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 Standing rigging - Catalina Direct vs. local?

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
hlprmnky Posted - 04/21/2022 : 10:16:04
I have decided that, even though they seem “fine” to a casual inspection, and the mast stayed up the few times I got out on the water last season, I really should replace my standing rigging. The main driver here is that I have no way to find out how old the current rigging is - it could very well be original to the boat. Even if it is only a few years old, I will be worried about it any time the wind gets up at all. The aphorism I recently learned from the aviation world applies: “If there’s any doubt, then there’s no doubt.”

So, I’d like to ask the opinion of the forum - given that I have the budget to do it, and that the mast is still down for the winter, is ordering the rigging kit and single backstay from Catalina Direct a good way to proceed? All else being equal, I would probably prefer to put that money in the pocket of a local rigger but I don’t have much opportunity to learn who is a good local rigger; the CD option of just having the right lengths of the right wire show up at my door offers peace of mind, assuming that CD does a good job.

Anyone have experience with this undertaking that they’d care to share? Thanks!
7   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Voyager Posted - 04/25/2022 : 06:58:33
Just to 2nd Dave Stinkpotter’s comments, I replaced the rigging on Passage with CD’s kit about 7 years ago, and I had no problems installing it, and the materials look as good today as the day I installed them.

If you have a local mechanic do the installation, make sure to have the specifications handy so they can install the kit correctly . The first year after I installed, I recall that the port side shrouds were less slack than starboard on a heel. I fixed that right away. I also needed to retighten the forestay after the second year. That corrected my weather helm.
hlprmnky Posted - 04/24/2022 : 06:29:32
The “buy from CD, have rigger install and hopefully tune” idea is a really good one that I will look into next week. I already have the marina’s permission to bring my own impeller, gasket, and lower unit oil and do that maintenance on my outboard in their facility, I will inquire about having them install rigging I supply as well. This is another area where I expect to be able to develop the competence - and confidence! - to tune my own SR but would prefer to have someone who has at least done it before riding shotgun the first time.
Stinkpotter Posted - 04/22/2022 : 18:37:45
I discussed this with the head rigger in a large marina (whom I had come to know)... He said he couldn't compete with the price for creating CD's full set, and felt its description was very good. I bought the full CD set and had him install it--he said it fit like a glove and he was very impressed. This was close to 30 years ago, but I can't think of a better recommendation. Have things changed at CD since then?
islander Posted - 04/22/2022 : 13:18:46
If your local guy is going to install and tune then that's a big advantage but if he's just going to hand you coils of wire for you to install well that's what CD sends you. Something to consider in the decision making process. I replaced my SR with CD's and had zero problems. They were extremely helpful because my headstay is a fixed length without a turnbuckle so they gave me a headstay from a 27 without a turnbuckle so I could cut it to length for my Furlex furler. Just my experience.
bigelowp Posted - 04/22/2022 : 08:39:45
FWIW -- when I first got Limerick the standing rigging was shot. I considered CD rigging kits, but decided to go with a local rigger "just in case" something else was needed and/or I messed up. As I recall -- back in 2007 -- CD was less expensive. If you are comfortable doing such work I would guess the CD kits are excellent quality and a good value. If you have any concerns, then a local rigger may be worth the peace of mind.
OLarryR Posted - 04/21/2022 : 21:28:22
My boat's past history before I purchased it in 2005 was half it's life in Chesapeake Bay (salt water) and then on the Potomac River in fresh water. Since then it has remained on the Potomac River and the mast only taken down once to replace mast wiring and lights. So, I replaced (what I believe was the original standing rigging) back in 2012.

What I did at the time was checking the web for local/semi-local rigging companies. Then when I went to the Annapolis Sailboat Show, I visited a couple of the rigging companies that I had already reviewed on the Internet. I forget how the material estimates compared to Catalina Direct but I preferred a local rigger to provide the standing rigging and install it. I was satisfied with the service provided. The rigger replaced the standing rigging in place (w/mast up).

Perhaps ask other sailboaters at your Marina or sailboat clubs in your area if they can recommend a local rigging company. If no standouts/recommendations, well as you indicated, Catalina Direct specifically supports our boats.
Leon Sisson Posted - 04/21/2022 : 14:55:58
About 25 years ago, I replaced all my Catalina 25 standing rigging using Sta-Lok terminals, open-body bronze/SS turnbuckles, and 316 SS wire ordered from
Brion Toss Yacht Riggers.  At the time Brion Toss had a source for 316 SS wire which tested as strong as the typical breaking strength specification of the less corrosion resistant 304/306 SS I was replacing.
I'm in a warm coastal climate, and comfortable doing my own work.  My approach may not the optimum solution for others in different circumstances.

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