Friday, 23 March 2012

Forestay Rigging Repair

At the end of last season I found that the top of the roller reefing spar was in need of repair. The plastic collar in the top of the aluminium spar had become detached and the spar was rattling on the wire forestay. I tried to repair it myself with glue and only succeeded in gluing the fore stay to the plastic collar which had been fixed to the alloy spar. In other words I had made a real mess of the forestay. I managed to drill the plastic collar out of the alloy spar but as result needed to replace the collar.

I came to the opinion that I could not repair this myself as I did not have the tools to swage the terminals. The cheapest swaging tool I could find was £75. So I decided to employ the skills of a professional rigger. I made enquiries in local Chandlers and found that a lot of local riggers had gone out of business. The South Coast where there are a greater number of yachts is well endowed riggers.

A suggestion was made to seek out a rigger who works in the Underfall Yard in the Bristol Docks. I found Dennis Platten and his apprentice Jay running an enterprise called "Traditional Rigging"

Underfall Yard  is a traditional boatyard which dates back to the time when the River Avon was made into a floating harbour with a system of locks and sluices. Brunel later improved the docks with an underfall sluice system to prevent the docks from silting up. The above website gives a lot more information about the history of the docks. The Underfall Yard is a hive of activity building and restoring traditional boats.

Jay repaired my fore stay and replaced the plastic coller at the top of the spar. I have now installed back on the boat and all works well.

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