Ask SAIL: Refitting Shrouds and Backstays

The shrouds and backstay on my 17-foot Montgomery trailer-sailer are maybe an inch or so too long, even with their turnbuckles screwed down as short as possible.
Author:
Publish date:

Rick Evans, Chautauqua Lake, New York asks:

The shrouds and backstay on my 17-foot Montgomery trailer-sailer are maybe an inch or so too long, even with their turnbuckles screwed down as short as possible. I’d hate to try and cut down the stainless steel tangs they are attached to make them fit. Can I cut down the threaded fittings on the shrouds? Or is there another way to shorten them just a tad?

Win Fowler replies:

A Your shrouds and backstay can be shortened by the length of the swage fitting at either end of the wire. Given the wire size on your boat, one swage fitting should be less than three inches long, so if your rigging is now an inch too long, the turnbuckles should accommodate the reduction. Any rigging shop with a swage machine can cut off old fittings and put on new ones. If the upper end is an eye, it may be less expensive to replace than the lower threaded end.

HR%20win%20fowler2_0

However, I would be concerned that your long shrouds are a symptom of a more serious structural problem. Is your mast step getting lower? That’s something you’ll definitely want to deal with before it gets worse.

Win Fowler has built sails for America’s Cup boats, coastal cruisers and one-design racers

Do you have a question for one of our experts? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com

Related

IMG_0173

Electronic “Flares” for Cruisers

The United States Coast Guard requires that all boats operating in coastal waters or on the high seas carry a selection of visual distress signals. Almost invariably, such signals include the pyrotechnic type, either handheld or fired from a flare pistol, but surely there are ...read more

M2-HOOK-TOP-AND-CHAIN-1

Gear: M2 Chain Hook from Mantus

Stay Hooked Chain hooks on anchor snubber lines tend to fall off when you least want them to. Not so this latest example from Mantus. The M2 Chain Hook is secured to the chain by a simple elastic strap, so it won’t come off when the snubber loosens. Made from corrosion-resistant ...read more

shutterstock_349918991

Successful Surf Landings with Wheels

“Ready to take the dink ashore?” Never had those words invoked as much anxiety as when my husband, Jeff, and I first moved to the Pacific Coast. Why? Because we had exactly zero experience with dinghy surf landings, and the possibility of being flipped upside down along with our ...read more

Sail2010_597

How to: Find Good Values on Charter Vacations

So, you want to find a great deal on your next charter vacation? Sure, you can scour the internet, hope for Black Friday deals or ask friends. But an even better way to find good prices on charter boats is to go to a boat show. Not only do charter companies like The Moorings, ...read more

leadphoto

Know How: Dinghy Modification

The rigmarole of stretching a cover over a dinghy in choppy water prior to hoisting it on davits can become a very wet business if you’re not careful. Leaning right over either end, trying to stretch a cover over the bow and stern pods can quite easily result in a head-first dip ...read more

25980

Catnapped Aboard a Racing Multihull

It was after midnight when I realized my daysail with Tony Bullimore aboard his giant record-breaking catamaran, Team Legato, was not going to plan. The big cat was en route for a December dash from England across the Bay of Biscay to Barcelona and the start of a drag race ...read more