Skip to main content

Noisemakers

Rick McCowan of Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, asks: "My boat has rod rigging. Whenever the wind blows between about 9 and 13 knots, the rigging hums quite loudly and it’s a bit annoying. Why is this happening, and what’s the best way to stop it?" Win Fowler replies: Although I need to know more about your rig to say for sure, I do have some
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Rick McCowan of Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, asks:

"My boat has rod rigging. Whenever the wind blows between about 9 and 13 knots, the rigging hums quite loudly and it’s a bit annoying. Why is this happening, and what’s the best way to stop it?"

Win Fowler replies:

Although I need to know more about your rig to say for sure, I do have some general ideas on how to solve this problem. First, I suspect that the hum is caused by the oscillating turbulence that naturally occurs whenever air flows past the rigging. This is the same turbulence that makes a flag flap in the wind, but with rod rigging it takes place at a far more rapid pace. I suspect your hum coincides with a natural harmonic frequency in a section of your rigging.

Try to isolate the section, or sections, of rod that seem to be generating the noise. Often just adjusting the rig tension, like re-tuning a guitar string, will change the harmonics enough to eliminate the problem. You can also try wrapping a length of tape several feet from the end of the offending rod, or rods. This will change the effective length of the noisy section—much like pushing a guitar string down on a fret.

It wouldn’t surprise me if your shrouds are a little tighter than necessary. When you are sailing fully powered up to windward, your rig should be tensioned so that, with the mast athwartships and in column, the leeward shrouds are just barely tight. If you loosen one of them by just a single turn, it will start to move around. Making sure your rig is properly tuned might result in a quieter rig that also works more efficiently.

Related

00LEAD-Thomas-on-%22Melody%22-2004

The Extraordinary Life and Mysterious Disappearance of Thomas Thor Tangvald

The first boat Thomas Tangvald ever owned was just 22 feet long. She was an odd craft, a narrow plywood scow with a flat bottom, leeboards on either side, and square ends—little more than a daysailer with a rotting deck and tiny cabinhouse tacked on. Thomas paid just $200 for ...read more

VIPCAshowbynight

USVI Charter Yacht Show Showcases a Flourishing Industry

As the U.S. Virgin Islands continues to attract sailors seeking to charter and explore the pristine territory on their own, the immense growth and expanded options for a crewed yacht or term charters have exploded here over the past five years. Last week, the USVI Charter ...read more

Screen-Shot-2022-11-21-at-9.48.33-AM

Personal Locator Beacon Wins Top Design Award

The Ocean Signal RescueME PLB3 AIS Personal Locator took top honors at the 2022 DAME Design Awards, while Aceleron Essential, a cobalt-free lithium-iron phosphate battery with replaceable and upgradeable parts, won the first DAME Environmental Design Award. Announced each year ...read more

tracker

EPIRB in the Golden Globe Race

Tapio Lehtinen’s boat sank early this morning southeast of South Africa while racing the Golden Globe Race, a faithfully low-tech reproduction of the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe. The boat went down quickly and stern-first according to the skipper’s emergency transmissions. ...read more

99640-victoire-de-charles-caudrelier-a-bord-du-maxi-edmond-de-rothschild-r-1200-900

Victory, Tragedy in the Route du Rhum

The 2022 Route du Rhum was a highly anticipated event in the ocean racing calendar, but few could have predicted exactly how challenging, dramatic, and tragic it would ultimately prove. French yachtsman Charles Caudrelier took home gold aboard the Ultim maxi trimaran Maxi Edmond ...read more

DSC_1879

Boat Review: Lyman-Morse LM46

Lyman-Morse has been building fine yachts in Thomaston, Maine, ever since Cabot Lyman first joined forces with Roger Morse back in 1978. With experience creating and modifying boats built of various materials, backed by its own in-house fabrication facility, the firm has ...read more

01-LEAD-SPICA-Forest_3

Know-how: All-new Battery Tech

Until very recently, the batteries in sailboats used some form of lead-acid chemistry to store energy. Different manufacturers used different techniques and materials, but in the end, the chemistry and the process by which the batteries charge and discharge electricity remained ...read more

01-LEAD-Bill-Sailing2

At the Helm: When Things Go Sideways

I don’t like sea stories. My number one goal on every passage is to get the crew back in one piece. My number two goal is to get the boat back in one piece as well. If I can’t do both, I’ll take the former. Do this long enough, though, and things are going to happen, no matter ...read more