The rig is one of the most important components of a sailing yacht. Nevertheless, many owners prefer to give it a wide berth instead of taking care of its maintenance. The "unknown object rig" is a vital component of yachts, yet often only cosmetic repairs are carried out on it. Proper care and maintenance, on the other hand, is usually lacking.
Prevention through professional advice Usually, the lack of care is due to a lack of knowledge about the rig's design, structure, material and stress, according to damage expert Holger Flindt of Pantaenius. Recognizing signs of wear on the rig itself is not easy, and helpful literature is also scarce. The owner is therefore on the safe side if he commissions a professional rigger to inspect his rig. This is not cheap, but in any case much cheaper than a new mast in case of mast breakage and the possibly necessary repairs on the ship. In addition, people can also come to harm in the event of a mast break.
How often should a rig check be done? The intervals for rig checks and material replacement are strongly dependent on use and load. Regatta sailors need to check and replace their material more frequently than recreational sailors. As a rule, the so-called standing rigging (shrouds, stays and suspensions) should be replaced about every 15,000 nautical miles. When buying a used yacht, the mast should be thoroughly inspected for hairline cracks and other signs of wear.
Pay attention to rig adjustment and trim Especially after winter storage, attention should be paid to proper mast adjustment. Too often, skippers rely on the staff of the marina where the boat was in winter storage. But they are not responsible for mast adjustment. The rig should therefore be adjusted by a professional when the mast is set for the first time after winter storage. The owner can then make appropriate marks and trim the mast himself next year. The wrong trim also causes unnecessary stress on the mast and standing rigging. The boat or mast manufacturer can usually provide comprehensive instructions on rig adjustment and trim.