Running Rigging specs, Trust or Verify?

Prairie Schooner

Jeff & Donna, new owners 7/21
We need to replace the running rigging on our newly purchased '86 E35-3. We have the spec sheet that came with the boat. We have fairly high certainty it is the original mast. The existing halyards are wire & rope, probably original. Would you trust these specs to order halyards and sheets or would you measure what's on the boat? She is currently on a mooring and will be hauled for winter mid-October, with the mast unstepped. Thanks, Jeff.
 

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Frank Langer

1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
I would want to measure, in case the headsail is different from the original, and I know how far back I want my lines to come for easy single handing. I don't know how my body size - arm and leg length - compared with the guy who decided on the line specs, or what he was thinking.
Just my thoughts and preference...
Frank
 

Afrakes

Sustaining Member
I'm with Frank, measure and also make sure that you are satisfied with the present lengths. Are the lines led back to the cockpit?
 

Frank Langer

1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
Another consideration is that since the 1980s there are lots of new stronger, lighter, different material lines available. You might decide on a smaller diameter line that could be even stronger than the original, but lighter weight. If you do change diameter size, check to ensure your sheaves and chocks will handle that, and also consider how the line feels in your hand. Some newer lines are very stiff or slippery, etc.
Frank
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Safer to measure and establish new spec's.
Also, replace any of the now-ancient wire-to-rope halyards with low stretch line, (if not already done). Do not be a slave to the line diameters they used before.
I have down sized all of our running rigging line sizes. Almost all of these are now 5/16.

Edit: When we replaced all of the OEM wire/rope halyards about 20 years ago, the replacements worked fine in the original masthead sheaves. This year, as part of the re-rig, we did replace those old sheaves with new one from https://www.zephyrwerks.com .
 
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Prairie Schooner

Jeff & Donna, new owners 7/21
I would want to measure, in case the headsail is different from the original, and I know how far back I want my lines to come for easy single handing. I don't know how my body size - arm and leg length - compared with the guy who decided on the line specs, or what he was thinking.
Just my thoughts and preference...
Frank
Thanks Frank. Sage advice.
 

frick

Member III
I am old E29, I continued to use the wire to rope halyards because I did not want to go up the mast to swap our the shives. Also I did find brand new replacements on ebay for 1/2 price or less. I then trimmed everything to the proper lengths. I also have a big necco press tool on hand finish off the ends.

I did create new dynema life lines which look great. I love that stuff.
 

Prairie Schooner

Jeff & Donna, new owners 7/21
I'm with Frank, measure and also make sure that you are satisfied with the present lengths. Are the lines led back to the cockpit?
Hi Al, The lines are led back. My wife and I have only had a chance to sail her a few times since we got her so we haven't really analyzed lengths yet. Sounds like we have some homework (fieldwork) to do.
 

Prairie Schooner

Jeff & Donna, new owners 7/21
Another consideration is that since the 1980s there are lots of new stronger, lighter, different material lines available. You might decide on a smaller diameter line that could be even stronger than the original, but lighter weight. If you do change diameter size, check to ensure your sheaves and chocks will handle that, and also consider how the line feels in your hand. Some newer lines are very stiff or slippery, etc.
Frank
We thought replacing sheaves might be required. We were just at the cordage dealer yesterday and he mentioned it. Now your comment adds further weight to that. The signs are aligning. Thanks for the feedback.
 

Prairie Schooner

Jeff & Donna, new owners 7/21
Safer to measure and establish new spec's.
Also, replace any of the now-ancient wire-to-rope halyards with low stretch line, (if not already done). Do not be a slave to the line diameters they used before.
I have down sized all of our running rigging line sizes. Almost all of these are now 5/16.

Edit: When we replaced all of the OEM wire/rope halyards about 20 years ago, the replacements worked fine in the original masthead sheaves. This year, as part of the re-rig, we did replace those old sheaves with new one from https://www.zephyrwerks.com .
Thanks Loren. I've raced and sailed on a lot of other people's boats but just admired or complained about the rope without a lot of thought. We're on a definite learning curve. I came across Zephyrwerks in a post here from several years ago. Are you please with the new sheaves?
 

Prairie Schooner

Jeff & Donna, new owners 7/21
I am old E29, I continued to use the wire to rope halyards because I did not want to go up the mast to swap our the shives. Also I did find brand new replacements on ebay for 1/2 price or less. I then trimmed everything to the proper lengths. I also have a big necco press tool on hand finish off the ends.

I did create new dynema life lines which look great. I love that stuff.
Hi Rick, Do you think the dynema life lines are functionally better?
 

windblown

Member II
We thought replacing sheaves might be required. We were just at the cordage dealer yesterday and he mentioned it. Now your comment adds further weight to that. The signs are aligning. Thanks for the feedback.
When we bought our 32-3 five years ago, the rope-to-wire halyards had been replaced with stronger, thinner all-rope halyards several years earlier, and we still had original sheaves. We did not see evidence of chafing on the halyards, even after several years (we substitute cheap messenger lines (box store nylon) for our main, jib, staysail, and port and starboard spinnaker halyards at haul out each fall, which allows for careful inspection and indoor storage of running rigging In the off season. However, we had significant (and embarrassing) squealing and squeaking when we raised the halyards, so last winter we pulled the mast and replaced all the sheaves with delrin from zephyrworks. The sails don’t go up more easily, but they sure come down fast!! And it is so much easier to manage our in-boom reef lines (we replaced those sheaves, too). And no more aluminum squealing. So, you probably don’t need to replace the sheaves when you switch to all-rope halyards (which you should definitely do), but new sheaves will be a nice upgrade when you get to it.
 

Prairie Schooner

Jeff & Donna, new owners 7/21
When we bought our 32-3 five years ago, the rope-to-wire halyards had been replaced with stronger, thinner all-rope halyards several years earlier, and we still had original sheaves. We did not see evidence of chafing on the halyards, even after several years (we substitute cheap messenger lines (box store nylon) for our main, jib, staysail, and port and starboard spinnaker halyards at haul out each fall, which allows for careful inspection and indoor storage of running rigging In the off season. However, we had significant (and embarrassing) squealing and squeaking when we raised the halyards, so last winter we pulled the mast and replaced all the sheaves with delrin from zephyrworks. The sails don’t go up more easily, but they sure come down fast!! And it is so much easier to manage our in-boom reef lines (we replaced those sheaves, too). And no more aluminum squealing. So, you probably don’t need to replace the sheaves when you switch to all-rope halyards (which you should definitely do), but new sheaves will be a nice upgrade when you get to it.
Thanks Deborah. Every comment gives us valuable background to adjust priorities. I hadn't thought of the reefing sheaves. Probably we'll do the masthead this year while the mast is out and get to the boom next year.
 
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