Spare Parts: Three Standing Rigging Essentials

If you’re planning to go offshore on your boat, you can expect gear will wear and sometimes break. And if you want to be able to fix a problem, you’ll have to carry the necessary spares and tools needed to make the repair. Here are three essential spares to carry for the mast and rig:

1. A length of extremely strong, low-stretch line such as Dyneema that is longer than your longest shroud, usually the fore or backstay. Unlike coiled 1 by 19 wire, line will stow away in a small space and can be cut with a sharp knife. It is also easy to splice and will be strong enough to hold up your rig should you lose a stay in bad weather. 

2. Assorted clevis pins, split rings, shackles and toggles. You never know when you might drop a pin or shackle over the side or break a split ring. Make sure you have several of all of the sizes for each item on your boat. A spare toggle or two will help you jury rig things if you need to set up an emergency shroud. Some long distance sailors carry spare turnbuckles, too.

3. Extra large stainless steel hose clamps in sizes that will fit around your boom, mast, boom vang and spinnaker pole. With hose clamps and assorted items aboard the boat, you can mend a broken boom or spinnaker pole. With large clamps, you can jury rig a mast or temporarily repair a damaged mast.

It is always a good idea to consult a professional rigger before heading offshore to see how you can add to this list for your specific rig. A safe sailor is a self sufficient sailor. Oh and don’t forget your bosun’s chair!

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