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Monday, March 21, 2011


Rob teaching Jim the ropes
Rob and Jim ready to tackle the rigging
When we purchased Hotspur early last year we had no idea the age of the rigging. We couldn't locate any receipts or other paperwork indicating whether or not she had ever been inspected or re-rigged. Since we paid so little for our boat, we didn't have her surveyed before we bought her and so hoped for the best. Our cursory check of the rigging was crude at best - basically our best guess.
Luckily for us, Hotspur has had no rigging problems - but we want to keep it that way. Upon speaking with Dennis on Evergreen, we learned that Sea Tek in La Cruz does an excellent job of inspecting rigging. And Dennis is picky (just ask Josh), so we feel good about his recommendation. We called Sea Tek employee Rob on Katrina Leona and scheduled a date.

 "Your rigging is dead," Rob told us.
My heart sank and I heard the ching-ching of money flying out the portholes in $100 dollar bills.
"No, no!," Rob interrupted. "Your rigging is in decent condition. It just needs cleaning and maintenance. The reason I say your rigging is dead is because it's totally out of tune." It was true. Our rigging was sagging. We weren't getting the most out of our sailing.
Rusted bolt securing chain plate
Great news!

To save $100, Jim opted to pull the upper shroud chain plates and inspect them himself. The caps on the deck holding the shrouds had been slathered in silicone by a previous owner. This meant there had been water leaking inside at some point and then probably trapped inside. After removing the first plate out very easily and cussing the second one out, Jim cleaned them and checked for cracks. They looked very good and were crack-free... but we did have a rusty bolt that had a busted head. Jim had a fun time trying to get that out (that's when the cussing took place)! Then he replaced the plates and sealed the the caps on the deck with 3M 4200.

Rob returned this morning and tuned the rigging. He says that there will be noticeable difference in how our Tartan sails. Rob also suggested that our autopilot will handle much better. This is awesome news because our autopilot has been a bit loopy. She'll go for hours at the correct heading and then suddenly she yaws to port or starboard 45* before correcting herself. And usually it is an over-correction. We're sailing large "S"'s in the water and not sailing, but snaking our way to our destination. This is obnoxious more than anything, especially when we have the sail out, but when we have an oncoming vessel in front of us it can be dangerous. Jim had the autopilot on his TDL (to do list). We're keeping fingers crossed that tuning the rigging solves the problem!


  1. Hi Meri, I came across this post searching for a rigger in La Cruz. Do you have an email of other contact info for Rob? We are on our way south and have some questions before heading down there and employing his services. :-) Thanks a bunch! verena at pacificsailors dot com

  2. Hi Verena... I emailed Rob and hope to get a reply in the next day or so. If he is still doing rigging work, I will get you both in touch. Cheers!