People have been killed or badly injured as a result of masts or support wires coming into contact with overhead power lines. Be watchful whenever you rig, launch, trailer or do anything else with your boat that might involve contact with power lines. If there is a threatening power line anywhere near areas where you sail, call or write to the power company and try to get them to move it or bury ft. Notify us and we will also lean on them. Don't remove the warning sticker on the mast. The repeated warnings may get boring, but power lines are life threatening risks.
ADJUSTING THE MAST SUPPORT WIRES
The mast should lean about 4 degrees to the rear of the boat. This should be measured with the boat in the water, the water ballast tank empty, no one aboard, and the weight of a 40 hp outboard on the transom. If you tie a weight to the aft side of the mainsail hoisting line and let it hang from the top of the mast, the weight should touch the deck about 20" to the rear of the back face of the mast. This will give about 4 degrees. Make sure the water is calm and there is very little wind before making this measurement.
When properly tuned, all of the mast support wires should be quite snug. Use the following sequence to set the rigging.
REAR SUPPORT WIRE: (BACKSTAY)
Adjust the rear mast support wire to give the mast the proper fore and aft position.
FORWARD SUPPORT WIRE: (FORESTAY)
Take up the slack in the forward mast support wire by adjusting the turnbuckle.
TOP SIDE SUPPORT WIRE: (UPPER SHROUD)
Adjust the top side mast support wires so that the mast is straight from side to side. Try to make them snug. The wire adjuster channels are designed as "verniers" to provide adjustments in 1/8" increments. This is accomplished by having the holes in the wire straps spaced at different intervals than the holes in the adjuster channels. As the wire is extended every 1/8", a new set of holes will line up, allowing very precise tuning adjustments.
A small screwdriver can be inserted in one of the sets of non-aligning holes to provide leverage to get tension on the wires while the clevis pin is being inserted in the proper holes. Use the 1/4" clevis pins and cotter rings to connect the channels to the straps fastened to the support wires.
These channels are stronger than turnbuckles, better able to stand the bending loads resulting from raising and lowering the mast, and less likely to accidently come loose.
MIDDLE SIDE SUPPORT WIRES: (LOWER SHROUDS)
Adjust the middle side support wires as described above. Don't get them too tight or the center of the mast will be pulled toward the rear of the boat.
ALTERNATE METHOD OF TENSIONING THE WIRES:
With all the rigging in place, grip the upper wire about 4 feet above the deck and pull inboard toward the center of the boat. The lower wire will go slack and allow another hole to be taken up in the adjuster channel. To adjust the upper wires, pull inboard on the lower wire. This method takes 2 people, and can get the rigging far tighter than is desirable.
You can also loosen the forward turnbuckle, make the necessary adjustment in the side wires, and then retighten the turnbuckle. The final tightening of the forward wire provides the final tightening of the entire rig.
MAST APPEARANCE AFTER PROPER TUNING:
The downwind wires will be slack when sailing hard. The rear support wire may be somewhat slack when sailing into the wind, since the mainsail takes over the task of supporting the mast.
SECURE ALL COTTER PINS AND RINGS:
Make sure all the cotter pins and rings are in place and the cotter pins are opened and secured.
INSPECTION OF THE RIGGING:
It is a good idea to periodically inspect the mast and rigging. Look for broken strands In the wire bundles, signs of wear, and for kinks in the wire. Inspect the nicopress swagings to make sure the wire hasn't slipped thru the fittings. Replace any damaged wire.