Back at deck-level the turnbuckles (bottle screws) and chain plates must be closely inspected for cracks, rust, wear or distortion. The former require careful scrutiny as they can often sustain damage from misalignment, particularly if a seized toggle has been preventing free movement. They can also crack under the constant tension, particularly if the rig has been pumping in rough seas.

If they have had plastic covers or been taped up there’s a good chance that trapped water might have caused corrosion, so remove and check underneath. Screw threads and locking nuts often need cleaning and regreasing. Slacken them off, giving them a few turns each way and removing clevis pins for inspection, before re-tensioning the stay and locking it off. Replace worn toggles, clevis pins, split pins or rings.

yacht rigging inspection checklist

Don’t forget to uncover spreader ends to check wires and terminals

Chain plates

Finally, inspect the chain plates for cracking or distortion and tap the hull or deck around the plate lightly to and tap the hull/deck around the the plate lightly to ensure the laminate hasn’t absorbed water from leaky, dried-up sealant. Put a foot next to the chain plate and as you stand on it, check there is no flex in the deck. Go below decks, if you can, to check the bolts securing the chain plates to the hull, and now and again draw the bolts to check for cracks and corrosion. Do the same checks for forestay and backstay, especially if rust is visible. Ensuring any through-deck fittings are properly sealed will help prevent water ingress.

yacht rigging inspection checklist

Choose a calm, dry day to inspect the masthead using the bosun’s chair

At the masthead

Once you’ve done all you can at deck level it’s time to go up the mast , so dig out the bosun’s chair and find a trusted mate to help. Most masts feature integral sheaves that rarely get checked during the season.

Remove the axle pins and sheaves to check for bearing wear and any flat spots that might indicate previous seizure. On reassembly replace any retaining pins or rings and ensure the sheaves spin freely.

yacht rigging inspection checklist

Check for damage in the wire at the terminal end

The same goes with external halyard blocks, and you’ll also need to ensure any swivels are rotating freely. Remove any shackles, check for wear or distortion, then clean, lubricate and refasten them, replacing any that are worn or distorted.

Finally, securely seize them with new wire, ensuring there are no sharp wire ends to snag on lines or sails.

Next, check the mast fittings where backstay and forestay connect, ensuring clevis pins are straight and secure and the holes are not elongated.

Inspect the area around tang plates and toggle fittings for cracks, using a magnifying glass and dye.

yacht rigging inspection checklist

Checking shroud tension with a gauge

Another common area of rig failure is where the shrouds are secured to the mast. Various connection methods are used, but all should be checked closely for wear, corrosion and/or cracking. Any sign of wear on T-ball type joints (often the indication of an under-tensioned or misaligned rig) means the terminal, socket, or both should be replaced.

Also, look to see if there is any rust or broken wires as the shroud enters the terminal. This will be easier if you slacken the tension off the wire, allowing you to wiggle the wire about.

As you work your way down the mast on the bosun’s chair, check the mainsail track is clean, straight, and well secured, giving it a good spray of track lubricant as you descend. At the spreaders inspect the roots and tips for corrosion or damage (particularly if they have plastic end caps) and ensure the spreaders aren’t bent or distorted.

Retuning the rig

When you’re happy everything is in a serviceable condition it’s a good opportunity to retune your rig, especially at the start of the season. If you do it yourself you should begin at the bottom, working your way up from the lowers, inters (if you have them), cap shrouds and finally the back- and forestays.

Adjusting the shrouds in pairs, first slacken them right off and then make a few turns on the turnbuckle one side, before going to the other and applying an equal number on the opposite shroud. Keep the balance equal on each side by counting the turns on each turnbuckle. This way you won’t risk deforming the mast or misaligning a fitting.

If you’re concerned about getting the tuning spot on, especially if racing is your thing, then it’s probably worth investing in a rig tension gauge such as a Loos gauge so you can tune your boat rigging effectively.

Yacht rigging Inspection checklist

  • Mast and boom for cracks and corrosion
  • Spreader roots and ends for damage
  • Integral masthead and boom sheaves for seizures and flat spots
  • Corroded or broken shroud wires
  • Cracked, seized or rusty turnbuckles
  • Toggles for wear and distortion
  • Alignment of shroud fittings
  • Furler and swivel bearings for wear and lubrication
  • All shackles for wear and distortion, replacing seizing wire

Rig maintenance tips

  • Ensure any taping of screws or pins cannot trap water, which will in time cause corrosion
  • If you are taping over sharp edges, self-amalgamating tape will last longer than electrical tape
  • Wash all moving parts with fresh water to remove salt residue
  • Use a silicone-based lubricant regularly to keep moving parts free-running
  • Avoid contact between dissimilar metals – use an anti-corrosion paste when using screws or rivets, and use plastic tape to create a barrier layer between fittings
  • Rake out and renew sealant around through-hull fittings to prevent water ingress. If you are taking your rig down, take the opportunity to remove deck fittings and re-bed on new sealant
  • Get your rig professionally inspected every three years, and let your insurance company know you’ve had the all-clear

Enjoyed reading this?

A subscription to Yachting Monthly magazine costs around 40% less than the cover price .

Print and digital editions are available through Magazines Direct – where you can also find the latest deals .

YM is packed with information to help you get the most from your time on the water.

  • Take your seamanship to the next level with tips, advice and skills from our experts
  • Impartial in-depth reviews of the latest yachts and equipment
  • Cruising guides to help you reach those dream destinations

Follow us on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram.

BoatUS Boating Association Logo

Service Locator

  • Angler Endorsement
  • Boat Towing Coverage
  • Mechanical Breakdown
  • Insurance Requirements in Mexico
  • Agreed Hull Value
  • Actual Cash Value
  • Liability Only
  • Insurance Payment Options
  • Claims Information
  • Towing Service Agreement
  • Membership Plans
  • Boat Show Tickets
  • BoatUS Boats For Sale
  • Membership Payment Options
  • Consumer Affairs
  • Boat Documentation Requirements
  • Installation Instructions
  • Shipping & Handling Information
  • Contact Boat Lettering
  • End User Agreement
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Vessel Documentation
  • BoatUS Foundation
  • Government Affairs
  • Powercruisers
  • Buying & Selling Advice
  • Maintenance
  • Tow Vehicles
  • Make & Create
  • Makeovers & Refitting
  • Accessories
  • Electronics
  • Skills, Tips, Tools
  • Spring Preparation
  • Winterization
  • Boaters’ Rights
  • Environment & Clean Water
  • Boat Safety
  • Navigational Hazards
  • Personal Safety
  • Batteries & Onboard Power
  • Motors, Engines, Propulsion
  • Best Day on the Water
  • Books & Movies
  • Communication & Etiquette
  • Contests & Sweepstakes
  • Colleges & Tech Schools
  • Food, Drink, Entertainment
  • New To Boating
  • Travel & Destinations
  • Watersports
  • Anchors & Anchoring
  • Boat Handling
  • ← Safety & Prevention

Inspecting Your Boat's Mast and Rigging

Advertisement

Keep your sailboat in top shape with this useful advice on inspecting your boat's mast and rigging.

Collasped rigging

Surveying Your Rig

What to look for and why.

Whenever a mast tumbles overboard, the two seemingly obvious offenders are the mast itself — the aluminum extrusion — and the wire stays and shrouds that support the mast. In practice however, these are rarely the culprits. The offenders, in most cases, are the tangs, turnbuckles, and chainplates and the smaller, but no less significant, screws, bolts, terminal fittings, clevis and cotter pins that hold everything together. These can be inspected in a couple hours or less. All you need for an inspection is a magnifying lens, a mirror, some toilet paper, your fingernails, a boatswain's chair, and a pair of reasonably good eyes.

Download the Rigging Checklist in PDF format.

Whenever you inspect a fitting, look for obvious problems like rust and distortion and use the magnifying glass to find smaller cracks. Rust, especially rust that you can feel, and even slight distortions or cracks should be considered serious, and the component replaced. Use your fingernails to feel for cracks and check the thinnest part of the fittings extra carefully, as this is where failure is most likely to occur. If a fitting has been painted (a bad idea), strip off the paint.

Chainplates

Turnbuckles and chainplates must be angled so that loads are in a direct line with stays and shrouds. Toggles, which act like universal joints to allow movement in all directions, should be used with turnbuckles but they cannot be relied on to compensate for a misaligned chainplate. A chainplate that is not aligned has a tendency to work until it eventually breaks. Besides eyeballing the shroud/chainplate alignment, misalignment is sometimes indicated by damage to the surrounding gelcoat.

Chainplate

Chainplates can corrode and fail either above, within, or below the deck. Corrosion at the chainplate above may have been only detected by removing the toggles to inspect around the eye.

Chainplate failure

The chainplate above failed within the deck, where salt water had leaked down and initiated crevice corrosion where hidden from view.

If chainplates are bolted to a bulkhead, as is often the case, inspect the bulkhead for signs of weakness — discoloration, delamination, and rot. Chainplates are highly stressed, and will work and cause leaks where they come through the deck. Water can then enter the bulkhead and eventually cause it to rot. Probably the best, although maybe not the prettiest, place to secure a chainplate is to the outside of the hull. Chainplates that are only bolted to flanges under the deck, and are not secured to a structural member down below, are the least desirable installation.

Turnbuckles

Open turnbuckles are easier to inspect and don't retain moisture, which encourages corrosion. Closed turnbuckles retain moisture in the barrel and have of a tendency to freeze up, but they also are better at retaining lubricant.

Turn buckle

Fatigue and crevice corrosion broke this pair of threaded terminal fittings along the crevice between the lock nut and the turnbuckle body, illustrating why disassembly of the turnbuckle is necessary to inspect hidden trouble spots most likely to fail.

Turnbuckles should be wiped clean and lubricated at least once a year; more often if they are open or are adjusted frequently.

Teflon is better for lubricating turnbuckles than oil or grease because it doesn't hold grit that abrades the threads. Oil or grease, however, are certainly better than nothing.

Most turnbuckles are tightened by turning the shank or barrel clockwise. Incidentally, you should never stress your rig by over-tightening the turnbuckles. If the turnbuckle squeaks stop tightening — this is a sign of over-tightening and poor lubrication.

If you boat has open turnbuckles, be sure to leave at least 3/4" of thread visible in the barrel and replace the old cotter pins. A cotter pin should be large enough to fit snugly into the hole and long enough to be bent half way back around. Rigging tape should then be wrapped around the pin to protect your sails, fingers, toes, etc.

Many closed turnbuckles can't be cottered and rely instead on locknuts. Experts warn that over-tightening the locknuts places too much stress on the threads.

Terminal Fittings

Most sailboats rely on swage fittings at the terminals, but these fittings are not necessarily the most reliable, especially in warmer climates where they have a history of failure. Swage fittings are made by compressing a tube onto the wire under great pressure, a process that must be done exactly right to assure a strong bond. If the swage has to be pressed several times (a bad practice) before the wire is secure, there is an increased chance that the swage has been weakened and could crack.

There are other types of terminal fittings, such as Noresman and Sta-Lok, which are more expensive and less common than swage fittings but are highly touted by many sailors for their durability. Norseman and Sta-Lok fittings can be installed or repaired by the boat owner — an obvious advantage, especially for making emergency repairs on long cruises.

Cracked swag fitting

Cracked swage fittings are not only the most common kind of rigging failure, but also the most visible. This one should have been noticed and replaced long ago.

Careful inspection of all terminal fittings is a must. Cracks are usually microscopic when they begin, so use your magnifying glass. Also, you can sometimes feel a crack with a fingernail that cannot be seen.

Cleaning the fitting with metal polish helps brighten the fitting to make inspection easier and using one of the three-part spray products on the market also helps you see cracks. The latter are highly touted by their manufacturers but they are not infallible. The first part cleans the fitting; the second part is a dye that penetrates the crack; and the third part is a developer. The dye, incidentally, can stain gelcoat, so be careful.

Terminal fittings, especially swage fittings at the deck, are prone to rust where the wire enters the swage. Rust indicates a serious problem and the swage and possibly the wire should be replaced. Some skippers like to use gel or wax to prevent water from entering the swage. While this may be effective for a while, it probably won't keep water out for long and could very well trap water inside, encouraging corrosion.

The Mast and Boom:

Welds and rivets.

Aluminum welds on the mast and boom should be inspected, especially where there may be a lot of stress. Look at the ends of the welds first, as aluminum welds fail from the ends of the weld inward. Welds that are not done correctly have sharp edges and crevices which encourage corrosion. Any welds that are cracked or badly rusted should be rewelded immediately.

Rivets should be examined, and any that are loose or missing should be drilled out and replaced with the next-larger size. Also, if one or two rivets holding a cleat or gooseneck are loose, it is a good idea to replace all of the rivets with the next-larger size, not just the ones that are missing.

Galvanic Corrosion

Galvanic corrosion occurs when stainless steel or bronze fittings — cleats, tangs, winches — are installed metal-to-metal on an aluminum mast.

Every few years, mast fittings should be rebedded with zinc chromate paste, polysulfide, teflon, nylon, or tufnol (plastic) to protect the mast from galvanic corrosion. Silicone does a good job of protecting the mast, but the fittings may be difficult to get off later. And in a pinch, Rolf Bjelke aboard the steel ketch Northern Light in the Antarctic, used a plastic coffee can lid to bed a halyard winch.

If a mast is painted, look for bubbles near fittings, which indicate corrosion. On an unpainted mast, look for white powder and pockmarks around fittings. Some powder, which is oxidized aluminum, is normal on an aluminum mast and is usually not significant. But heavy concentrations of powder, bubbles and/or pockmarks, especially deep pockmarks, indicates a serious problem that threatens the integrity of the rig. Contact a rigger or surveyor if you suspect a problem.

Whether it is stepped on deck or on the keel, the base of a mast — a maststep — should be the same material as the mast. Because water that is outside the boat usually finds its way into the bilge, a mast that is stepped on the keel is especially prone to corrosion when the boat is used in saltwater. A rigger in Maryland likes to tell the story about an owner who complained that the stays and shrouds that couldn't be tightened. He thought they had stretched. It turns out that the maststep had corroded so badly that the mast was "sinking" into the bilge.

A mast that is stepped on deck can cause problems if the load isn't supported properly down below. This is sometimes a design problem, but most often it is because a bulkhead or support stanchion has failed — shifted, rotted, delaminated, etc. Look down below for indications of movement, including jammed doors, broken bonds, and splitting wood. A sagging cabin top is a strong indication that adequate support isn't being provided.

Besides corrosion, maststeps can be damaged when the mast is cocked to one side and the heavy compression load is not evenly distributed. Indications of uneven compression load include cracking and/or crushing of the mast's base. The problem can be avoided by keeping your rig tuned — adjusting the stays and shrouds to make the mast straight. If the base of the mast has already been damaged, don't despair, it can either be cut down slightly and restepped or, if the problem is more serious, the damaged portion can be cut down and an extrusion added. Either way, the boat should not be sailed until a rigger is contacted and the problem has been corrected.

Wood masts have a lot of eye appeal but require more upkeep than aluminum masts. Wood masts are usually made of spruce, a material that is light and flexible, but prone to rot.

Rot is easier to detect when a mast is varnished. Painted masts hide rot, but only for awhile. Any areas that are badly discolored on a varnished mast, or won't hold paint on a painted mast, are suspect and should be sounded with a hammer for indications of soft wood. Rot is most likely to appear around fittings, the masthead, mastboot, spreaders, and especially at the maststep. These areas should be inspected twice a season and treated or caulked as necessary. Weep holes, used to drain water at the base of a box mast, can become plugged with debris, leaving water to fester inside the mast. Weep holes should be checked periodically with a coat hanger to prevent blockage.

Inspecting Aloft

Most people have a natural aversion to hanging from a rope at the top of a swaying mast. If possible, inspect your mast while it is unstepped. If you do go aloft, make sure there are experienced hands below to hoist you up. A snap shackle, if one is used on the halyard, can be made safer by taping the lanyard to prevent its accidentally opening. Also, if the boat is in the water, you'll want to moor it where it won't get tossed around by a passing boat wake.

Stress cracks on T-ball

Stress cracks often form at bends of fittings, such as the under side of upper T-ball terminals.

Discolored T-ball

Zero in with a magnifying glass to detect cracks and discoloration before they fail.

Take tools: screwdrivers, pliers, a small hammer, lubricant, the mirror, extra cotter pins, and rigging tape. Put them all in a tool pouch or boatswain's chair with tool pockets and Velcro flaps. Whenever possible, use lanyards on the tools. The only thing worse than making the crew haul you up and down the mast getting tools you forgot is to drop a tool on someone's head. (You can also help the grinder's morale by using your feet and hands to help hoist yourself up.)

First stop is the spreaders. (While you're working, have the tailer cleat-off the halyard.) Make sure the ends of the spreaders bisect the shrouds at equal angles and are secured properly to prevent slipping. Skewed spreaders have been responsible for many dismastings. Tape or spreader boots, used on the spreader ends to prevent damage to the sails, should be removed temporarily so that the spreader ends can be inspected and the connection tightened as necessary.

Some skippers paint the top of the spreaders, even aluminum spreaders, to reduce damage from sunlight. This is a necessity with wooden spreaders, unless you go aloft every month and add a coat of varnish. Remember, you can't see the tops of the spreaders from down below.

Like their counterparts the chainplates, fork tangs, used to secure the shrouds to the mast, should be angled so that loads are in a direct line with stays and shrouds. Cotter pins should be taped so that they don't shred flailing sails or snag a halyard. Shrouds that use "T" terminals should be examined for stress cracks where the bend occurs and for elongation of the slot. Either problem indicates the shroud or fitting should be replaced.

The last stop, before you begin your descent, is the masthead. If you are even slightly acrophobic, the masthead can be a very scary place. Avoid looking down.

The mirror (remember the mirror?) is especially useful for inspecting fittings at the masthead that would otherwise be inaccessible. Look at the halyard fittings, especially the sheaves, which wear over time and can be crushed or split by the strain of the genoa. Even if it's healthy, a squirt of two of lubricant can help whenever the sail is raised. Wind indicators and radio antennas should also be checked for loose mounts and connections.

On the way down check the rivets and/or screws used to secure the mast track. Replace any that are missing or suspect. While you're at it, you may as well lubricate the track (use teflon) to make raising and lowering the sail less of a chore.

Standing Rigging: Stays and Shrouds

Stays and shrouds should have some "give", but not too much, when pressure is exerted with the palm of your hand. A stay that is too tight feels rigid. A stay that is too loose feels limp. Make sure any necessary adjustments are done evenly so the mast doesn't get cocked to one side. And adjustable (mechanical or hydraulic) backstays should be slackened when not in use. Remember, turnbuckles should have sufficient thread inside the barrel — at least 3/4" — and cotter pins to prevent their coming loose. (Be sure and wrap fresh tape around the cotter pins when you're done.)

Terminal fitting

This is what 1x19 wire looks like at the upper headstay terminal fitting after it has been twisted back and forth a few times from "halyard wrap". Even slight damage from minor episodes warrants replacing the wire.

Wire should be inspected for broken strands or "fishhooks" by wrapping some toilet paper around the wire and running it up and down. If the paper shreds, the wire is nearing the end of its useful life and should be replaced. Check the wire where it enters the swage fittings for rust, which also indicates weakened wires that should be replaced.

Replace Your Standings Rigging: $$$?

Lets play "what if". What if a small voice inside you says your rig is living on borrowed time: you've found rust, cracks, failed welds, and fishhooks?

As a general cost guideline, replacing the standing rigging on a typical 30 footer with 1/4" wire rigging will cost about $1,200. That price includes turnbuckles but not unstepping the mast. The cost of replacing the standing rigging on a 40-foot cruising boat with 3/8" wire could be almost twice as much. Incidentally, it pays to get estimates, as prices can very significantly. Our estimates to replace the standing rigging on a 30-foot boat, for example, were as high as $2,800.

Professional Inspections

If you're not confident in your ability to inspect your boat's rig, you can hire a professional — a rigger or surveyor — to do it for you. Riggers specialize in rigging, which is an advantage, but they could be biased since they also sell rigging. An inspection, including going aloft, should be under $100 for a 30' boat.

Related Articles

The truth about ceramic coatings for boats.

Our editor investigates the marketing claims of consumer-grade ceramic coatings.

Fine-Tune Your Side Scan Fishfinder

Take your side-scanning fishfinder off auto mode, and you’ll be spotting your prey from afar in no time

DIY Boat Foam Decking

Closed-cell foam flooring helps make boating more comfortable. Here’s how to install it on your vessel

Click to explore related articles

BoatUS Editors

Contributor, BoatUS Magazine

Award-winning BoatUS Magazine is the official publication of Boat Owners Association of The United States. The magazine provides boating skills, DIY maintenance, safety, news and more from top experts.

BoatUS Magazine Is A Benefit Of BoatUS Membership

Membership Benefits Include:

Subscription to the print version of BoatUS Magazine

4% back on purchases from West Marine stores or online at WestMarine.com

Discounts on fuel, transient slips, repairs and more at over 1,200 businesses

Deals on cruises, charters, car rentals, hotel stays and more…

All for only $25/year!

We use cookies to enhance your visit to our website and to improve your experience. By continuing to use our website, you’re agreeing to our cookie policy.

  • BOAT OF THE YEAR
  • Newsletters
  • Sailboat Reviews
  • Boating Safety
  • Sailing Totem
  • Charter Resources
  • Destinations
  • Galley Recipes
  • Living Aboard
  • Sails and Rigging
  • Maintenance

Cruising World Logo

How to Inspect and Tune a Sailboat Rig

  • By Ralph Naranjo
  • Updated: May 14, 2020

rigging hardware

Major mast failures usually begin as minor hardware problems. At least that’s what scrap-bin forensics seems to confirm. So, instead of dreading a dismasting, prevent it with a sensible approach to rig maintenance.

Some sailors inspect their masts and rigging with the spar stepped, but most recognize how much will remain unseen. Riggers recommend that the mast come out every few years and be placed on a pair of sturdy sawhorses ready for close-up scrutiny. My DIY approach focuses on hardware junctions and points where load paths intersect. Packed in my rigger’s bag are the usual hand tools, plus a Scotch pad, a quality magnifying glass and a small digital camera to record the findings. The old rule of thumb is that standing rigging has a decade’s, or one circumnavigation’s, worth of reliability; it’s a benchmark that remains valid today.

Another important issue is the rigging’s designed safety factor, or how much stronger the components are than they need be. The catch here is material deterioration over time, and the fact that there’s a direct correlation between stronger structures and increased reliability. For example, by increasing 1-by-19 shrouds and their attendant hardware from 5/16 inch to 3/8 inch, the higher safe working load translates into a longer life span. It’s a legit assumption, but doing so is both costlier and adds weight aloft, which can rob performance. The same tenets apply for a larger-diameter spar section and greater wall thickness. Engineers and naval architects try to balance these competing factors.

Snap shackles

Some decades ago, I watched the deck-stepped spar of my first little cruising sloop drop into the drink. It drove home the fact that it really is the little things that count. In that case, it was a stainless- steel toggle, connected to an upper shroud turnbuckle, which had endured a few too many on-off load cycles. A tiny, nearly invisible crack had opened up, and salt spray had found a new home. The resulting corrosion tipped the scale and led to a dramatic failure. Since then, rig scrutiny has become my obsession.

The old rule of thumb is that standing rigging has a decade’s, or one circumnavigation’s, worth of reliability.

Wire and rod end fittings need a close look, especially in areas where there are brown stains and signs of cracks, pitting or other surface deterioration. This includes an evaluation of clevis-pin holes that should be circular, not elongated. Confer the same level of scrutiny to the clevis pins themselves. Don’t confuse stainless-steel clevis pins with chrome-plated bronze pins. The latter are just fine when used in bronze fittings, but when a bronze clevis pin is placed in a stainless-steel chainplate hole, the bronze pin can be carved away by the much harder stainless-steel chainplate.

My inspection process includes a rigging-wire wipe-down with a rag that easily snags on tiny cracks. It includes careful scrutiny of hardware junctions. I search for signs of chafe, especially where fiber or wire running rigging makes directional changes at sheave boxes, and around where the headsail furler’s top swivel rides. Looking closely at masthead exit points, I check for sheave wobble, excess side play and signs of pulley damage.

bushings and axel

This is also the time to sort out halyards that are rubbing against external or internal obstructions. I use a bright, narrow-beam LED flashlight for a good visual inspection of the internal portion of the mast. Not only will it pinpoint screws and sheave boxes that might be causing chafe, but it also will help you untangle crossed halyards and confirm fairleads. While working at the heel end of the spar, look closely for corrosion and a condition riggers call “elephant foot.” It’s an actual wrinkling of the alloy tube section caused by too much compression and a too-thin wall section. It’s most often seen on raceboats with powerful hydraulic mast-adjusting systems, and on cruising boats that have pounded into too many steep wave faces.

Wipe down the shrouds

Roller furling foils hide the wire or rod on which they spin. Rigging end fittings and terminals can usually be inspected, but a broken strand of wire inside the foil might initially go unnoticed, at least for a little while. This is another reason why offshore cruisers opt for a cutter or solent rig that adds a second stay for some extra ­insurance. Following the once-a-­decade rule, it makes sense to completely disassemble furling systems, and replace the wire along with any worn bearings, bushings or plastic spacers.

My inspection process includes a wire wipe-down with a rag that easily snags on tiny cracks. I search for signs of chafe everywhere.

Keep in mind that when the mast is unstepped, many roller furling drums and head foils (especially on boats with deck-stepped rigs) extend beyond the heel of the spar. If the yard doesn’t splint and immobilize the extended foil and drum, do it yourself. All it entails is a couple of 2-by-4’s, or a pair of old oars lashed or duct-taped to the mast just above the heel. This double splint should extend to the base of the roller-furling drum where it too is lashed or taped. It keeps the drum from dangling and bending the foil during transport, and while the rig is stored on a mast rack.

wire terminal

Spreaders also deserve a really close look. All too often, excess anti-chafe protection results in the spreader tips becoming a water trap that turns into a hidden corrosion bath. So, when the rig is down, cut away the spreader-tip padding, and use white vinegar and a plastic scrub pad to get rid of any white powdery oxidation. Remove the spreaders from the spar, and inspect the area where spreader bases make contact with the mast. Look for compression damage to the mast wall and signs of corrosion damage. If all is well, reassemble using one of the tried-and-proven water-resistant lubricants. I’ve settled on Lanocote, McLube Sailkote and Super Lube, using Boeshield T-9 and WD-40 as my go-to spray protectant and penetrant. Throw away the old cotter pins, and use new pins on all of the reassembled rigging.

Through-the-mast spreader connector

“She’ll be right, mate,” was the favorite phrase of an old Kiwi friend, but it isn’t good advice when it comes to keeping the rig where it belongs. Don’t shy away from calling in a qualified rigger to handle larger problems.

Threaded end fitting

Most boatyards will restep spars but won’t tune the rig. Their goal is to set up the mast and rigging to approximate how it arrived. Occasionally, they hit the mark and even replace the mast wedges appropriately. Otherwise, I wait for a flat calm to make sure that the boat has no list. This involves using a tape measure to confirm the athwartship trim (waterline to rail-height port equals waterline to rail-height starboard). Then I check the perpendicular and rake of the mast using the main halyard with a makeshift plumb bob (dive weight) attached. The retune requires loosening the turnbuckles and incrementally retensioning the rigging. Small amounts of headstay and backstay adjustment relocates the masthead, causing the makeshift plumb bob to move significantly. I use prior measurements from previous mast-tuning successes to set the rake to a sweet spot that, in the past, delivered a minimal amount of weather helm.

Unchromed silicone bronze

With the rake set, I insert a set of teak or high-density hard-rubber wedges between the mast and the mast partners. These wedge-shaped spacers have a top flange that prevents them from falling into the bilge when the mast compresses on one side of the partners and opens the gap wider on the other. With all the wedges set, I incrementally add tension to the rig, tightening headstay and backstay first, while carefully maintaining the rake angle. Next, I adjust the upper shroud (or V1), working from side to side to keep the mast perpendicular. Finally, I snug up (but not overtension) the lower and intermediate shrouds. This static tuning sets the stage for an underway final tune, during which I check how well the spar remains in column. Leeward bends and S-curves are problematic and must be minimized. Boats with discontinuous rigging have shrouds that are not one continuous wire run. They utilize turnbuckles located above spreaders that must be individually adjusted to eliminate side bend.

During sea trials, make sure the leeward standing rigging is not overly slack and flopping around like loose spaghetti.

Intentional fore and aft mast bending can influence sail shape, and is put to good use aboard raceboats. Adding such complication to most cruising boats, which are ­normally steered by an autopilot, makes less sense. In-mast furling spars are least happy with powerful hydraulic backstays bowing the mast. So, get sound advice from a rigger/mast builder before adding hydraulic sail-shaping gear.

furling drum

A sea trial should follow your static mast tune. And as you beat to windward in a modest 10- to 15-knot true breeze, check the leeward standing rigging. Make sure it’s not overly slack and flopping around like loose spaghetti. If so, add more shroud tension to both sides. A tension-testing gauge will work, but many sailors do fine estimating by hand. Cruising-boat rigs shouldn’t have the same amount of rig tension as a raceboat ­beating to windward. However, if your sailboat’s mast is deck-stepped, make sure the coachroof isn’t deforming due to the compression load. A compression post, ring frame or other rigid structure should be spreading such loads. If you’re unsure of the correct rig tune, arrange a session with a rigger or sailmaker—and start the season in optimized trim.

Technical expert Ralph Naranjo has inspected the rig on his Ericson 41, Wind Shadow , on countless occasions.

  • More: fitting out , hardware , How To , mast , rigging
  • More How To

Cat perch

Cruising with a Pet

Ganesh

Fatty Goodlander: Have Little, Want Less

Sailboat breaking with the prow through the splashing wave on the rough sea

How to Ride a Wave

The author on the mast

How To Prioritize Your Sailboat’s Spring Checklist

Oyster 745 Mexican Wave

A Big, New World

Windelo 50 exterior

Cruising World On Board: Windelo 50

Reflection of trees on water, Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District, Haida Gwaii, Graham Island, British Columbia, Canada

Into the Mystic: A Pacific Northwest Adventure

Sailboat breaking with the prow through the splashing wave on the rough sea

  • Digital Edition
  • Customer Service
  • Privacy Policy
  • Email Newsletters
  • Cruising World
  • Sailing World
  • Salt Water Sportsman
  • Sport Fishing
  • Wakeboarding

Boat Pursuits Logo

How To Inspect Sailboat Rigging? (The Ultimate Guide)

yacht rigging inspection checklist

Maintaining your sailboat rigging is essential to ensure a safe and enjoyable time on the water.

But what does it take to properly inspect sailboat rigging? The Ultimate Guide to Inspecting Sailboat Rigging is here to help! In this guide, you will learn why its important to inspect sailboat rigging, what materials you need, and the step by step process to ensure your rigging is secure and in tip top shape.

In addition, well provide some helpful tips to make sure youre doing inspections properly.

So, if youre ready to learn how to inspect your sailboat rigging, lets dive in!

Table of Contents

Short Answer

Inspecting sailboat rigging should begin by visually inspecting each part of the rigging for signs of wear and damage, such as frayed lines or rust on the metal components.

Additionally, run your hands along the lines and feel for any irregularities.

It’s also important to inspect the fittings and terminals for signs of corrosion or wear.

Finally, check the tension of the rigging to ensure it is properly tightened and not too loose.

Why Inspect Sailboat Rigging?

Inspecting sailboat rigging is an essential part of keeping your boat in working order.

Sailboat rigging is the primary component that keeps the boat in working condition and ensures it can be used safely and efficiently.

Regular inspection of the rigging is the best way to ensure that your boat is in top condition and ready for use.

Inspecting sailboat rigging can help identify any potential problems before they become serious issues.

This is especially important if you use your boat on a regular basis, as any small problems can quickly become larger ones if not addressed quickly.

By inspecting the rigging, you can make sure that the boat is in good condition and that all components are in working order.

Inspecting sailboat rigging can also help you identify any signs of wear and tear or corrosion.

This is important as these types of problems can cause the rigging to become weak or break, leading to unsafe conditions.

Regular inspection of the rigging can help you identify any potential issues and ensure that the rigging is in top condition.

Finally, inspecting sailboat rigging is important to make sure that all components are properly tensioned.

This is especially important if you plan to sail in strong winds, as the tension of the rigging can make the difference between a safe and successful voyage and a dangerous one.

Taking the time to inspect the rigging and make sure all the fittings are secure and the tension is set correctly can help to ensure that your boat is safe to use in all conditions.

Materials Needed

yacht rigging inspection checklist

Inspecting sailboat rigging requires certain materials and tools that need to be gathered before the inspection process begins.

These materials and tools can include a variety of items, depending on the boat and what kind of rigging needs to be inspected.

Some of the most essential items needed for inspecting sailboat rigging include a flashlight, a set of binoculars, a pair of pliers, and a screwdriver.

Depending on the size and type of boat, other items may be needed such as a wrench, an Allen key, and even a drill.

Additionally, it is also important to have a soft cloth and a metal brush on hand for cleaning off any dirt, rust, or other debris.

Having all of these items gathered before starting the inspection process will ensure that the entire process runs smoothly and that nothing is missed.

Inspecting sailboat rigging is an important part of routine maintenance for any sailor.

To properly inspect sailboat rigging, the first step is to check all the fittings and make sure they are secure.

This is important as it ensures the safety and reliability of the boat and its rigging.

When checking the fittings, it is important to look for any signs of corrosion, rust, or other damage.

Additionally, pay attention to the tension of the lines and make sure they are not too tight or too loose.

Loose rigging can lead to problems in the future, while overly tight lines can damage the rigging and cause it to break or stretch.

Finally, inspect the turnbuckles and cleats for signs of wear or corrosion.

It is important to check these components as they are essential for the proper functioning of the rigging.

yacht rigging inspection checklist

The second step in inspecting sailboat rigging is to check the tension and inspect the wire for any cracks or other damage.

This step is critical for ensuring the safety of the boat and its crew.

To check the tension, start by examining the wire to ensure that it is free from any kinks or knots.

If there are any, make sure to straighten them out.

Next, examine the wire for any signs of wear or corrosion.

If any are found, the wire should be replaced as soon as possible.

Finally, use a tension gauge to check the tension of the wire.

The gauge should read between 10-20 percent of the breaking strength of the wire.

If the wire is too loose or too tight, it should be adjusted accordingly.

The third step in inspecting sailboat rigging is to inspect the turnbuckles and cleats.

Turnbuckles are metal fittings that are used to adjust the tension of the rigging.

It is important to ensure that the turnbuckles are in good working order and that all the parts are tight.

Check for any corrosion or damage to the turnbuckles, as this could indicate a failure point.

If there is any damage, it should be replaced.

Cleats are metal fittings that are used to secure the rigging.

Inspect the cleats for any signs of wear or corrosion.

It is also important to make sure that the cleats are properly secured and tight.

This will help ensure that the rigging is secure and will not come loose.

Finally, inspect the rigging for any other signs of wear or damage.

Check for frayed lines, broken strands or any other signs of wear.

If any of these issues are present, the rigging should be replaced.

This is an important step to ensure that the rigging is in good working order and is safe to use.

By taking the time to properly inspect the sailboat rigging, you can ensure that your boat is in good working order and is ready for use.

This is an important step in maintaining the sailboat and ensuring that it is safe to use.

yacht rigging inspection checklist

Inspecting sailboat rigging is a crucial part of keeping your vessel safe and in good working order, and step four of the process is to inspect the turnbuckles and cleats for signs of wear or corrosion.

Turnbuckles are vital pieces of hardware that help secure the rigging to the boat and keep it in place.

It is important to inspect the turnbuckles for any signs of wear or corrosion, as this can cause the rigging to come loose or even break.

The cleats should also be checked to make sure they are properly secured and not worn.

If any of the turnbuckles or cleats appear to be worn or corroded, they should be replaced to ensure the safety of the rigging.

Additionally, if the cleats are not securely fastened, they should be tightened to prevent them from coming loose or breaking.

Additional Tips for Inspecting Sailboat Rigging

In addition to the basics outlined above, there are a few other tips and tricks for inspecting sailboat rigging that can help keep your boat running smoothly.

First, be sure to use a soft cloth to wipe down the rigging and fittings, as some dirt and grime can interfere with the boats performance.

Additionally, its important to inspect all the nuts, bolts, and screws to make sure they are secure and not corroded.

It may also be a good idea to lubricate any moving parts or fittings, such as the turnbuckles or cleats, to ensure smooth operation.

Additionally, its important to inspect the mast, boom, and spreaders for any signs of wear or damage.

If any of these components are damaged, they should be replaced as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

Lastly, when inspecting sailboat rigging, be sure to check the tension of all the lines.

The tension should be just right not too loose, and not too tight.

Too much tension can damage the rigging, while too little can make the boat more difficult to sail.

If the tension is off, you can adjust it using the turnbuckles and other fittings.

Inspecting sailboat rigging is an important part of routine maintenance.

Taking the time to complete these steps will ensure that your boat is in good condition and ready for use.

By following these additional tips, you can help keep your boat running smoothly and safely.

Final Thoughts

Inspecting sailboat rigging is an important part of routine maintenance and safety for any sailor.

By taking the time to correctly inspect your sailboat rigging, you can be sure that your boat is in good condition and ready for use.

With this guide, you now have the tools and knowledge to properly inspect your sailboat rigging and keep your boat in top shape.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and inspect your sailboat rigging today!

James Frami

At the age of 15, he and four other friends from his neighborhood constructed their first boat. He has been sailing for almost 30 years and has a wealth of knowledge that he wants to share with others.

Recent Posts

What Is a Banana Boat? Your Ultimate Guide to this Fun Water Activity

A banana boat is a recreational inflatable watercraft shaped like a banana. It is typically yellow in color and is towed by a speedboat for a fun and thrilling ride on the water. Riders sit on the...

Where is Banana Boat Made? (INSIDE LOOK AT THE PRODUCTION)

Banana Boat products are manufactured in the United States. The company has a production facility located in Sarasota, Florida, where they create their popular sun care products. This facility...

Safe Skipper Boating & Safety Afloat Apps for phones & tablets

Rig check – how to prevent failure at sea

by Simon Jollands | Boat Handling , Boat Maintenance , Preparation

yacht rigging inspection checklist

Regular rig checks prevent the risk of mast and rigging failure at sea. This includes regular rig inspections of the spars,  rigging and fittings, especially before a major passage at sea.

Most rig failures are caused by poor maintenance and breakage of the fittings and connectors, especially those that attach the shrouds to the mast, rather than the actual spars or rigging themselves failing. A quick visual rig check is sometimes all that it takes to deal with a potential problem.  However, attention must also be given to reducing metal fatigue through correctly adjusting and tuning the rigging.

Rig inspections

A more thorough inspection of a yacht’s spars and rigging should be carried out at regular intervals by a trained rigger, ideally on an annual basis, or as recommended by the manufacturer. It is also advisable to do an inspection before a major sea passage. The inspection will comprise a visual inspection, sometimes aided by ultrasound tools, where wear is recorded and monitored for future inspections. The inspection will look for items such as cracks in rigging components, misalignment of stays and corrosion. Rig tensions should be checked and adjusted as necessary. A written record should be completed listing existing or potential concerns.

Every 5 years or so, more thorough rig checks should be carried out, which involve disassembly of the rig. This may include Dye Testing or Liquid Penetration Inspections which reveal surface flaws not visible to the naked eye.

Here’s a useful checklist of things to look out for that we’ve put together with the help of the KZ Marine Group in Auckland, New Zealand:

  • Deck check – split pins, adequacy of threaded fittings, chafe or breakage of stranded wires, rig cracking, rust streaking, condition of mast collar sheaves, halyard alignment, halyard chafe guards, forestay condition.
  • Masthead – halyard sheaves rotate freely and are sound, bushes, split pins intact, electrical wires are clamped correctly and are chafe free, lights are operating, halyard shackles in good condition, Windex and wind gear operating correctly.
  • Forestay – roller furling headstay, halyard leads at correct angle to swivel car, inspect halyards for wear on sheaves, fairleads and check swivel cars, mast tang pin hole, corrosion around mast tangs, threaded fittings, no broken strands of wire, signs of cracking or rust.
  • Mast stay wires and mast fittings – no broken strands of wire, no visible signs of cracking along swage section, no signs of rust streaking, Tbar plates have retaining plugs or locking tabs, corrosion around mast tangs, fastenings secure, threaded fittings are sound, rigging screws locked.
  • Spreaders – no visible signs of cracking , fastenings secure, no signs of rust streaking, broken wire strands, lights are working, wires clamped correctly, no chafe, no corrosion,
  • Gooseneck, Vang and Knuckles – check for signs of corrosion, split pins are protected to safeguard sails, fastenings secure, excessive wear or elongation of fittings.
  • Chainplates – check for excessive wear on spacers or bushes, signs of elongation in pin holes, alignment with stay angles, evidence of fracture at deck level, are fastened securely below deck to the hull.
  • Spinnaker pole ring – attachment points secure, signs of corrosion around mast tangs.
  • Insulators – check for sunlight degradation of plastic insulators, aerial wire securely fastened and in good condition.

yacht rigging inspection checklist

[fts_facebook type=page id=820902544629856 access_token=EAAP9hArvboQBAMMusRb1XctIwYq9fUcSZCVNDQAMjkZCiqAIMiZBkawPJZB3VkeSsH6gCIDfIZAslzZBRAEXYdesg0fu11YIst1FXtABBwdULjOsYFGUYqNujLSxRIWxKAcqm7bb9dmAgzJDZCVhkRj6r9useCQqJr4wJnxkBv909ySYxqj7hYl posts=4 height=650px description=no posts_displayed=page_only]

Recent Posts

  • Navigating narrow channels
  • DIY boat upgrades: Budget-friendly projects to enhance your (older!) boat
  • Boat Security: Protecting your vessel from theft & vandalism
  • Learning about diesel engine maintenance
  • 2023 Rolex Fastnet Race – Part 3

All Right Reserved. Designed and Developed by PenciDesign

Rigging Inspection Boats Checklist: Essential Steps for Ensuring Safety and Performance

Rigging Inspection Boats Checklist

Key Takeaways

  • Essential rigging checks for safety and longevity.
  • Inspect both external and internal components.
  • Maintain peak performance with regular assessments.
  • Verify safety equipment readiness promptly.

When it comes to ensuring the safety and reliability of your vessel, a Rigging Inspection Boats Checklist stands as a pivotal tool. Rigging plays a fundamental role in a boat’s structural integrity and performance, making regular inspections an imperative practice for any seafarer or boat owner. This checklist serves as a comprehensive guide, meticulously detailing crucial components to examine, ensuring that each facet of the rigging system is thoroughly assessed for optimal functionality and safety compliance.

  • Boat Rigging Inspection Essentials

Mast and Boom Inspection

Shroud and stay examination, spreaders and spreader bar evaluation, turnbuckle and clevis pin check, rigging tension assessment, final rigging inspection steps, rigging inspection boats checklist: essentials.

Thorough scrutiny is essential during a meticulous boat maintenance checklist , particularly when conducting a comprehensive Rigging Inspection. Evaluating the sailing rigging’s integrity is paramount, with a focus on detecting signs of wear, especially around rigging hardware and shackle jaws. Pay close attention to stainless steel shackle pins, checking for any sliver of screw threads or excessive wear that could compromise their strength.

Don’t overlook the significance of vital fasteners—even the smallest discrepancy could demand immediate emergency repairs. Keep an eye out for irregularities, such as using a plastic wire tie where a more robust solution is required. Beyond rigging, ensure that even seemingly unrelated elements like engine oil don’t pose a threat to the rigging system’s functionality. This methodical scrutiny guarantees the utmost safety and reliability of your vessel.

Inspect the mast and boom for any signs of damage or wear before setting sail. That is an essential step in ensuring your boat’s safety and smooth operation. Start by examining the standing rigging, which includes the wires and cables that support the mast. Look for any visible wear, such as fraying or corrosion. Pay special attention to the fittings and connections, checking for any loose or missing cotter pins. These small pins are crucial in securing the rigging and should be correctly shaped and properly sized.

Next, inspect the halyards, which are the ropes used to raise and lower the sails. Check for any signs of chafe or wear, especially near the attachment points. Look for any splices or knots that may have come loose. Ensure that the halyards move freely through their respective sheaves and pulleys.

Utilizing a rigging inspection boats checklist, shift your focus to the boom. Thoroughly examine it for cracks, dents, or signs of deformation, paying meticulous attention to the fittings and connections. Check for any loose or missing cotter pins and ensure the gooseneck and the connection between the boom and the mast are secure and functioning properly.

Before moving on to the shroud and stay examination, take a moment to ensure the mast and boom are in optimal condition. Once you have checked the mast and boom, it’s time to focus on the shrouds and stays. These crucial components connect the mast to the hull and support the rig. To ensure the safety and integrity of your boat’s rig, inspecting and maintaining the shrouds and stays regularly is important.

Here are three important things to check during your rigging inspection:

  • Look for any wear or damage on the shrouds and stays. Inspect the wires for rust, corrosion, or broken strands. Any signs of deterioration should be addressed promptly to prevent further damage.
  • Check that the turnbuckles are properly secured and that cotter pins or circle clips are in place and properly guarded. These components play a vital role in maintaining proper tension and alignment in the rigging.
  • Pay attention to any signs of misalignment or uneven tension in the shrouds and stays. Ensure that all wires are properly tensioned and aligned to maintain the stability and balance of the mast.

Using a rigging inspection boats checklist, ensure the mast and boom are sound before focusing on shrouds and stays. Check for wear, rust, and misalignment; secure turnbuckles with cotter pins for rig stability. Regular inspections are vital for boat rig safety.

To ensure the safety and stability of your boat’s rig, it’s important to thoroughly evaluate the spreaders and spreader bar for any signs of cracks, wear, or improper attachment to the mast. Start by checking the alignment of the spreaders. They should bisect the shrouds at equal angles, ensuring proper load distribution.

Inspect the spreader tips for corrosion and potential cracking, as these can weaken the rigging. Verify that the spreader boots are securely in place to prevent chafing of the sails and potential damage.

Next, examine the spreader bar attachment points. Look for any signs of stress or wear, which could indicate a potential failure point. Ensure that the spreader bar is securely connected to the mast, using appropriate hardware and fittings. Any looseness or improper attachment should be addressed immediately to prevent accidents or damage to the rig.

Regular inspection of the spreaders and spreader bar is essential to maintain the structural integrity of your boat’s rigging. By closely examining these components for cracks, wear, and proper attachment, you can identify and address any issues before they become serious problems.

Check the turnbuckles and clevis pins for any signs of damage or improper installation. Rigging inspection is crucial to ensure the safety and functionality of your boat.

Here are three important things to consider when conducting a turnbuckle and clevis pin check:

  • Inspect the turnbuckle body: Take a close look at it to ensure it’s in good condition. Look for signs of bending or cracking, as these can weaken the rigging system. If you notice any damage, it’s important to address it promptly to prevent further issues.
  • Check the clevis pin installation: Proper cotter pin installation is essential to ensure the secure connection between the turnbuckle and the clevis pin. Verify that the cotter pins are correctly inserted and securely fastened. If any pins are missing or loose, replace them immediately to avoid potential failures.
  • Examine the clevis pins: Inspect the clevis pins for any signs of damage, such as bending or cracking. These pins play a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of the rigging system, so it’s important to ensure they’re in good condition. If you notice any issues, replace the clevis pins promptly.

Regularly checking and maintaining your turnbuckles and clevis pins is vital for the overall safety of your boat. By following this checklist, you can identify any potential problems and address them promptly, keeping your rigging system in optimal condition.

Now that you’ve ensured the integrity of your turnbuckles and clevis pins, it’s time to assess the tension of your rigging system. Rigging inspection is crucial to ensure the safety and performance of your boat. By following this checklist, you can confidently assess the tension of your rigging and identify any potential issues.

Start by visually inspecting the rigging for any visible signs of wear, such as frayed wires or cracked fittings.

Utilize a rigging inspection boats checklist to ensure a comprehensive examination. Next, employ a rig tension gauge to measure the tension on each shroud and stay, aiming for levels within the manufacturer’s recommended range. This information is typically available in your boat’s manual or can be obtained through consultation with a professional rigger.

While assessing the tension and sailboat annual maintenance , pay close attention to any inconsistencies between the port and starboard sides of the boat. If one side has significantly higher tension than the other, it may indicate a problem with the rigging or mast step. Check for any signs of elongation in the rigging wires. That can be done by comparing the length of the wires to their original length. If there’s noticeable elongation, it may be necessary to replace the rigging.

Refer to the Rigging Inspection Boats Checklist before finalizing the rigging inspection. Verify all cotter pins at the ends of stays, shrouds, and headsail furling drum for correct shape, accurate trimming, and absence of any missing pins. Thorough examination of these cotter pins is essential to prevent rigging failure.

Here are some final rigging inspection boats checklist to ensure the safety and proper functioning of your boat:

  • Secure shackle pins to the shackle body using long, thin plastic ties. That prevents them from backing out and ensures that they stay in place. Remember to carry a bag of plastic ties for easy replacement.
  • Inspect turnbuckles or pelican hooks at the end of lifelines. Ensure all turnbuckle ends have cotter pins and that pelican hook ends have a secured bail over the hook. That helps maintain the integrity of the rigging.
  • Look for any bent or cracked turnbuckle sleeves. Ensure that at least 3/4 of the thread is visible on each side. Inspect for proper cotter pin installation and replace worn or damaged turnbuckle sleeves. That will help prevent any potential rigging issues.

Final Thought

A meticulous and systematic approach to rigging inspection is paramount in maritime safety. Utilizing a Rigging Inspection Boats Checklist is a testament to a commitment to safety, enabling boat owners and operators to maintain their vessels at the highest standards. By adhering to this checklist and conducting routine inspections, one not only ensures the immediate safety of those aboard but also safeguards the longevity and seaworthiness of the vessel, making each voyage a secure and reliable maritime experience.

Further Reading & Entities

https://dod.defense.gov/OIR/gallery/igphoto/2001185863/ https://ehs.princeton.edu/book/export/html/88

David Seibert

"Meet David Seibert, a passionate advocate for all things nautical and the driving force behind Boat Hire Hub. Dedicated to curating exceptional boating experiences, David and the Boat Hire Hub team are committed to making every journey on the water unforgettable. Join us as we navigate the seas of adventure, creating memories one wave at a time. ⚓🌊 #BoatHireHub #SeafaringEnthusiasts"

Cost to Charter a Yacht for a Day: Exploring Luxury on the Water

Sailboat annual maintenance checklist: your complete guide, you may also like, understanding the cost of catamaran maintenance: tips and..., understanding pontoon boat maintenance costs: how to budget..., boat maintenance cost rule of thumb: a practical..., how to keep boats free from mold: effective..., what to do when your inboard boat motor..., dealing with common inboard boat engine problems: a..., leave a comment cancel reply.

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Logo

 Set sail for unforgettable memories with BoatHireHub.com! Explore luxury boat rentals, find your dream boat for sale, gear up with top-quality accessories, and get expert tips for a safe and thrilling adventure. Quality, safety, and wonder await at BoatHireHub.com!

  • Terms of Use
  • Privacy Policy
  • Boat Rentals
  • Boat Ownership
  • Types and Features New
  • Maintenance and Care
  • Boating FAQ's

Editors' Picks

Indiscretion yacht owner, latest posts.

Copyright © 2023 Boat Hire Hub – All Right Reserved.

Yacht Charter Miami to Bahamas: Luxury Ocean Voyages

March 9, 2024

Portage Lakes Boat Rental: Your Ultimate Destination for…

Percy priest lake boat rental: enjoy the water….

March 8, 2024

Overnight Boat Rentals Long Beach: Your Gateway to…

Myrtle beach boat rental: explore the coastline in….

March 15, 2024

Motor Yacht Loon Owner: Luxury at Sea Unveiled

March 14, 2024

Hat Trick Yacht Chicago Owner: Unveiling Luxurious Ownership…

Discovering the history supreme yacht owner.

March 12, 2024

Attessa IV Yacht Owner: A Glimpse into Luxury

March 11, 2024

Understanding the Cost of Catamaran Maintenance: Tips and…

March 4, 2024

Understanding Pontoon Boat Maintenance Costs: How to Budget…

Boat maintenance cost rule of thumb: a practical…, how to keep boats free from mold: effective….

March 3, 2024

What to Do When Your Inboard Boat Motor…

Exploring speed: how fast can a 40 hp….

February 23, 2024

Unveiling the Mysteries: Exploring What Material Are Yachts…

Exploring the weight of fishing boats: how much….

February 22, 2024

Discover the Best Cuddy Cabin Boats Under 30…

Dive into boat specifications: a comprehensive guide to…, how to use fish finder sonar: a comprehensive….

February 14, 2024

Best Fish Finder GPS Combo Under $500: Top…

February 13, 2024

Top Picks: Best Handheld GPS for Fishing and…

February 12, 2024

Dive into Detail: Echomap 53dv Review

Exploring performance: garmin 498 review.

Attainable Adventure Cruising

The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

yacht rigging inspection checklist

  • Cruising Sailboat Standing Rigging Inspection

yacht rigging inspection checklist

In Part 1 we got the mast out of the boat and worked for hours inspecting a bunch of stuff…and now we get to work some more.

Still, all this effort is worth it to prevent a gravity storm, so let’s carry on.

And, just so you don’t totally despair at the prospect of reading all this boring detail, don’t forget that this is leading to the much-requested rig-inspection checklist .

So grab a cup of highly caffeinated coffee and let’s do it right. Deferred gratification is good for mast karma.

Login to continue reading (scroll down)

Please Share a Link:

More Articles From Online Book: Sail Handling and Rigging Made Easy:

  • Six Reasons To Leave The Cockpit Often
  • Don’t Forget About The Sails
  • Your Mainsail Is Your Friend
  • Hoisting the Mainsail Made Easy—Simplicity in Action
  • Reefs: How Many and How Deep
  • Reefing Made Easy
  • Reefing From The Cockpit 2.0—Thinking Things Through
  • Reefing Questions and Answers
  • A Dangerous Myth about Reefing
  • Mainsail Handling Made Easy with Lazyjacks
  • Topping Lift Tips and a Hack
  • 12 Reasons The Cutter Is A Great Offshore Voyaging Rig
  • Cutter Rig—Should You Buy or Convert?
  • Cutter Rig—Optimizing and/or Converting
  • Cruising Rigs—Sloop, Cutter, or Solent?
  • Sailboat Deck Layouts
  • The Case For Roller-Furling Headsails
  • UV Protection For Roller Furling Sails
  • In-Mast, In-Boom, or Slab Reefing—Convenience and Reliability
  • In-Mast, In-Boom, or Slab Reefing —Performance, Cost and Safety
  • The Case For Hank On Headsails
  • Making Life Easier—Roller Reefing/Furling
  • Making Life Easier—Storm Jib
  • Gennaker Furlers Come Of Age
  • Swept-Back Spreaders—We Just Don’t Get It!
  • Q&A: Staysail Stay: Roller Furling And Fixed Vs Hanks And Removable
  • Rigid Vangs
  • Rigging a Proper Preventer, Part 1
  • Rigging a Proper Preventer—Part 2
  • Amidships “Preventers”—A Bad Idea That Can Kill
  • Keeping The Boom Under Control—Boom Brakes
  • Downwind Sailing, Tips and Tricks
  • Downwind Sailing—Poling Out The Jib
  • Setting and Striking a Spinnaker Made Easy and Safe
  • Ten Tips To Fix Weather Helm
  • Running Rigging Recommendations—Part 1
  • Running Rigging Recommendations—Part 2
  • Two Dangerous Rigging Mistakes
  • Rig Tuning, Part 1—Preparation
  • Rig Tuning, Part 2—Understanding Rake and Bend
  • Rig Tuning, Part 3—6 Steps to a Great Tune
  • Rig Tuning, Part 4—Mast Blocking, Stay Tension, and Spreaders
  • Rig Tuning, Part 5—Sailing Tune
  • 12 Great Rigging Hacks
  • 9 Tips To Make Unstepping a Sailboat Mast Easier
  • Cruising Sailboat Spar Inspection
  • Cruising Sailboat Running Rigging Inspection
  • Cruising Sailboat Rig Wiring and Lighting Inspection
  • Cruising Sailboat Roller Furler and Track Inspection
  • Download Cruising Sailboat Rig Checklist

Dick Stevenson

Hi John, A very nice series of articles. A few thoughts: There are (perhaps were at this time) rod rigging maintenance books that did not mention a dab of grease on the cold molded heads prior to re-assembly My rigger, now retired, said rod should be replaced every 100,000nm, but he said it depended on the size of the rod. It has been a while, but I remember larger rod needed to be replaced sooner than the rod on smaller boats. I would be curious about whether that can be confirmed. In Europe, I had a required periodic insurance survey which mentioned replacement of wire rigging every 8 years and rod at 10 years. I tried to challenge that and failed: in part as I was told all surveyors in the UK and EU adhered to that schedule. Mileage did not matter. In a number of my overwintering yards, over the years, I have had to leave the mast up. I always pressured up the backstay adjuster a bit and firmed up the running backstays to keep the rig from movement. I am always surprised when 6 months later everything is as I left it. (Having pressure on the backstay adjuster also keeps the adjuster from “breathing” as the atmospheric pressure changes which saves wear on the seals- I never leave it completely slack even at anchor). If it fails, there is a default position for my backstay adjuster that is basically full slack. I tried to tension the rig by bringing the turnbuckle to its most closed position and the backstay was not nearly tensioned enough when it was full slack. I had a pair of “tangs” made that were a few inches shorter than the default length of the adjuster. This allowed me to replace the whole adjuster with the tangs and get good tension on the backstay, albeit not adjustable. I was living aboard full-time and this was nice as well because I could continue to sail while the adjuster was off the boat for servicing, which often took a while if needing to be sent off. I wanted to consider DIY Dyform rigging when I re-rigged in the UK, but was told that Dyform was the name of the wire made in the UK, but that the company had stopped making it as they could not compete with the compacted wire coming out of Asia. I attempted to explore the province of the compacted wire I could find, but that was too confusing. Riggers I consulted and were working with were wary, so I went with rod. This was 10+ years ago, so please check it out. One rigger I know and some experienced sailors say that a rig that has been to sea in a hurricane should have the rigging made new. Same advice for a really hard grounding. In other words, some shock loading and abuse can be cause for re-rigging. My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

John Harries

All good information. The big take aways for me are that no one really knows what the right replacement periods are, and further we have to guard against those expressing opinions that are more about serving their own interests than based on any real facts. I know of one rigger that states on their site that all rod should be replaced every six years, clearly more about commercial gain than anything else.

As to getting longer than ten years out of Rod, I was offered that at 12 years in 2019 by Pantaenius UK as long as I had the heads NDT tested, so I think that is a valid option, although, as always, it depends on the underwriter you end up talking to.

Can’t really see how the size of the rod would make a difference to required replacement time. I would think that would be more about the safety margins the designer had built into the rod sizing than anything else.

Wilson Fitt

Although it is only of interest to a minuscule number of AAC readers, you are correct in noting that wooden boats, or at least plank on frame ones, cannot stand having their rig set up so hard that the lee shrouds do not go slack when hard on the wind. The traditional structure is simply not rigid enough although a modern wood/epoxy composite boat may be. The resulting flapping around is no doubt hard on the gear, but not as destructive as over stressing the structure would be. I wonder about the rigidity of some fibreglass boats as well, having sailed aboard some that did a lot of creaking and groaning in rough weather.

Another “advantage” of a wooden boat with a wooden mast is that the mast needs varnish every year. This is infinitely easier to do when it is horizontal rather than vertical and a lot easier when all of the standing and running rigging is removed. So, I unstep the mast and strip the gear every year which forces a close inspection of everything.

I have always had the notion that bronze turnbuckles, toggles and related hardware are not as subject to fatigue failure as stainless, but perhaps that is incorrect.

As you might of guessed, I put in that exception based on education from the horribly overpaid AAC wooden boat consultant…you.

Certainly makes sense since plank on frame wood will, in my limited experence, tend to permanently change shape over time if in any way over loaded. I’m thinking about wooden boats that hog over time, when I say that.

I wonder if this is a function of plank on frame not being a homogenous material, so that over loading changes the relationship between the planks and frames—slippage if you will.

And extrapolating from that maybe that’s why fibreglass boats, if properly constructed, are happy enough to have the lee shrouds tight without permanent damage.

A key point in all of this is that (counterintuitively) having the lee shrouds just firm when going to windward does not increase the maximum load on rig or hull when underway. Said load is governed by the maximum stability of the boat.

However, said no-slack tune, does increase the load on the hull when the boat is at rest, so I’m thinking that may be the problem.

A good discussion of that here: https://loosnaples.com/how-tos/tension-gauges/

And yes, as far as I know, bronze does not have the deterioration issues of stainless steel.

Eric Klem

This all seems very reasonable. At the same time, it is very frustrating to me that we throw away huge amounts of rigging that is still in perfectly fine shape by coming up with a conservative time and miles based approach. In truth, conservatively sized rigging that has been well looked after and not damaged could go indefinitely. Unfortunately, I don’t know how you would practically implement this as conservatively sized would need to be quantified for each design and then you would need to make sure that it was always in good shape and never had any bad loading (forestays are subject to not nice loads so I would still replace them). And your engineer is spot on that little knicks on the surface are a really big deal in any highly loaded structure. So all in, I think your recommendation is about right.

One technique that I find very helpful when inspecting wire is to simply run your hand around it while it has a preload on it and make sure it is still round, if it feels lumpy at all, you have a problem. I do this around any areas that could be higher stress such as at the exits of fittings and around spreader tips. This is in no way a substitution for a more detailed check but it is something that you can check very quickly on a quick deck walk or whenever up the rig. I am going to have to try the trick of a phone for a magnifying glass, it will certainly be more stylish than the magnifying visor I use.

Regarding wire quality, it is definitely an issue and it is actually an issue with most materials now. The more reputable suppliers are likely to include a material cert and/or a certificate of conformance with each reel of wire without even being asked. Asking your rigger is not a bad idea although I suspect not all will be able to produce one even if they originally received it. I have gotten a copy with each set of wire that I have bought. One thing that I think is probably equally important is if you are having a rigger do a swage, ask for proof of calibration on the swaging machine. The dies in these wear and other things can get out and then you may have a swage that looks good but won’t hold well. I can think of 2 riggers who told me that they haven’t had any issues so they couldn’t see why it would be checked and on one of them, I looked at a terminal in their shop and could see it was no good but they were very busy making ends for people.

Great comment, full of great tips, thank you. I will include them in the final check list and then update these in depth articles with them.

To that end, three follow up questions:

  • Could you elaborate a bit on checking for out of round by feel. I’m having trouble visualizing how I could feel an inconsistency, particularly in small diameter wire, that would not be gross enough to jump out at me visually.
  • Do you know anything about the process of calibrating a swaging machine, and who would do that?
  • What was it you saw on the swage that was “no good” that tipped you off that the machine was out of calibration?

Regarding feeling the wire to see if it is out of round, it just feels a tiny bit lumpy to me. If you take a 50′ long shroud, each individual strand is significantly longer, like maybe 60′. Winding around each other is what makes the end product only 50′. If you have a broken strand, the rest of the strands are trying to make a straighter line which is a lower energy state so they will pull in and force the loose strand out a bit as it is no longer held in by tension. It is subtle but you can feel it. I have felt it a few times including on a boat I was about to deliver, my parents daysailor and some club boats at a club my wife used to belong to so we could sail weeknights too. In all cases that I can remember, the broken strand had broken just inside the swage fitting so a visual inspection would not have caught it right away and we really had to look and sometimes cut to find it. I don’t know the incidence rate of breaking just inside the fitting versus just outside and it may be that there are many more failures outside but those are more easily caught. Regardless, if a strand is fully broken and there is tension on the wire, it will feel out of round in that area.

I am not totally sure what the calibration process is for these machines but I am aware of a few things that are done to check or calibrate. There are a series of MIL standards (MS51844E for example) for this stuff that I believe most people will use but there may be other standards I am not aware of.  The most basic check is measuring the OD of a swaged fitting which can be done with a micrometer or calipers. This is actually something that can be done on every fitting and given how quick it is, may make sense as a customer. You can find charts of the acceptable range pretty easily, here is an example from Hayn:  https://hayn.com/swage-specifications/

I would hope at the very least that any rigger has a go/no-go gauge and is checking the fittings but I am not confident that actually happens. You can also do a pull test of a few samples. There are many calibration services out there that handle all sorts of different tools and machinery and it is very common for people with equipment to have a calibration contract with them. There are generally 2 types of services, one where they actually perform a calibration and adjust or replace components as needed or one where they simply provide a measurement of where you are in your calibration range and then it is your responsibility to get service if needed. In truth, a lot of the calibration checks can be done yourself but you don’t get to claim that a professional calibration service did it so it depends on what you need. The real question is what you do if you measure and find you are out of calibration. Typically, that would mean you would need to check all samples since the last calibration that passed which is part of the reason why you try to make sure to never fail by doing preventative maintenance and regular calibration checks. Having said all this, it may be that you should either plan to measure and visually inspect the fittings upon receipt or you should be certain that your rigger is using a go/no-go (that is isn’t worn, these actually typically get calibration checked too) or measuring.

What you will see for poor swages depends a bit on the machine used, I think that by far the most common will be roller but there is some rotary going on in the marine world too. As Colin mentioned, some fittings can come out of straight. I don’t actually know at what point a fitting would fail but if I could visually see this, I wouldn’t want it unless the fitting manufacturer had a spec for acceptable that it was within. In the case that I could see, the fittings were noticeably not round either due to the dies being too worn or the shafts being out of parallel but I don’t think any number of passes (2 is usually the recommended and the max is like 3-4) would have fixed it. I also strongly suspect that a basic caliper measurement would show that the fittings had not been fully compressed but I didn’t need to go that far to know to walk away.

That’s great, thanks. As soon as you pointed out that a lump would appear to indicate a broken strand inside a swage, I got it. I will definitely add that to the check list and the above.

Also, thanks for the fill on checking swages, I will add that too.

Colin Post

Eric. What are your thought on checking the head diameters with a mic or caliper ( don’t like these as much, not as accurate) when the mast is out? Would there be apossibility of wear or deformation of the heads on older rigging? I had a surveyor tell me that the rig was too tight on The CS 30 that I bought last year. I am wondering if this constitutes the abuse that John mentioned? Thank you.

Colin Post CS 30 Top Hat

These are not measurements that should change over time, they tell you if the original swaging job was done properly. The outside diameters of swage fittings are not subject to wear and if there has been plastic deformation, that is a problem and you want to know it and condemn the fitting. Good calipers are fine for this, the tolerance band is reasonably wide but using a mic certainly doesn’t hurt and can help if you are right on the edge of the band.

How did your surveyor determine that the rig was overtensioned? Did they use a gauge? Did you sail the boat in 20 knots of wind and look at lee shrouds? Was the mast step deformed? Very few people will just be able to pull on the rig at the dock and do the mental calculation of the wire diameter, the span, etc and make an accurate determination. My limited experience with surveyors unfortunately suggests that you should be suspicious of statements like this from them. Still, it suggests you should carefully go through everything much like John has had to do with his new boat.

I would agree with Eric’s concerns about the surveyor’s assessment since it’s difficult for me to understand how he arrived at it in any sort of reliable way. It’s actually pretty difficult to over tension the rig on most production boats as the boat will bend long before the safety margins on the wire is exceeded.

Colin Speedie

Not all insurers are adamant about replacement of rigging at 8 or 10 years, so it’s worth asking them. As our rig was in perfectly good condition at ten years I asked our insurer if they would accept a rig inspection by a professional. They did, he did an excellent and through job and they extended our cover for two years. I’m in total agreement that rigging is not an area to skimp at all. Eric’s comment about bad quality swages due to worn and/or deformed swages is absolutely right. I’ve seen new swages that were bent or creased on a number of occasions and that’s just asking for trouble.

That’s good to hear. I remember you getting that done here in Nova Scotia. I will add that too.

William Koppe

Interesting discussion. My take on the considerable rig on Tanielle is to use SAF 2205 duplex stainless steel in rod form. I will machine end fittings from the same material and weld them to the rod. This ss is the same strength as Nitronic 50 but has far superior fatigue properties. My caps would require 26mm 316 but only 20mm 2205 rod saving weight and windage. So far the majority of mast manufacturers end communication once this is suggested so I imagine it will be impossible to insure the rig. I would see this rig lasting a very long time and probably never needing to be replaced. Of course it would still need inspecting and there will be galvanic issues with aluminium, eg foils and masts. An australian company Arcus Wire has the Hamma range of 2205 wire which I suspect is Indian. My next step will be to ask AE Smith the NZ rig engineer who did all the rig and mast calculations for Hoek design on Tanielle, to look at the 2205 issues and benefits.

Stein Varjord

Hi William, Your suggestions seem interesting. I’m not very competent on metals, but have noticed the benefits of duplex stainless. My question here wound be the welds. Wouldn’t they disrupt the uniform strength of the rod? The superior strength and corrosion resistance of duplex is usually explained by its tighter bidirectional crystalline structure. The welding process would leave a transition zone where the cold formed rod material goes from welded to not welded. I’d assume the crystalline structure would be left not homogenous, which would seem to be a weak spot? Even if this isn’t the case, I’d be wary of the transition from the thin rod to the larger terminal. Just the change in dimensions might make a focus point for loads…? All this is just questions, curiosity, not my opinions.

Since you seem positive to exotic materials and performance, a carbon mast would solve the corrosion problem, while simultaneously saving a lot of weight and being far stronger. While I’m at it: Using Dyneema for the standing rigging will also save a lot of weight, and money, and is easy to inspect and replace, which on the other hand must be done far more often. It will also be thicker than rod, but about the same as ordinary wire, so more drag in the air than rod. In my opinion, Dyneema is the only smart solution for a cruising multihull, due to the wide platform and rig configurations, while on a cruising monohull, I don’t think so. The high end racers use high modulus carbon rod these days. I’d never suggest that for a cruiser, but it does give minimum drag and max stiffness.

This is way past my pay grade, but your question about welding jumped into my mind too.

Hi William,

That’s interesting. That said, although I’m in no way qualified to evaluate your idea, my general recommendation for cruisers is to stay away from pioneering new technologies: https://www.morganscloud.com/2013/10/25/want-to-get-out-cruising-dont-be-a-pioneer/

Apologies if this is all obvious to you, I am not sure what you have studied in this regard. The old rule of thumb is that the higher strength an alloy is, the harder it is to attach to it. I have experience with Duplex 2205 but never with welding it and I would share some concerns voiced here about that unless there was a lot of tightly controlled post processing. Not only does welding affect the crystal structure, it leaves a prestress and leaves geometries that have stress concentrations if not processed right.

Most techniques of attachment like cut threads remove material and creates stress concentrations which decrease strength which is not good. There are some forming techniques such as used in heading rod, rolling threads, etc that build up material but these create geometric stress concentrations unless spread over an enormous area so that all changes are incredibly gradual.

There are some cool tricks that you can play to deal with a lot of this but I think applying them to rigging would get quite exotic and you should be looking to carbon or PBO or whatever first. For example, in fatigue applications engineers will sometimes spec things like shot peening, laser peening, cryogenic treating, etc but these all require process development and would require you to put a lot of different vendors together. I have spec’ed all the processes I listed at some point but they were always highly specialized applications where there would be lots of testing and we were willing to pay a lot for the performance needed.

Hi Stein, John and Eric, Welding duplex gives 100% strength. Tanielle is a 24m ketch built entirely from duplex. We got welding tips from the duplex supplier then did our own destructive tests It took 3 attempts with a 100 ton brake press to break a 30mm x 6mm piece joined by welding. The break was in the HAZ zone. The 2 welders were then certified by Lloyds as was the steel and welding wire. The yacht welds were also xrayed. In welding the rodto the forks I would drill a hole in the fork , then cut slots so the welds are in shear. The weld around the top would only be for appearance and to avoid a crevice. The fork would be machined from a solid bar. 2205 comes in differrent flavours and granular structures and my flavour is SAF 2205 which has a much finer granular structure and increased strength even before heat treatment. All up we used 38 kilometers of welding wire so can probably claim a little experience. One of the welders was a retired welding teacher. http://www.tanielle.com.au

Hi William, That’s one impressive boat!!! It also seems like you have, to put it mildly, done your due diligence on this material, and on a lot of other relevant topics. My only gripe is that it seems a pity to hide that material behind paint. I know it’s not realistic or smart to have a polished stainless steel hull, but what a vision that would have been! Thanks for sharing and congratulations with the boat!

Interesting, I will have to look into welding duplex more at some point. You have quite the impressive project there, I think you must have posted a picture or a link in the past as I have a vague recollection of this. I can now see more of what your thinking is. It would be interesting to look at different options and see the best way to reduce weight aloft such as going to a carbon fiber mast or synthetic rigging or duplex rigging or whatever else there may be.

Ignoring weld strength for a minute, if I understand what you are proposing, you still are introducing a pretty significant stress due to geometry. Do you have a plan for how to deal with this? Any change in diameter or shape is a stress concentration including a change to a larger diameter and in this case it means tension in the surface of the material which is the worst if you want to discuss fatigue. The concentration is due to the stiffness of the bigger diameter being greater and being at a greater radius so if you draw your stress lines, they really concentrate around the step as they try to transfer load out. Rod fittings are a decent example of about as practical a mitigation to this as is reasonable, the shape of the end is designed to give a nice large fillet and the mating fitting puts compressive stress on it that also helps but still it is the site where you will have issues.

I am guessing that the rod doesn’t have good enough tolerances and is too difficult to post machine to allow you to do a shrink fit to it? The advantage of that is you can make a very gradually tapered socket to shrink fit on so the stress concentration is much less pronounced. I have never seen a shrunk fit fitting on rigging but most rigging is small enough in diameter that you would need very tight tolerances and a large temperature differential for it to work whereas yours is big enough that it starts to work a lot better although I suspect the tolerances are still prohibitive.

Hi Eric, Thanks for your kind words. I had in mind discontinuous V1 so the lower could heavier and allow for welding a custom fork tapered to the top. Alternatively the rod itself could be threaded. Each of the higher segments would also be oversize although reducing in diameter as we went higher. Of course this all needs designing and finite element analysis. I once had a rudder that was a shrink fit and Tanielle has 4 taper locks to connect the quadrant and ram arms to its 110mm stock. I don`t think I would be comfortable with either method on rigging. Perhaps a shrink fit combined with a swage press could work and could be worth experimenting with to determine breaking load and repeat consistency. While I take your point on fatigue and stress concentrations the safe option is simply to overbuild. The existing rig design (see website) has the V1 as 115 Nitronic 22.2mm 48t UTS , V2 as 01 Nitronic 19.5MM 36.5 UTS V3 19mm Dyform. I woud up the V1 to 25.4mm Duplex V2 to 20mm Duplex and the Dyform to Duplex wire. My intention here is to elicit the wisdom of the group and get the sort of feedback you have so kindly provided

Patrick Liot

Do you believe your rule of “no loose lee shrouds …/… ” should be applied as well for catamarans?

My assumption is that catamarans have more structural “flexibility” on the lateral axis, compared to the lateral “stiffness” of single hulls, due to the structure holding the two hulls together, and hence may justify tuning with loose lee shrouds in heavy wind, without correlatively flapping lose during winter periods.

Thank you in advance.

Full rule: “ This is why all boats, with the possible exception of wooden ones, should be tuned so that the lee shrouds are not loose when hard on the wind and fully loaded—applies to wire standing rigging, too”

Hi Patrick, As I have many decades of multihull experience, including professional racing in the Formula classes, plus designing and building boats, I can say; no, that rule does not entirely apply to multihulls. I’m fairly certain that John also agrees about this and just forgot to mention it.

Most (not all) multihulls are indeed far more flexible, meaning that it’s often not possible to remove all slack. In most cases it’s just the leeward top shroud that is slack, and it’s not on a spreader. (Diamond stays should never be slack.) The much wider base means that the shroud angle is far better, meaning that the mast doesn’t get too much play, even with a lot of slack under load. I prefer to tension it as much as possible. At least make sure it’s never slack when not sailing. If tightening hard, be sure to know the structure of that specific boat.

The trouble with Lagoon 45 that has become very public lately, via Parlay Revival on YouTube, is a good example of too tight for a poorly made structure. Lagoon is by no means the only manufacturer with this build method and weaknesses. Most “budget” production boats, also monos, have the same problems to some extent. Wood is beautiful, strong and cheap, but it rots in water. For some “strange” reason wood inside boat structures tends to get wet. Why builders can’t grasp this and why they keep using wood for structural pieces is a mystery to me… (Nope. That’s just irony. Google “planned obsolence” or “The light bulb conspiracy.”)

The performance will not suffer much from this slack, since the fore and aft rig tension is what matters and that should indeed be properly tight. If you have a cat with no backstay or such, it’s a good idea to set the main halyard aft when not sailing. Tension it well to keep the headstay and the rest tight. I also usually put ropes across the head stay or wound in a spiral around the sail, to reduce oscillation in strong wind.

Even though wooden boats and multihulls often need the shrouds and perhaps more to not be entirely tight all the time, that doesn’t mean they have less of the problems other boats have when a slack rig piece is vibrating. It just means that we need to be more vigilant in our maintenance.

Hi Patrick,

I would go along with Stein’s answer, particularly since he has way more experience with multihulls than I do.

I would also change the rule around: if we have a boat on which we can’t keep the lee shrouds firm, then we should not fit said boat with rod rigging.

Hans Boebs

Hi John, You mention disassembly of compression cone terminals. I tried to do that on 2 occasions. The first was when I wanted to replace a bent segment of my roller furling profile and the second when I replaced the cap shrouds. In all cases it turned out to be impossible, at least to me, to disassemble the terminal with any hope of reusing the wire it was attached to. Of course no problem with the cap shrouds, they had to go anyway, but annoying in the case of the headstay inside the furling extrusion: The only way to disassemble the terminal, (pushing the terminal’s body away from the wedged up wire) was to cut the wire one or two inches from the terminal, and hammering down on the protruding wire with brute force. That did the trick finally. Not even fixating the wire in a vise and hammering on the lower end of the terminal – with a wooden block for protection – was enough to make the terminal body budge. Not to mention that the vise probably did the wire no good. Of course it’s possible to unscrew the eye or fork, is that what you mean by disassembly ? My conclusion is: never fiddle with a Norseman terminal unless you want to replace (or shorten) the wire. Besides, it seems impossible to get hold of new cones as Norsemans are no longer made. But there are other brands of course. Do you or anybody else know a way to disassemble a Norseman without destroying part of the wire ?

I have taken a Stayloc apart successfully, but it was on flexible wire (steering cable) not 1×19, so not the same thing at all, and probably not as highly loaded, and that was a struggle, so I think you are right and will make a note of that in the above when I edit it to add everyone’s wisdom.

Hi John, I just found mention of the “disassembly for inspection” here:

https://www.practical-sailor.com/sails-rigging-deckgear/hidden-causes-of-rig-failure

and that makes it clear to me that by disassembly really is meant to unscrew eye or fork or whatever fitting there is from the terminal’s body and have a good look at the dead end of the wire. It could be called “opening” rather than disassembly. And of course it makes sense as the bad stuff seems to be happening where you can see it after having the terminal opened. But the threads have to be locked anew.

As an aside: Tylaska makes the cones for the Norseman fittings. They seem to have all sizes in stock. I needed new ones mainly for the expensive backstay isolators. As I have 2 independent backstays I decided to live with the old isolators although I replaced the wire.

That’s a good point. That said, I was under the impression, but could easily be wrong, that once we back off the thread on the eye, we are supposed to replace the cone before putting it back together. If that’s true, we will be starting again, and almost certainly cutting the wire.

I googled around a bit, but could not find a definitive answer on that. Does anyone know for sure?

Hi John, I just replaced my lower shrouds and the backstays with new wire. The backstays had (and have) Norsemans on their lower ends and there are these isolators with 2 each Norsemans. So I gained some experience with this type of compression cone fittings. I see no reason to replace the cone if the terminal is just opened (unscrewed) for inspection as the cone is not affected by this operation. Getting the threads cleaned enough for a proper redo of the loctite treatment could be a problem though. I didn’t have this problem as I replaced the wire anyway and so had good access to the threads. I found a good way to get the terminal off the wire in the process: cut the wire directly at the terminal and back out the cone with the wedged up wire out of the terminal’s body with a suitable punch, that way losing only an Inch or so of wire. This short length can in many cases be compensated for with the turnbuckle. Also I wondered at first why the cone has to be replaced at all, but once you have the wedged up wire in hand it becomes very clear that the cone is compressed on the wire’s core so much that you’re just not going to get if off undamaged. Bottom line: if not sure about the terminal then the best way is to check if the turnbuckle allows for some shortening of the wire and if so, cut and disassemble the terminal and redo with a new cone. One could also add a toggle to make up for the lost length if necessary, although not quite so elegant.

A good analysis that makes very good sense to me. Thank you. Also, thanks for the tip on getting the cone off with minimum wire loss.

I do still wonder if there is some reason that the cone should be replaced after just unscrewing the fitting for inspection, but I have to admit I can’t put a logical reason together to support that. What I should do is call say StayLoc and ask them, but right now I’m so busy with stuff I have promised that I’m scared to add something else to the list!

Drew Frye

I watched one rig come down. Fortunately, it was inshore and was a rotating mast, so it lifted off the socket and the mast was undamaged. We helped them collect the pieces and towed them in. No one was hurt.

The cause? A bent toggle fractured. I had two of those crack on my Stiletto 2 (both in what you marked as the “danger area”) but I caught both during one of my regular walk-arounds (not the spring inspection–they were fine then). Ever since, I make a point of looking at them every few months.

Anthony Salotto

Thanks, John! You say above “…because we discovered that she had been stored over at least one winter, and probably two, with the mast in—never a good idea, in my view…” I winter my boat in Rhode Island, and it seems 95%+ of owners leave the mast up. I’ve been taking mine down each winter, and storing it indoors. But I feel like the oddball. Would you please elaborate on this.

Thanks! Anthony

Hi Anthony,

Good on you. You are not an “oddball”. https://www.morganscloud.com/2014/11/01/the-dangers-of-storing-with-the-mast-stepped/

Added to the reasons I list in the above article, leaving the mast in add significantly to the wear and tear on all components of the rig due to constant vibration over the winters.

Hi Anthony and John, That said, and I agree, but most of the mast damage I have seen over the years has been on the unstepping and stepping of the mast and its storage (and wallet damage). I suspect the breaking point is closer to taking the mast out, but may be dependent on the skipper being present when the work is done: for example, I have watched turnbuckles dragged in the gravel/dirt on masts when no owner was present, but the crew was far more careful when I was there lending a hand and being involved. My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

I agree on being there when the mast is unstepped, or stepped. Some tips on that here: https://www.morganscloud.com/2014/12/06/9-tips-to-make-unstepping-your-mast-easier/

Arne Mogstad

Hi. What to use for lubrication of the turnbuckles? A Google search yields so many contradicting recommendations. I have used Lewmar winch grease (which is a calcium grease, and which is supposed to be VERY good), but Selden makes a rigging OIL that they recommend using (twice a year). Other say to use a molybdenum grease, and I even see some recommend Mc Lube SailKote.

Thanks, Arne.

Hi Arne, I hav used anhydrous lanolin for decades and been very happy. Lasts for a whole season or longer. I will be interested in what others use. My best, Dick Stevenson, sv Alchemy

I use my favourite Lubriplate, as I do for most everything on the boat. 130 AA https://www.lubriplate.com/Products/Grease/Multi-Purpose-Greases/130-Series/NO-130-AA

yacht rigging inspection checklist

Inspecting Your Mast and Rigging

Mast and Rigging inspection

Your sailboat rigging should be thoroughly checked once a season. The best way to do this is by pulling the mast or masts out of the boat and running down a check list. One can also spot most major problems from a bosun’s chair , and if done regularly, is generally more cost effective. It is strongly recommended that you have the spars pulled at least once every 5 years depending on the conditions that your boat and its rigging have been subjected to.

To help you do your own rigging check, here are some general guidelines for the average sloop rigged boat. For any specific questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to call .                                                                                                                                                    

A.    DECK LEVEL AND BELOW DECKS

Deck Level inspection

1. Check the boom gooseneck for worn pins, cracked welds, etc.…

2. Check the boom for bends or dents.

3. Check all block attachment points on the boom for fatigue or wear, i.e. vang bails, sheet bails.

cracked toggle

4. Check all blocks and shackle attachment points for bent pins, distorted shackles, missing or loose ring pins, etc.…

5. To check halyards, attach a spare line (or the bitter end of the same line) to the shackle end and pull up on the halyard slowly. Check the line and check the shackle for proper operation.

6. Check all shroud, stay, and lifeline swages for cracks.

Boom goose neck cracks

7. Check lifelines where they go through stanchion post for excessive wear.

8. Make sure the mast sits flush on the mast step.

9. If your mast is keel stepped, make sure the mast is securely chocked where it goes through the deck.

Cracked Toggle

10. Check the chain plate attachment points below deck for wear. Also check for signs of  rot or any evidence of water damage.

11. Make sure the chain plates or chain plate cover plates appear sealed and tight where they go through the deck.  

12. Check turnbuckles for bends in the body or stud, cracks, excessive rust, as well as ensure all turnbuckles are secured properly. Either by way of cotter pin, locking nut or ring pin.                   

MAsthead inspection

B.   THE MASTHEAD – Before going aloft please consult with a professional as severe injury or death can occur!!!

1. Check all welds for cracks.

2. Check any masthead gear for secure attachment.

3. Check that all pins are properly secured, either by way of cotter pin or ring pin.

MAst head

4. Make sure the sheaves turn freely and the pins that hold them-in are secure.

5. Check for sharp edges where halyards exit.  

6. Make sure all fasteners, rivets, screws  are tight.

7. Check head and backstay swages for cracks.

Cracked Swage

8. If you have an external mainsail track, as you descend, check the fasteners to make sure they are tight .

C.  SHROUDS

  1. Check swages for cracks.

  2. Check the shroud tangs for wear.

Crack at the swage

  3. Check  to make sure all clevis pins are properly secured.

 4 . Make sure the tang bolt (if present) is tight and locked in a secure manner.

Inspecting the spreaders

D.   SPREADERS

  1. If spreaders or brackets are welded, look for stress cracks (see pic below).

  2. Make sure spreader bases are secure.

  3. Make sure the spreader is well fastened to the base.

Cracked spreader base

4. Tape or silicone over any sharp bolts or cotter pins in this area.  

5. Check spreader tips, where spreader intersects the wire, for corrosion (remove any tape or boots) and ensure spreader tips are secured to upper shrouds by seizing or clamp s.

For rod rigging service and inspection intervals, read more  here .

….Have a question? Drop us a line  or leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.

Similar Posts

Still here, are you coming down, not all t terminals are created equal…….

‘T’ Terminals, ‘T’ Balls, Gibb Hooks, Shroud Terminals, and Lollipop Fittings are just some of the nicknames for these special fittings. I would just like to take a minute to address the different terms associated with these fittings; their uses and misuses. It appears that many boats in today’s sailboat market use these types of…

We Like Bikes Too!

Check out The Rigging Company NEW Flat Track Motorcycles, ridden by The Rigging Company Owner/Partner, Sean Simmons. Come see Sean race this weekend at the Mason Dixon Fairgrounds……  

Which Sealant Should I Choose?

This is an often asked question which seems to have many different answers. Over time we have tried various sealants and have narrowed it down two primary products as our choice of sealant, 3M’s UV4000 and Boat Life Life Calk. Boat Life’s Life Calk provides a long lasting seal that stays flexible through out its lifespan….

Why Hydrofoils?

Well, take a look for yourself. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRQJRhPg6J8&w=560&h=315] As much as I hate to say it……….those Kiwis are lookin’ strong.

The Symbol of the Modern Americas Cup

USA-17, the fixed wing revolution icon, meets its final resting place just in front of Oracle’s Headquarters in Redwood City, California. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vladvQR5C18&w=560&h=315] Apparently it is quite the process to make this happen, but relative to the world of Americas Cup costs, this is just a drop in the bucket.  

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Username or Email Address

Remember Me

Lost your password?

Review Cart

No products in the cart.

The Rigging Company

  • Privacy Overview
  • Strictly Necessary Cookies

This website uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best user experience possible. Cookie information is stored in your browser and performs functions such as recognising you when you return to our website and helping our team to understand which sections of the website you find most interesting and useful.

Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.

If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.

  • Articles and Guides

Boat Inspection Checklist: How to Inspect a Boat Before Buying

6th dec 2023 by samantha wilson.

Rightboat logo

Buying a boat, whether it’s new or used, big or small, is a major decision both financially and personally, and here at Rightboat we know that as well as anyone else. We’re here to walk you through every step of the process, and recommend you begin with our in-depth and comprehensive article How to Buy a Boat: The Ultimate Guide as well as learning what others got wrong by checking out the 9 Mistakes to Avoid when Buying a Boat . 

There are differences when it comes to buying new and used boats; conducting inspections and knowing what to look for when buying a used boat are vital. Fresh out of the factory, boats won’t require this and will come with warranties to ensure everything is as it should be. When it comes to used boats, however (whether you’re buying a used boat from a private party or a broker), inspections are vital to make sure you’re buying a sound boat and spending your money wisely. There are many steps to buying a used boat , and viewing a boat you’re interested in is the very first one. It will give you that all-important first impression of the condition of the boat, at which point you decide to forge ahead or walk away. We highly recommend getting a complete marine survey done on any boat you’re considering buying, as experienced surveyors will know the problems to look for and where to find them. 

But before you get to the stage of paying for a marine survey, have a read through our 7 Hidden Problems to Check for When Buying a Used Boat and use this checklist as a guide to make a thorough boat inspection before purchase.

man boat inspection

Conducting inspections and knowing what to look for when buying a used boat are vital.

Pre-Inspection Checklist

  • Ask to see servicing and maintenance records. Knowing a boat has had regular servicing and maintenance is a very good start and learning about past repairs may give you the chance to ask worthwhile questions. Ideally, the boat will have been serviced annually. 
  • Find out how the boat has been used. You can learn a lot with this question to give you insight into how well it has been maintained, where it has been used ( saltwater versus freshwater ), where it was stored, any damage that might have occurred, etc. Use it as a conversation starter and ask follow-up questions. 
  • Where has the boat been stored? In general, boats stored outside in the water are likely to have suffered more wear and tear than those stored in dry, covered conditions. The effects of close proximity to salt water, freezing water, and inclement weather can cause corrosion and damp. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ever buy a boat stored in the water—indeed one could argue that it may have been kept there because it was used more and therefore better maintained. 
  • Ask about any damage. While minor damage that has been repaired or is not visible might not be declared, it is still worth asking as it may raise previous issues you can mention later to a marine surveyor.
  • How many hours does the engine have logged? Ask how many hours the engine has on it and when it was last serviced, as well its regular service program. 
  • Know what is included in the price. Make sure you ask the seller or broker to list exactly what is included at the asking price. This may include safety gear, electronics, or fishing equipment, for example. You’ll then want to ensure that the equipment is in good working order; otherwise you might be paying extra for what you could buy cheaper yourself. 
  • Is the boat still under warranty and is it transferable? Depending on the age of the boat, it might still be within its warranty, which is a valuable document to have in your possession. Ask whether the boat still has a warranty, how much time is left on the warranty, what the warranty covers, and whether the warranty is transferable to you. 

Visual Boat Inspection Checklist

Start with a visual inspection of the exterior of the boat and get a feel not only for its condition but also its space and layout. Remember you want a sound boat, but you also want to choose the right boat for you , your family, and your specific needs. 

  • Check for damage or repairs. While cleanliness isn’t necessarily a sign of poor condition, it can raise flags as to how well the boat has been cared for. Check for cracks in the fiberglass, signs of repairs to the bodywork, scratches, or discolored areas where damage may have been repaired. If the boat is out of the water (which it should be at some point when viewed it), check for bubbles in the fiberglass indicating osmosis (these are difficult and costly to fix), and that there are no gouges or scraping on the bottom of the hull or keel that might become problematic down the line. 
  • Inspect the transom, decks, bilge, and fuel tank. The transom is where an outboard engine would usually be mounted. You want to be looking for any signs of waterlogged wood which could signal a major problem. While this is a less common problem in modern boats, older wooden boats are particularly susceptible to rot. Likewise, check the decks for signs of warping, rotting or softness from water intrusion. You’ll also want to check the bilge area for any signs of oil leaking from the engine, and the fuel tank for signs of corrosion.  
  • Ensure the stringers are well-connected. Stringers should be well connected to the hull, otherwise, the vessel is structurally at risk. While it isn’t always easy to see them, and you may need to venture into the bilge with a good light, it is a must. Any separation or damage should be treated with extreme wariness. If you’re not keen on getting down into the bilge, then mark this as something you want your surveyor to do. 
  • Rigging. On a sailing yacht, you’ll want to check the rigging and sails as these are expensive items to replace. On a regular cruising yacht, these typically should be replaced every 10 years, so ask when the current sails were purchased and if you can spread them out, you can inspect for damage or wear; the softer or more wrinkles you find in the Dacron material, the shorter the sail’s remaining lifespan. 

boat inspection exterior

If the boat is out of the water, check for bubbles in the fiberglass indicating osmosis, and that there are no gouges or scraping on the bottom of the hull or keel that might become problematic down the line,

Engine and Electrics

The engine is the most important part of any power boat, and you’ll want a professional to give it a thorough going-over before committing to a purchase.

  • Check the oil. Ensure the oil doesn’t have a milky residue as this could signal water ingress. You can do this by pulling out the dipstick. 
  • Look for rust. Rust around the engine might indicate that the boat has been submerged in water for a long period of time, and its presence should set alarm bells ringing. 
  • Inspect the hoses, belts, and electrical connections. Have a close look at the hoses, belts, and electrical connections such as spark plugs to make sure they’re not cracked or worn. 
  • Check the propeller. Cracks in a propeller can be fixed, so aren’t always a red flag, but if you notice cracks or repairs, be sure to ask about them. 
  • Listen. Listen to the sound of the engine as it’s turned on and while running. You can do this during a sea trial, which is highly recommended, but also at the dock. Listen for excessive noise or vibrations, or unusual or rough sounds. Remember, boats don’t have odometers like cars, so it’s not easy to know how many hours a boat engine has run. 
  • Inspect the electrics. Rewiring is an expensive job on a boat, so spend time looking at as much of the electrical systems as you can. Start by switching on and off every single electrical item on board, before looking at the fuse box. A mixture of fuses might imply replacement, which in a newer vessel should raise some questions. Look at the wiring itself and get an idea of the condition. 

The interior of a boat can give you a good idea of the care a boat has received and also highlight issues with the hull itself.

  • Mold and mildew. Your first sign of interior mold and mildew is a strong, musty smell. Do a visual inspection too, looking for signs of rot on the floors or seating areas. Any warping is also a red flag. 
  • Leaks. Leaks in the hull may have been repaired and well hidden, so they may not be instantly visible. A good idea is to spray a hose at the hull, hatches, port holes, and seams and see if any moisture makes its way into the interior cabins. 
  • Check the doors, hatches, and windshield. As part of your visual boat inspection of the interior, be sure to open and close doors, portholes, and hatches to make sure they are watertight. The windshield should be secure with no cracks. 
  • Get a feel for the boat. As with the exterior, get familiar with the layout, style, and the décor. You may want to put your own stamp on the boat and design your own dazzling boat interior , but if not then consider the cost, if the soft furnishings are not up to par.

Get a Pre-Purchase Survey and Sea Trial

An inspection is highly recommended and will give you a better understanding of the condition of the boat before spending money on a pre-purchase survey (see our article Do I Need a Boat Survey When Buying a Used Boat? for more information). When it comes to pre-purchase surveys and sea trials , we almost always recommend having them conducted (unless the boat is very small or very inexpensive). An experienced marine surveyor will be able to do a thorough and in-depth report on the condition of the boat before you sign on the dotted line and provide you with the information to make a truly informed decision. You might want to run for the hills, or it might reassure you. You can always use the survey to negotiate the best price for a boat . 

Rightboat.com lists thousands of used boats all over the world and is the best place to search for the perfect boat for you. We are here to help you every step of the way and have a huge resource centre filled with useful articles on buying a used or new boat . Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our sellers, brokers, or the Rightboat.com team for more guidance. 

This article was published in March 2021 and updated in December 2023.

Written By: Samantha Wilson

Samantha Wilson has spent her entire life on and around boats, from tiny sailing dinghies all the way up to superyachts. She writes for many boating and yachting publications, top charter agencies, and some of the largest travel businesses in the industry, combining her knowledge and passion of boating, travel and writing to create topical, useful and engaging content.

Linkedin

More from: Samantha Wilson

Related Articles and Guides

Thumb man helm station of a boat

28th Nov 2023

Sea Trial: Costs, Checklist and More

Thumb marine surveys

1st Nov 2023

Types of Marine Surveys: Pre-Purchase, Condition and Damage Survey

Thumb yacht and sailing yachts in saint tropez

27th Oct 2023

The Top 15 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a New or Used Boat

Thumb spx 190

25th Sep 2023

Best Small Motor Boat Brands: Fishing Boats, Wakeboard Boats, Bowriders and more

  • Explore Rightboat
  • Boats for Sale
  • Boating Articles
  • Buyers Guide
  • About RightBoat
  • Sell Your Boat
  • Boat Selling Advice
  • All manufacturers
  • All categories

Enter your email to keep up to date with the latest news

Join for free

Sign up now for free and discover how easy it is to keep up to date with THE latest boats for sale. Find your right boat, and tailor your voyage to finding your next boat.

Benefits of becoming a member:

  • Set up tailored alerts
  • Personalise your experience
  • Download full specifications and broker details
  • Keep tabs on your favourite boats

Are you a broker? Join as a Broker

Rightboat - join for free.

Do you have an account already? Login

Save this search

Save your search and receive new boats in your email..

You can unsubscribe from your alerts whenever you like. By pressing the button you accept the Legal Terms and conditions

Web Analytics

  • New Sailboats
  • Sailboats 21-30ft
  • Sailboats 31-35ft
  • Sailboats 36-40ft
  • Sailboats Over 40ft
  • Sailboats Under 21feet
  • used_sailboats
  • Apps and Computer Programs
  • Communications
  • Fishfinders
  • Handheld Electronics
  • Plotters MFDS Rradar
  • Wind, Speed & Depth Instruments
  • Anchoring Mooring
  • Running Rigging
  • Sails Canvas
  • Standing Rigging
  • Diesel Engines
  • Off Grid Energy
  • Cleaning Waxing
  • DIY Projects
  • Repair, Tools & Materials
  • Spare Parts
  • Tools & Gadgets
  • Cabin Comfort
  • Ventilation
  • Footwear Apparel
  • Foul Weather Gear
  • Mailport & PS Advisor
  • Inside Practical Sailor Blog
  • Activate My Web Access
  • Reset Password
  • Customer Service

yacht rigging inspection checklist

  • Free Newsletter

yacht rigging inspection checklist

How to Perform Your Own Pre-Buy Inspection

yacht rigging inspection checklist

C&C 40 Used Boat Review

yacht rigging inspection checklist

Sabre 386 Used Boat Review

yacht rigging inspection checklist

What You Can Learn on a Quick Test Sail

yacht rigging inspection checklist

Preparing Yourself for Solo Sailing

yacht rigging inspection checklist

Your New Feature-Packed VHF Radio

yacht rigging inspection checklist

Preparing A Boat to Sail Solo

yacht rigging inspection checklist

Solar Panels: Go Rigid If You have the Space…

yacht rigging inspection checklist

Ground Tackle Inspection Tips

yacht rigging inspection checklist

Shoe Goo II Excels for Quick Sail Repairs

yacht rigging inspection checklist

When Should We Retire Dyneema Stays and Running Rigging?

yacht rigging inspection checklist

Rethinking MOB Prevention

yacht rigging inspection checklist

An Unusual Sailboat Shines a Light On A Sustainable Future

yacht rigging inspection checklist

Is It Time to Get an Electric Dinghy Motor?

yacht rigging inspection checklist

Worship Your Universal M-Series Diesel With the Marinized Kubota Block

yacht rigging inspection checklist

Taking Care of Your 12-Volt Lead-Acid Battery Bank

yacht rigging inspection checklist

Battle of the Teak Cleaners — Snappy Teak-Nu vs. Star Brite

yacht rigging inspection checklist

New Seacocks for the Offshore Sailor

yacht rigging inspection checklist

Bottom Paint Care

yacht rigging inspection checklist

Quick and Safe Sail Cleaning

yacht rigging inspection checklist

Are E-bikes Worth the Extra Weight and Cost?

yacht rigging inspection checklist

How to Handle the Head

yacht rigging inspection checklist

The Day Sailor’s First-Aid Kit

yacht rigging inspection checklist

How to Select Crew for a Passage or Delivery

yacht rigging inspection checklist

Re-sealing the Seams on Waterproof Fabrics

Waxing and Polishing Your Boat

Waxing and Polishing Your Boat

yacht rigging inspection checklist

Reducing Engine Room Noise

yacht rigging inspection checklist

Tricks and Tips to Forming Do-it-yourself Rigging Terminals

marine toilet test

Marine Toilet Maintenance Tips

yacht rigging inspection checklist

Learning to Live with Plastic Boat Bits

  • Boat Maintenance

Spring Inspection Checklist for Boats

The sailors guide to seasonal inspection.

yacht rigging inspection checklist

Spring is here. Time to step back, put on your inspector hat, and approach the boat as an independent hired inspector would.

Be prepared to tell yourself things you don’t want to hear. Some items relate to maintaining value, some to safety, and some give peace of mind. Some items will require either hauling out or diving. Unless you are extremely experienced with boats and a dab hand at most crafts, hiring a surveyor every 5-10 years to catch what you missed is smart money. Your insurance provider may require this.

Deck, Topsides, and Cockpit

  • Deck and deck core: Examine visually for moisture penetration and delamination. Tap with a phenolic hammer or the base of a screwdriver.
  • Trampoline (multihulls): Check the lacing, bolt ropes, and grommets for wear. Are there periodic tie-offs to prevent zippering if the line fails?
  • Deck fittings, including cleats and chain plates: Inspected individually for soundness, water-tightness, corrosion, and damage or wear.
  • Hatches, lockers, and lazarettes: Look for damage to hinges and gaskets, and evidence of leaks. The most common cause of leaks is dirt between the gasket sealing faces, so carry a wet rag and bowl of water so you can clean them as you go. Empty each locker to inspect the locker and take inventory. Remove unnecessary gear. Inspect the stuff you keep.
  • Transom: Ladders, through hulls, and drains. ABYC standards call for a ladder with lowest rung at least 21-inches below the water.
  • Lifelines: Inspect soundness of the pulpit, stern rail, and stanchions. Is the wire corroded at the fittings or where it passes through stanchions? Are Dyneema lifelines chafed? Inspect all gates for secure locking.
  • Jacklines: Replace the line if worn or UV damaged. Replace lashings annually. Are there hard clipping points for secondary jacklines or workstation clip-in points for 2/3 of the crew?
  • Sheeting systems: Inspect traveler, headsail leads and track, twing lines, vang, and preventers.
  • Mast winches, deck winches, and fairleads: Is there a good backing plate? Any evidence of spider cracks around fasteners? If the winches have not been serviced in more than 5 years, carefully dissemble, clean, and relubricate with either winch grease (Lewmar has best anti-corrosion test results) or Green Grease (Omni Lubrican’ts). Do not over grease and use only oil on the pawls. Replace the pawls and springs if worn.
  • Helm station: Play in the wheel? Engine controls working well? Seat well secured?
  • Dodger, bimini, and other canvas attachments: Inspect frame for loose fittings and cracks. Inspect canvas for chafe. Inspect all stitching and repair. Lube zippers.

Mast and Rigging

  • Mast, boom, and poles: Inspect halyards before climbing and replace as needed. Climb the mast annually to inspect the rigging. Inspect for cracks, loose fittings, and mousing wire.
  • Test all internal reefs: Lines can tangle or twist, and birds or rodents can build nests inside the boom.
  • Test furler operation: Can you feel any clicking vibrations, as though bearings are failing? Check luff tension, furling line.
  • Rigging wire: Inspected for broken strands, cracked terminals, and chafe. Are wires well secured to spreader tips? Chafe boots on spreader tips
  • Turnbuckles: Secured? Cotter pins or circle clips taped or guarded?
  • Eye terminals: Checked for corrosion, cracks, and elongation.
  • Mast in column: Prebend, if applicable, should be consistent and within specification.
  • Rigging tension: Check with tension gauge or by other means. Also check under way in strong conditions; the leeward shrouds should not go completely slack and the mast should remain in column. There should be no pumping of the mast.
  • Mast pulleys: Inspect.
  • Spreaders and fittings: Examine for corrosion, wear, or chafing.
  • Boom hardware and lines: Inspect reefing lines, cleats, and vang.
  • Remove all sails for close inspection: Restitch chafed seams before they fail. A stitch in time saves nine.
  • Chain plates: Leakage or evidence of corrosion? Even very slight evidence is grounds for further investigation.
  • Sole: Evidence of leaks. Is it time to recoat for wear? Is it time for recoat for wear?
  • Galley: All appliances safe and functional.
  • Propane storage and system:

– Hoses cracked or chafed?

-Does pressure hold for a least several hours?

– Check solenoid switch cut-off.

– Test sensors with lighter (no flame).

– Propane locker is sealed and the only drain is overboard? Is drain is above waterline? Spray water through drain to check for clogs. All hose and wire penetrations must be sealed. Nothing may be stored in the locker.

– Check LPG tanks in inspection date and condition.

  • Cabin and sleeping accommodations:

– Can furnishings, doors, drawers, and interior storage areas be secured against knock-down?

– Dampness or mold under mattresses or cushions?

– Condensation on cold surfaces?

– Are bunks safe in rolly conditions (lee cloths etc.)?

Carbon monoxide detector: vital if you ever sleep with the heat on.

  • HVAC: Check function.

Engine and Engine Room

  • Engine beds and mounts.
  • Inspect all hoses and wires.
  • Fuel, oil, coolant fluids, exhaust.
  • Drive train and couplings.
  • Shifting difficulties.
  • Sample fuel tank bottom. Water? Test pH (below 5.5 pH suggests bacteria might be present).
  • Clean. Remove debris in the bilge.
  • Test pumps and switches.
  • Thru-hulls and thru-hull fittings, including valves, clamps, and hoses. Double clamps below the waterline, no corrosion.
  • Fuel system. This includes tank and mounts, fuel lines, filter, and shutoff.
  • Holding tanks and water tanks. This includes mounts, hoses, and shore connections.
  • Keel bolts: Leakage, corrosion, ANY cracking around the bolts. Is a backing plate needed?
  • Keel: Damage or signs of repair on the bottom or leading part of the keel are common in boats sailed in shallow water; evaluate the severity of the damage.
  • Swing keels: Use a flashlight to look into the keel housing. Inspect pendant if accessible. Check lateral play. Get a pros opinion if play is excessive.
  • Cleanliness: Dirty bilges lead to clogged sump pumps and, if nothing is done, sinking boats. There must be zero debris.
  • Check signs of blistering. Minor gelcoat blistering usually isn’t something to worry about, as most boats will develop some blistering over the years. However, severe, deep blistering can be problematic and can be costly to repair.
  • Thru-hulls, grills, sea valves: All thru-hull openings will be inspected for a variety of possible problems resulting from damage or normal degradation and wear. Repeat inspection in the spring if exposed to sub-freezing temperatures.
  • Propeller, shaft, and supporting struts: The prop should be sound, the shaft straight and true, and supports strong and sturdy without excess looseness.

-Rudder. Easy, smooth rudder motion.

-Any looseness or wear in the pintles and gudgeons, or bearings.

-Water seepage into the rudder.

-Rudder kick-up and lock-down mechanisms.

-Check tiller for cracks and splits.

-Wheel, cables, and quadrant.

-Autopilot.

Spring Inspection Checklist for Boats

Anchors and Ground Tackle

  • Chain. Inspect for rust or damage: Run the full length out. Inspect links for wear.
  • Shackles: All shackles moused.
  • Chain-to-rope splice: Is the splice worn or the end link of the chain corroded (cut off last link and re-splice).
  • Snubber: Check for chafe. Is it long enough (about one boat length)?
  • Installation: Is the equipment installed in compliance with industry practices?

– Fuses or breakers match loads?

– No branch lines smaller that 16 AWG (except for

– No wires twisted onto terminals-ring terminals only.

– Terminals guarded? If a switch or breaker panel back is in a locker, is the locker empty or properly guarded?

Shore power cord: No signs of overheating (check plugs for heating under full load) or burn marks between tines.

  • Operation: Does all electrical equipment function properly?
  • Batteries: Are they well-secured?

– Corrosion on posts? Clean and coat with waterproof grease.

– Are all circuits properly protected with breakers for fuses?

– Are the positive terminals insulated or guarded?

  • Seacocks, hoses, fittings: Seacocks operational?

– Below the waterline seacocks have double hose clamps. Clamps in good condition and not corroded. Clamps properly positioned.

– Hoses not cracked.

  • Head: Check toilet, sink, faucet, shower, drain, pump.
  • Taps: Do all interior and exterior taps, faucets, and sprayers operate properly, and is there any leakage
  • Sink and faucet: Check for leaks. Does the pressure pump cycle on without demand? Repeat inspection in the spring if exposed to sub-freezing temperatures.

Safety Equipment

  • USCG requirements:

– PFDs (personal flotation devices).

-Fixed and portable fire extinguishers.

– Visual distress signals.

– Sound-producing devices (audible signals).

– Navigation lights.

– Engine exhaust blowers and engine room ventilation.

– Oil discharge and garbage disposal placards.

  • Auxiliary safety equipment:

– VHF radio.

– Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.

– First aid kits.

– Fire blanket and water bucket.

– Flashlights/spot lights.

– Check operation of all safety gear.

– At least one head lamp.

– Spare batteries.

– Safety harness. Inspect for wear, specifically near buckles. Inspect carabiners for smooth operation. No binding due to corrosion is acceptable.

– LifeSling. Is the cover closed? Is the sling stored properly? Is the line damaged by UV or chafe? Pull out and re-pack.

Ships Papers

  • Check for documentation.

– Vessel registration and hull numbers. Dinghy also, if powered.

Drew Frye is for Practical Sailors technical editor and author of Rigging Modern Anchors (Seaworthy Publications). He also blogs at his website www.blogspot.sail-delmarva.com.

Spring Inspection Checklist for Boats

The list of safety-related inspection points extends to essential gear such as rigging and lifelines, which, should they fail, can put the crew in jeopardy.

  • Because they can hold water, deck level swage fittings are more vulnerable to cracking from crevice corrosion or freezing.
  • Lifeline chafe is often hidden inside the stanchion. Also check lifeline swage fittings.
  • Chafe points on propane lines can eventually wear through the reinforced hose to develop leaks.
  • In addition to checking and updating the auto-inflation mechanisms on your PFD, you should check the bladders for leaks by leaving them inflated overnight.
  • Flares and other pyrotechnic signals have an expiration date. Because of the high failure rate, out of date flares should not be relied upon.
  • Fire extinguishers should be checked for proper pressure. Also confirm the correct location. Extinguishers should not be stored in the engine space or galley, but nearby.

Spring Inspection Checklist for Boats

The list of checkpoints increases with the number and complexity of systems. Auxiliary engines present their own inspection points. Electrical systems and plumbing introduce multiple points of potential failure if neglected.

  • Winches need to be inspected regularly. Under normal use, you should not have to repack but once every 2-5 years.
  • Propellers shafts and bearings need to be checked for excessive lateral movement indicating wear. Folding props need waterproof grease.
  • Bilges need to be clean. Check bilge pumps for actual flow rate at the through hull. Check thru-hull valves for smooth opening and closing.
  • Engine exhaust elbows corrode and crack with age. Check for leaks here and replace if necessary.
  • Steering linkages and chains need to be inspected for wear. Autopilot drive units checked for operation
  • Batteries need to be topped off with a charge, and positively secured. Positive terminals should be covered to prevent shorts.

RELATED ARTICLES MORE FROM AUTHOR

Leave a reply cancel reply.

Log in to leave a comment

Latest Videos

Tayana 37: What You Should Know | Boat Review video from Practical Sailor

Tayana 37: What You Should Know | Boat Review

Monitor Your Whole Boat From Home On A Mobile App video from Practical Sailor

Monitor Your Whole Boat From Home On A Mobile App

yacht rigging inspection checklist

Beneteau 423: What You Should Know | Boat Review

yacht rigging inspection checklist

Buying A Sailboat Is Scary! Yacht Broker Interview

  • Privacy Policy
  • Do Not Sell My Personal Information
  • Online Account Activation
  • Privacy Manager

404 Not found

  • San Jose del Cabo Tourism
  • San Jose del Cabo Hotels
  • San Jose del Cabo Bed and Breakfast
  • San Jose del Cabo Vacation Rentals
  • Flights to San Jose del Cabo
  • San Jose del Cabo Restaurants
  • Things to Do in San Jose del Cabo
  • San Jose del Cabo Travel Forum
  • San Jose del Cabo Photos
  • San Jose del Cabo Map
  • All San Jose del Cabo Hotels
  • San Jose del Cabo Hotel Deals
  • Last Minute Hotels in San Jose del Cabo
  • San Jose del Cabo
  • Things to Do
  • Restaurants
  • Vacation Rentals
  • Travel Stories
  • Rental Cars
  • Add a Place
  • Travel Forum
  • Travelers' Choice
  • Help Center

What's on your checklist? - San Jose del Cabo Forum

  • Mexico    
  • Baja California    
  • Baja California Sur    
  • Los Cabos    
  • San Jose del Cabo    

What's on your checklist?

Visit Mexico

  • United States Forums
  • Europe Forums
  • Canada Forums
  • Asia Forums
  • Central America Forums
  • Africa Forums
  • Caribbean Forums
  • Mexico Forums
  • South Pacific Forums
  • South America Forums
  • Middle East Forums
  • Honeymoons and Romance
  • Business Travel
  • Train Travel
  • Traveling With Disabilities
  • Tripadvisor Support
  • Solo Travel
  • Bargain Travel
  • Timeshares / Vacation Rentals
  • Los Cabos forums
  • San Jose del Cabo forum

' class=

Isn't it time to start planning that next vacation? Things book up fast! Don't forget to start ticking things off your checklist. I'm going for my annual Oct/Nov trip.....

Shuttle reservation from the airport - check!

Reservations at Flora Farms - check!

Ordered and received 100 of the most awesome flashing LED bracelets to hand out in town on Halloween - check!

Sunscreen (it's way to expensive in SJD) - check!

Aqua socks to walk the beach (sand can be rough in places) - check!

Thermos cup for early morning beach walk with tea - check!

Snorkel and fins- check!

Rash guard - check!

Flip flops- check!

I think I'm ready! Aside from a massage appointment that I will make once I arrive what am I missing?

I hope the TSA people at Customs don't give you a hard time bringing in flashing bracelets.

They held me up for bringing in 10 golf hats ! They thought I was going to sell them.

They finally let me pass. If they are in your luggage you will slip thru, unless you get the red Light !

Good luck 1

Got my fingers crossed! Will split them up between three people and claim they are for a private party :-)

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity.

  • Zippers vs Pescadito Break. May 01, 2024
  • Beach Reccomendation Apr 26, 2024
  • Bike hire prices and ideas Apr 25, 2024
  • Best massage and facial! Apr 23, 2024
  • Best bets at Zandun Apr 22, 2024
  • Pietro’s or La Dolce Apr 22, 2024
  • San Jose del Cabo entertainment and best Supermercado Apr 21, 2024
  • NU car rental company? Apr 18, 2024
  • Airport patience Apr 16, 2024
  • nice overnight stay near SJD airport Apr 15, 2024
  • Uber Apr 14, 2024
  • The Wonderful off the beaten track, Semillon restaurant. Apr 13, 2024
  • Distilled Water - La Comer Apr 11, 2024
  • Hotel Question Apr 10, 2024
  • Sex in the City....Mexico Hotel 6 replies
  • Early January Weather in Los Cabos 12 replies
  • Is Cabo Safe???? 23 replies
  • Mega Store Hours 6 replies
  • Car Rental In SJD airport or hotel 7 replies
  • Sunquest Roulette 4 stars plus 4 replies
  • June weather, how is it? 3 replies
  • Is Cabo Safe 15 replies
  • El Presidente in Cabo San Lucas 9 replies
  • "Mega" store? 4 replies

San Jose del Cabo Hotels and Places to Stay

yacht rigging inspection checklist

BSCC Logo

Health Inspection Checklists

The below checklists are provided as a tool for health inspectors use, of which is not required. Should you notice any inaccuracies or errors, please contact the FSO Analyst at 916-445-5073 or [email protected]

Health Inspection Checklists for Adult Court and Temporary Holding Facilities - 2023 Title 15 Regulations

  • Health Inspection Checklist Instructions- PDF
  • Adult Court and Temporary Holding Cover - Word
  • Adult Court and Temporary Holding Environment - Word
  • Adult Court and Temporary Holding Nutrition - Word
  • Adult Court and Temporary Holding Medical - Word

Health Inspection Checklists for Adult Jail Facilities (Types I, II, III, and IV) - 2023 Title 15 Regulations

  • Health Inspection Checklist Instructions - PDF
  • Adult Jail Cover - Word
  • Adult Jail Environment - Word
  • Adult Jail Nutrition - Word
  • Adult Jail Medical / Mental Health - Word

Health Inspection Checklists for Juvenile Facilities - 2019  Title 15 Regulations

  • Juvenile Environment - Word
  • Juvenile Nutrition - Word
  • Juvenile Medical / Mental Health - Word

yacht rigging inspection checklist

IMAGES

  1. Rigging Equipment Inspection Checklist for better rigging safety

    yacht rigging inspection checklist

  2. Rigging Inspection Form Checklist

    yacht rigging inspection checklist

  3. Boat maintenance checklist pdf download ~ Boat for fishing

    yacht rigging inspection checklist

  4. Vessel Inspection Checklist (Free and editable checklist template)

    yacht rigging inspection checklist

  5. Osha Rigging Inspection Checklist

    yacht rigging inspection checklist

  6. Rigging Inspection S for 2010-2024 Form

    yacht rigging inspection checklist

VIDEO

  1. The Berthon riggers swaging

  2. How to Perform a Forklift Chain Inspection

  3. Swaging at Berthon

  4. Aerial Yacht and Mooring Inspection

  5. HOW WE RIG OUR BOAT: A step by step guide. Ep 22

  6. Our first rigging inspection!

COMMENTS

  1. Yacht rigging: your essential pre-season rig check guide

    However, because a yacht's standing rigging has so many possible weak points it can be tricky to predict when any part of it is about to break. Close inspection should be a mandatory element of the pre-season preparations and checks. ... Yacht rigging Inspection checklist. Mast and boom for cracks and corrosion; Spreader roots and ends for ...

  2. Inspecting Sailboat Rigging

    Check for white powder and pitting on aluminum mast steps and at the base of the mast. 5. Inspect the condition of the mast step. Mast steps here are often in a damp environment, and a lot of mast steps are made from non-stainless steel on older boats, which can rust. Some boats have an aluminum mast step.

  3. Inspecting Your Boat's Mast and Rigging

    If you're not confident in your ability to inspect your boat's rig, you can hire a professional — a rigger or surveyor — to do it for you. Riggers specialize in rigging, which is an advantage, but they could be biased since they also sell rigging. An inspection, including going aloft, should be under $100 for a 30' boat.

  4. PDF Cruising Sailboat Rig Inspection Checklist

    Cruising Sailboat Rig Inspection Checklist Version 1.00, May 10th, 2022 Tips for use Access the list by clicking on the checklist tab below. ... Replace with high modulus rope if possible Article—running rigging New-to-us boat Inspection Article—running rigging Annually

  5. How to Inspect and Tune a Sailboat Rig

    Make sure it's not overly slack and flopping around like loose spaghetti. If so, add more shroud tension to both sides. A tension-testing gauge will work, but many sailors do fine estimating by hand. Cruising-boat rigs shouldn't have the same amount of rig tension as a raceboat ­beating to windward.

  6. How To Inspect Sailboat Rigging? (The Ultimate Guide)

    Step 2. The second step in inspecting sailboat rigging is to check the tension and inspect the wire for any cracks or other damage. This step is critical for ensuring the safety of the boat and its crew. To check the tension, start by examining the wire to ensure that it is free from any kinks or knots.

  7. Rig Check

    The inspection will look for items such as cracks in rigging components, misalignment of stays and corrosion. Rig tensions should be checked and adjusted as necessary. A written record should be completed listing existing or potential concerns. Every 5 years or so, more thorough rig checks should be carried out, which involve disassembly of the ...

  8. Rigging Inspection Boats Checklist: Complete Guide

    Rigging Inspection Boats Checklist: Essentials. Thorough scrutiny is essential during a meticulous boat maintenance checklist, particularly when conducting a comprehensive Rigging Inspection.Evaluating the sailing rigging's integrity is paramount, with a focus on detecting signs of wear, especially around rigging hardware and shackle jaws.

  9. PDF Sailboat Rigging Checklist

    This is a basic/generic sailboat rigging checklist. Not all boats will have all the items listed. The items with a * are things you might want to check before and after long distance travel or heavy weather usage. It would be beneficial for each sailor to develop a list of parts and tools necessary to have onboard to keep the rigging at its best.

  10. Cruising Sailboat Standing Rigging Inspection

    In Part 1 we got the mast out of the boat and worked for hours inspecting a bunch of stuff…and now we get to work some more.. Still, all this effort is worth it to prevent a gravity storm, so let's carry on. And, just so you don't totally despair at the prospect of reading all this boring detail, don't forget that this is leading to the much-requested rig-inspection checklist.

  11. Inspecting Your Mast and Rigging

    1. Check the boom gooseneck for worn pins, cracked welds, etc.…. 2. Check the boom for bends or dents. 3. Check all block attachment points on the boom for fatigue or wear, i.e. vang bails, sheet bails. 4. Check all blocks and shackle attachment points for bent pins, distorted shackles, missing or loose ring pins, etc.…. 5.

  12. Boat Inspection Checklist: How to Inspect a Boat Before Buying

    Visual Boat Inspection Checklist . Exterior. Start with a visual inspection of the exterior of the boat and get a feel not only for its condition but also its space and layout. ... Rigging. On a sailing yacht, you'll want to check the rigging and sails as these are expensive items to replace. On a regular cruising yacht, these typically ...

  13. PDF Sailing Boat Inspection Checklist

    the boat before you embark, you will have a good time out on the water. Below is a list of items to check on a sailing boat for offshore passages. It is divided into 2 parts (skipper and experienced crew) which can be run in parallel by 2 people to speed up the process. Skipper checklist Interior ☐ Amount of oil in the engine (should be full).

  14. DIY Survey Checklist for Used-boat Buying

    Most sailors immediately think wire when they hear the term standing rigging, but thats only one part of the story. Your pre-survey inspection should encompass several different components, from chainplates and turnbuckles to cotter pins and terminal ends. Here are three primary standing rigging components along with possible issues to watch ...

  15. PDF Boat Maintenance checklist

    rope inspection Re-galvanize anchors and chain Service windlass Replace marks on chain and rode Rigging Check rig fittings, welds and terminal ends Complete mast and rig inspection, retune rig Unstep the mast for full inspection. Replace corroded wiring, fix any cracked terminals Clean and lubricate mast track Clean foil on furler

  16. Spring Inspection Checklist for Boats

    Boat Maintenance; Spring Inspection Checklist for Boats The sailors guide to seasonal inspection. By. Darrell Nicholson - Published: March 22, 2019 Updated: June 3, 2020. 0. Facebook. Twitter. Email. ... Mast and Rigging. Mast, boom, and poles: Inspect halyards before climbing and replace as needed. Climb the mast annually to inspect the rigging.

  17. Boat Inspection Checklist: Ensuring a Smooth Sail Every Time

    A boat survey checklist is a detailed document that covers all the essential components of a boat. It usually includes sections for hull and deck inspection, engine and propulsion system check, electrical system examination, safety equipment review, and navigation system analysis, among others.

  18. Boat Inspection Checklist: 31 Important Steps (Complete Guide)

    Exterior Inspection Checklist. The outdoors regarding a boat is the maximum important part of the vessel more it is in direct contact with the water. Any outside faults that you didn't catch prior to buying can cost you thousands in repairs. It may also reduce and excitement is owning a boat. Use this checklist for take sure all a well. 1) Hull

  19. Vessel Inspection program

    All other vessels originating from permissible areas must pass a vessel inspection. Please continue to be diligent in making your vessel - boat, kayak, personal watercraft etc. clean and dry. Not a spot of water can be seen or felt - even water from your beverage cooler, or water toys. Santa Clara County Parks wants to educate park visitors on ...

  20. Clean, Drain and Dry Boat Cleaning Procedures

    Inspect all watercraft and equipment. Clean any visible mud, plants, fish or animals from watercraft and equipment. Drain all water, including from lower outboard unit, ballast, live-well, buckets, etc. Dry all areas. Dispose of debris and live bait in trash. Report any mussels you find to the local marina and the California Department of Fish ...

  21. What's on your checklist?

    Don't forget to start ticking things off your checklist. I'm going for my annual Oct/Nov trip..... Shuttle reservation from the airport - check! Car rental... San Jose del Cabo. San Jose del Cabo Tourism San Jose del Cabo Hotels San Jose del Cabo Bed and Breakfast

  22. Health Inspection Checklists

    The below checklists are provided as a tool for health inspectors use, of which is not required. Should you notice any inaccuracies or errors, please contact the FSO Analyst at 916-445-5073 or [email protected]. Health Inspection Checklists for Adult Court and Temporary Holding Facilities - 2023 Title 15 Regulations.