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Mark Gudschinsky

Cable questions

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I wouldn't. The covered life lines are a no-no on offshore boats too. The covering blocks access to air and invites corrosion under it. A real good way to have a sudden surprise when a wire corrodes through and you didn't see it because of the covering.

I'd leave 'em bare- the copper swages for nicro press will last a LONG time- they are used on beach cats and I've seen some 15 years old still going strong. The BOAT might be trashed but the SWAGES were still holding ;D ;Dl

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Last year, when I made new standing rigging for my Weekender (because I got new turnbuckles that were a different length) I used the swages from Duckworks. I added pieces of vinyl (Tygon) tubing over the turnbuckles. The I.D. is large enough that air can circulate and water won't stay in. I slipped the tubing down over the end of the chain plates and that helps keep the turnbuckles aimed upward so they can't stick at an awkward angle when raising the mast.

You can see that tubing here:

528335246_6eda36a09f_b.jpg

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Aluminum swages are very weak compared to copper. Aluminum is fine if used as a stop, like on a halyard to keep it from running up a mast, but not a heavily loaded piece of rigging. How much loading can it possibly be on an old school gaffer? Try doubling the weight of the boat, full up with crew, supplies, cooler full of beer and Fidel the wonder pooch. This would be around the working load limit, I'd use to spec the smallest (weakest) piece in the standing rigging. Meaning a Weekender could generate rig loads in the ton to ton and a half territory.

Dave, when I was chartering my ketch in the islands years ago, I use to make up wooden versions of what you're doing with the vinyl tubing. I'd half a dowel, route out the center and used a simple lashing top and bottom to hold them on. They kept the headsails from chaffing on the hardware, looked good, but had to be replaced every year, as they'd get dinged and generally torn up. Some folks use split bamboo others a section of PVC pipe, all have the same features, snug enough to stay put, but loose enough to permit air and water to flow through. It's a pretty common "cruisers" trick.

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