Sartie & rigging, are you sure everything is okay?

riggingAdjusting your boat’s mast to the best of your ability is critical to achieving the best performance. Easy to say, hard to do. To accomplish this, there are really a lot of forces and maneuvers at play, starting, of course, with the rigging. So here is a brief vademecum to see how much you know.

WHAT ARE THE FIXED MANEUVERS?
These are all those used to support the mast, so shrouds, backstays, stays, and flywheels. They differ from running rigging, which instead is rigging that runs through blocks and is used to adjust sails.

WHAT ARE THE SHROUDS FOR?
They support the shaft laterally. These are cables that start at the masthead and run all the way to the deck where they attach to the mainsails, structures usually made of steel that are responsible for unloading the stresses of the mast onto the framework of the boat. The second task of the shrouds is to change the shape of the mast by adjusting their tension.

adjustment
HOW ARE THE SHROUDS MADE?
They are divided into three major families: spiroidal, rod and textile. The former, usually made of Aisi 316 stainless steel, are composed of a series of steel wires wound together to form a single cable. They are used on most cruising boats and have the advantage of lasting a long time, but the disadvantage of being subject to high elongation and being very elastic. An evolution of the spiroidal is the Dyform, a cable made of Aisi 316 stainless steel wires of different diameters with machining that makes the outer surface uniform. Racing boats use rod shrouds, a unique Nitronic 50 cable with very low elasticity and total lack of structural elongation. Maxi yachts and pure racing boats, outside the tonnage regulations such as the IMS, on the other hand, use textile shrouds. A cable made of unidirectional fibers that, in addition to being stiffer than steel, weigh less than half as much. Their high cost and UV resistance limit their widespread use.

armo-sartie
WHAT ARE THE CROSSES FOR?

Their task is twofold: they transfer some of the shaft stresses to the shrouds and serve to move them away from the shaft so as to increase or decrease the angle of incidence of the cables on the shaft. The number and width depends very much on the sail plan. To better understand how guns are thought of, one must always consider that with the same mast and boat, if there are few spreaders they will be longer and the heaths are likely to be in the hawser; a situation that usually leads to a less adjustable mast and a sail plan with a low overlap or with a less closed genoa on the channel. On the other hand, if there are more spreaders, they will be short with a smaller shroud angle. The mainsails will be on deck, the genoa overlap greater, and most importantly the sail will be more closed.

attachments-sartieSO WHAT IS INVOLVED IN HAVING MORE OR LESS CROSSES?
The number of spreaders depends on the length of the mast, the width of the hull, and a maximum length of the spreaders themselves. A racing boat will tend to have multiple orders of short spreaders, to favor jib adjustment and channel closure. A purely cruising one, on the other hand, should favor a simpler and more versatile rig, thus with fewer spreaders but longer lengths. This will allow the attachment of the shrouds to be found in the gunwale with a greater advantage for the use of space on board.

WHAT ARE DIAGONALS?
The spreaders are used to move the shrouds away from the mast and load the mast in compression. To limit this load, additional cables, known as diagonals, run from the base of the spreaders near the mast to the connection with the rigging. Their job is to decrease the compression on the mast by unloading the forces on deck.

 


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