To check the standing rigging themselves, most recreational and hobby sailors understandably lack the necessary background knowledge. They know little about the rig's design, structure, material, and load. There is also hardly any helpful literature for laymen. To identify weak points, signs of wear and fatigue, one already needs very good technical knowledge. Therefore, the help of a professional should be sought.
Edeltrud Perabo-Sachs, sales employee at Pantaenius Yachtversicherungen, explains the importance of inspecting the "standing rigging": "When taking out a new insurance policy for sailing yachts or sailboats, we require that the standing rigging has been inspected by a professional service or yacht technician from the age of 20 years. When advising customers, I have noticed that yacht owners usually know exactly when, for example, the hull was last painted or how many hours the engine has already run. The age of the standing rigging, however, is often unknown to the customers. In my experience, however, this is one of the most important safety criteria for the operation of a sailing yacht. In the worst case, a mast breakage occurs and this can have considerable consequences for both man and material. A broken mast "only" costs the insurer money, but it may cost the customer life and limb. Most of the time the customers think about it shortly after my explanation and are then really grateful for this hint. When was the standing rigging of your yacht last inspected?"
This is what it takes A new mast after mast breakage is more expensive and the possibly endangered life of a crew member due to a defective mast is priceless anyway. A rule of thumb is that stays, shrouds and suspensions should be replaced about every 15,000 nautical miles. When buying a used boat, the mast should be laid once and thoroughly inspected for any hairline cracks. Proper mast adjustment and trim are also important, as improper adjustments put too much stress on the material over the years. The manufacturer of the boat or mast can help here, providing comprehensive instructions on the correct settings. All these small measures can prevent a mast breakage and thus save money and possibly lives.