Broad Reaching with Andrew Cross

Rig It

There it was, a nasty looking rust spot and crack right at the elbow of the starboard lower shroud tang on our mast. While hoisting myself up our rig for an inspection I could see the blemish, but didn’t expect to see a crack. A closer look revealed a fracture that probably wasn’t going to fell the rig in a blow tomorrow, but that didn’t matter. Cracks in anything metal on a sailboat rarely turn out well and after a consultation with a friend and fellow rigger I got a new set of port and starboard tangs ordered.

Having worked as a rigger I don’t mind going up a mast and find them fun to tinker with. So when it came time to install my shinny new tangs I also decided to do a full inspection, replace the spreader boots and give the rig a fine-tuning. Of course, all of this took far longer than I had expected, but I had never spent that much time on our rig before and learned just about every square inch of it. A sailboat’s mast is vital to our mode of travel, but can often be an overlooked part of the boat. Getting to know it well, though, will definitely give you some peace of mind while out cruising.

Enjoy this week’s edition.

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