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Spring boat prep - Use a rigging checklist

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Jon Duer, Great Lakes Rigging founder and manager of Doyle Sails Cleveland created this handy Rigging Checklist. Print it out and use it as you inspect your boat for spring commissioning. A lot can happen over the winter, not to mention sailing season wear and tear. Unnoticed or unfixed, you are exposed to risk and catastrophe. So, stay safe and pay attention!

❐ Are chainplates aligned with the turnbuckles, stays, and shrouds?

❐ Are there any signs of leaking around chainplates?

❐ Are terminal fittings (swage fittings, Sta-Lok, Norseman, etc.) free of cracks, bends,

and rust?

❐ Are turnbuckles sufficiently lubricated so that they turn freely?

❐ Are turnbuckle barrels secured to the threads, either with rings, cotter pins, or by

tightening locknuts?

❐ Is the standing rigging free of broken strands of wire?

❐ Is the mast straight, without being cocked to either side or bowed in the middle?

❐ If the mast is stepped on deck, is it supported properly down below?

❐ Are there any signs of galvanic corrosion at the base of the mast or where dissimilar

metal fittings (winches, cleats, etc.) are attached to the mast? On a painted aluminum

mast, corrosion is indicated by bubbles around the fittings. On an unpainted mast,

corrosion is indicated by heavy concentrations of white powder (some powder is

acceptable) and pockmarks around fittings.

❐ Are any rivets or screws missing from sail tracks or other fittings?

❐ Do welds on the mast and boom appear to be rusted?

❐ Do spreaders bisect the shrouds at equal angles?

❐ Are spreader ends secured to the shroud?

❐ Are spreader ends protected, either with tape or with a rubber boot?

❐ Are all cotter pins taped?

❐ Do "T" terminals show any indication of stress?

❐ Are halyard fittings, especially the sheaves, crushed, split, or badly worn?

❐ Are masthead mounts for wind indicators and radio antennas tight?

❐ Are problems with the forestay fittings (cracks, bends, and rust) being hidden by the

roller furling gear?

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