THICKNESS OF RIGGING

GP14 Sailing Forums Forum THICKNESS OF RIGGING

This topic contains 21 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  steve13003 3 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #17324

    LAMBROS NAKIS
    Participant

    I just finished with the construction of the wooden mast for my GP. I want to order the rigging.

    I am wondering if there is a rule for the thickness of the rigging according the class.

    Also if it is better regarding the forestay to use a turnbuckle, or to be stable or with rope.

    Thank you.

  • #17325

    Chris Hearn
    Keymaster

    Hi,

    I think the most useful thing would be to start from the “Rope and Wire Lengths & Thicknesses” quoted in the Members’ area, page “All about your GP14“. I can’t comment on the forestay for a vintage boat, but the purpose (as I understand it) of the forestay is a) to support the mast when the sails are not rigged, and b) to keep the mast up if the sail are rigged but the jib/genoa tension were to suddenly release/break.  On my boat (MkII, approx 20 years old) I have a wire forestay but secured to the bowplate via 6” rope (and also a separate bungee to take out the slack, but allow mast to move back in the slot – helps when rigging the shrouds). I am sure Oliver can advise more accurately and with relevance to much older boats.

     

  • #17326

    Chris
    Participant

    On a wooden mast you will never get anywhere near break loads but 3mm 1×19 stainless wire would be usual. Roll swaged terminals are unnecessary  on a wooden spar, standard copper ferrules/thimbles (Hard eye) will be perfectly adequate.

    I’d use the same on your forestay as it will be supporting the jib. Again, you’ll be nowhere near the breakloads.

  • #17327

    Oliver Shaw
    Moderator

    A handful of other points.

    The lengths data document that Chris Hearn mentions is appropriate for the usual situation,  i.e. the modern boat.    However the height of the chainplates was not standard on the early boats,  and as originally designed they extended up through the deck,  and the shrouds were attached above deck (like most dinghies of the time).   Although the more modern system (chainplates below decks and the shrouds passing through the deck) was approved in (I think) 1952,  boats continued to be built to the original design for many years afterwards.   And even for the modernised version I doubt whether the detail was specified;   certainly I have known  –  in both cases on professionally built boats by top builders of the day  –  shrouds pass through the centre of the deck bushes (outside a pin placed above the chainplates and rigging screws) and shrouds bearing on the sides of the deck bushes and going direct to the adjusters (on the chainplates).

    Also,  on wooden masts it is not unknown for there to be some slight variation in the design of the tangs of the hounds band – and even slight variation in the height at which it is screwed onto the mast.   And where shackles are used to attach shrouds (at either end) the length of shackles varies.

    All these factors of course affect the length of the shrouds,  so measure up your old ones;   alternatively,  if more convenient,  step the mast on your boat and then measure directly.

    Forestay.   The original arrangement,  almost universally used on early boats,  was for both shrouds and forestay to be secured (and adjusted) by rigging screws.   Halliard tensions were very much lower,  and the forestay was responsible for supporting both the mast and the jib luff,  which was hanked on to the forestay.   With greater halliard tensions the situation changed,  gradually,  to the point where in modern boats the rig tension is determined by the genoa halliard and the forestay is often much smaller diameter than the shrouds,  and is secured by only a lanyard (albeit with several turns).   The forestay then serves only to support the mast when the genoa is not set,  and it normally goes slack (unless tensioned by a bungee cord) once the genoa is set and full rig tension applied.

    A half-way house in terms of rig tension arises in boats with Highfield levers to tension the halliard.

    So the question of whether to use a rigging screw or a lanyard for your forestay,  and what diameter the wire needs to be,  depends very much on how much rig tension you intend to apply,  and that in turn interfaces with what hardware you have for tensioning the halliard.

    Finally,  don’t be tempted to apply full modern rig tensions on an old boat unless she has had the approved mast step conversion done;   the original design never envisaged the tensions that would be developed many decades later,  and there is a real risk of structural damage.

     

    Oliver

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 2 weeks ago by  Oliver Shaw.
    • This reply was modified 4 months, 2 weeks ago by  Oliver Shaw.
    • This reply was modified 4 months, 2 weeks ago by  Oliver Shaw.
  • #17336

    Chris Hearn
    Keymaster

    As always Oliver you are a fantastic mine of useful information on early boats!

  • #17339

    LAMBROS NAKIS
    Participant

    Thank you all for your suggestions .

    I agree totaly with you,  Oliver , that i have to step the mast on the boat to take measurements.

    Regarding tension I will discuss it with my sailmaker to design the sails according the “true” bent   rake & forestay tension.

    Regarding thickness I believe that 3mm 19×1 stainless wire is strong enough !

    These are my thoughts after your comments.I hope you agree.

    Thank you all again!

     

  • #17341

    Oliver Shaw
    Moderator

    If you can hang fire for another few days I will aim to measure the thickness of some of my shrouds as soon as convenient.

     

    Oliver

  • #17342

    LAMBROS NAKIS
    Participant

    I planed to make the measurements next weekend ( 09-10 / 02) .

    I you are ok , it will be great. !

    Thank you again.

    By the way, I also just finished all the restoration of the boat (hull no 4288) !

    She is like new !!!!!

  • #17351

    Oliver Shaw
    Moderator

    I have recently been reading about the rescue of the erstwhile America’s Cup challenger Sceptre from a stripped down and gutted state (a conversion interrupted by the death of her owner,  resulting in an executor sale “as is”) into a prestigious cruising and racing yacht.   Bear with me;   this is relevant!

    One detail which I picked up was Uffa Fox’s dictum for the strength of shrouds;    the total breaking strength on each side of the boat should equal the displacement.   For a dinghy,  of course,  displacement is in sailing trim,  so it includes crew weight.

    Uffa knew a thing or two about boat design;   he and Jack Holt were immediate contemporaries,  and were the two leading dinghy designers of their period,  joined a little later in a claim to that accolade by Ian Proctor.

    This standard seems intuitively sensible,  but as a physicist I wanted to validate it.   And I suspect that Uffa may have been wrongly quoted;   I personally would prefer a safe working load of that much,  rather than just the breaking strength.  However it seemed to be backed up by a mental “back of the envelope” very rough calculation in a semi-drowsy state while I was in bed but not sleeping in the wee small hours of this morning.   I estimated the maximum forseeable wind loading in the windward shroud as perhaps 265 kgf,  for the situation where two 80 kg sailors are driving the boat to windward and sitting out seriously hard.   Given the mass for the bare boat of perhaps 150 kg,  the total displacement would be 310 kg,  so Uffa’s dictum seems sensible,  with just a modest safety margin.

    That estimate does rely on some fairly approximate estimates of the lateral distances involved in the calculation,  so it is no more than a very rough guide.

    Allowing a factor of 3 to convert from breaking strength to safe working load,  and using my mental “back of the envelope” figure,   we are looking for a safe working load of 265 kgf,  so a breaking strength of 790 kgf.    Note that this is for the wind loading when driving the boat seriously hard.

    Looking up strengths of rigging wire online http://www.riggingandsails.com/rigging-breaking-strengths.shtml#top  I find that 3 mm of 316-type 1 x 19 wire has a breaking strength of 720 kgf,  which would indeed seem to be almost sufficient.

    However this takes no account of static loading;   and in Uffa’s day the static load was far less extreme than in the modern GP14 rig.    But since you are dealing with an early boat and a wooden mast,  you won’t be using those extreme static loads either.

    So it does look as though you are probably right in thinking that 3 mm is JUST strong enough   –   provided you don’t push her too hard in the heaviest weather.

    Hope this is helpful.

     

    Oliver

     

    Oliver

  • #17410

    Oliver Shaw
    Moderator

    With apologies for the delay,   I have just measured up two sets of shrouds.   One set is 3 mm diameter,  and the other is 2.5 mm.    I have to say that  –  now that I have measured it,  and done the above calculations  –  I think the 2.5 mm pair are a bit light,  but I am reasonably confident that 3 mm should be fine in everything except the most strenuous conditions.

    Hope this helps.

     

    Oliver

  • #17472

    Arthur
    Participant

    Oliver, what is the difference between above deck Shroud attachment and below? I have looked for pictures on it, but have been unsuccessful.

  • #17473

    Oliver Shaw
    Moderator

    I take it that you are fully familiar with the modern system,  of shrouds brought down through bushes in the decks to chainplates below decks.   The attached photo shows the original arrangement,  with chainplates extending to above the deck,  and rigging screws then securing the shrouds to the chainplates and providing adjustment.

    This was pretty much the standard arrangement for any half-decked sailing dinghy at the time the boat was designed.

    On this particular boat the original chainplates were something of a find;  second-hand,  made from heavy gauge brass strip,  and they even have the class insignia stamped into them.

     

    Oliver

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    • #17488

      Arthur
      Participant

      I was more trying to envision the modern system. Spark is exactly like the picture you show, as we in the states only ever had the Series 1 GPs. I doubt I will ever convert my boat, but I do like the cleaner look of the chainplates below deck

    • #17489

      Oliver Shaw
      Moderator

      These two photos show the modern system of through-deck shrouds and also through-deck sheeting.

      The unexpected additional control line and block on the second photo is rather like a barber-hauler,  intended to improve the sheeting angle when the genoa is reefed.   If the genoa is specially cut,  with a slightly higher clew,  this becomes unnecessary.

      Through-deck shrouds are undoubtedly a considerable improvement in terms of neatness and comfort;   and there is no risk of ripping your foul weather gear on the rigging screws.  The only disadvantage that I can think of is that the shroud attachment and adjustment is slightly less accessible;   but that is a small price to pay for greater neatness and convenience.   However owners with seriously early vintage boats may feel that historical authenticity trumps all other considerations.

      Through-deck sheeting is a mixed blessing.   Undoubtedly it is neater,  and because it gives a smooth deck to sit on it is that much more comfortable when sitting out.    But it can easily have slightly more friction than on-deck sheeting,  in which case one may need either to positively clear the old sheet when tacking,  or alternatively use thinner rope for the headsail sheets than is really comfortable.     It may be that the best of through-deck sheeting systems,  using three roller bearing blocks of large diameter,  adequately address the issue of friction;    I have seen such an arrangement,  but have no experience of using it.

       

      Oliver

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  • #17475

    LAMBROS NAKIS
    Participant

    Dear Oliver thank you.

    I have decided to make 3mm thickness 19X1.

    I believe it is strong enough !!! Check the photo and tell me you opinion..

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by  LAMBROS NAKIS.
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  • #17479

    Oliver Shaw
    Moderator

    Lambros,

    Yes,  as I indicated above,  I think that 3 mm of 1 x 19 is appropriate for everything except the most strenuous conditions.    Just don’t drive the boat seriously hard in gales.

    I see from the photo that you have the chainplates above deck,  so your shrouds will be shorter than the usual modern length;   and the required length will also depend on the length of your adjusters  –  rigging screws or whatever.   You will need to measure up,  either from your boat or from your old shrouds.

     

    Oliver

  • #17480

    LAMBROS NAKIS
    Participant

    Oliver, no spreaders at all !

    I have decided ti keep the original layout, without spreaders.

    You disagree ???

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by  LAMBROS NAKIS.
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  • #17483

    Oliver Shaw
    Moderator

    You shouldn’t need spreaders on a wooden mast.

    But except in the very lightest of winds I would have the shrouds tight;   on the photo they appear to be so slack that they are visibly sagging  –  although that is not entirely conclusive,  as it could possibly be no more than lens distortion.

     

    Oliver

  • #17484

    LAMBROS NAKIS
    Participant

    What you see in this picture are not shrouds..

    They are the measuring tapes for the shrouds.

  • #17492

    Arthur
    Participant

    while thru deck sheeting looks very neat, it is not something I intend to do to Spark. I would like to consider the thu deck shrouds though. It appears it is just a bushing on deck and the chainplates are mounted lower?

    • #17493

      Oliver Shaw
      Moderator

      Through deck shrouds:   yes,  but there are some details which are not obvious.

      The first GP14 which I had with through deck shrouds was built by Sills,  who at the time were regarded as the Rolls Royce of builders.    They had not only the chainplate mounted below the deck,  in much the same place as I presume your chainplates on Spark are mounted,  on that vertical piece of timber,   but they also had just slightly below the deck a second fitting which mounted a horizontal pin;   the shrouds were then passed outboard of this pin,  and that kept them centred in the hole in the deck,  so that they never touched the bush.

      Excellent engineering,  but not proof against the momentarily careless owner.   On at least one occasion I was careless,  and failed to pass the shrouds behind the pins when I rigged the boat,  so instead of the shroud passing through the centre of the bush without touching it,  it bore on the edge of the bush.     The plastic bush was not designed for such treatment,  and it was secured in place by only very small screws,  so in due course it popped out,  leaving the shroud bearing on the plywood;   and the shroud then proceeded to slowly cut its way through the plywood.    Thankfully I noticed in time to prevent serious damage;   thereafter I made very sure of rigging the boat correctly,  and the damage to the deck was small enough to hide under the flange of the bush when I refitted it.

      With my modern Series 2 boat,  by a different (and current) builder,  also very highly respected,  the shrouds go direct to the chainplates (with adjusters,  of course),  and bear against the bushes as standard.   But those bushes are lined with stainless steel,  and I am reasonably sure that the deck is also reinforced in way of the holes  and the bushes are secured by larger screws than on the earlier boat,  so that the bushes won’t just pop out.   However I cannot easily check that detail,  because I no longer own the boat.

       

      Oliver

  • #17498

    steve13003
    Participant

    Hi,  can I add some thoughts, if going for under deck chain plates the bushes need to be the stainless lined type as described by Oliver, to support the bushes the deck plywood needs to be reinforced with a piece of hardwood the full width of the side deck and about 100 to 150mm wide.  This prevents the tearing through described by Oliver and the need for the pin support he described.  Also the shroud plate should be either bolted through the hull or bolted to the front seat knee as an alternative.

    if you want to try through deck sheeting for the genoa I can provide pictures of how I did a conversion, it is not easy and involves some expensive blocks.

    Steve

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