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Things that did not work - a listing of products that were disappointing

Let's not all make the same mistakes. If something does not work, let's share that so others can be spared the disappointment. We had a rigging wire disappointment:
The Tiki 46 plans came with a recommendation to use plastic impregnated galvanized wire (a Norseman product) for shrouds and as strops for the halyard blocks. We learned that Jeckells would make these up for us professionally in England and we were led to believe they would last around 20 years. In use, they have lasted 7 years and over 30,000 miles but now we are finding cracks in the plastic which let in salt water with corrosion of the wire as the disappointing result. Last month the strop holding our main sail peak halyard came adrift and fell to the deck. So our main sail was not used from Charleston, SC all the way to our summer mooring here in RI. A close look at the failed strop showed us that the plastic cracks were not the only problem. Water also got in past the swedge shrink sleeves causing wire breakage and there was chafe damage where the plastic in the loops wore away against the mast and revealed galvi wire to the elements. Needless to say, we have lost confidence in the product which was professionally made up to the design specs by the company recommended in the plans.
We do not fault Wharrams in this because they have the product on their own boat, but others with the same product on their boats might want to make a close inspection since loss of shrouds and strops at sea can be dangerous. This wire was designed, as we believe, for use commercially on large radio and tv antennas inland. Boats, especially flexible boats in salt water environments, are another situation entirely. We liked the smoothe plastic coating while it lasted because it was kind to the sails and our hands, but it is apparently not up to the job on our boat. This is simply our own opinion arrived at in use of the product and we have not contacted a trained surveyor.
Next week we will head to Maine where we plan to haul for painting, remove both masts for painting, and replace all wire rigging made with this Norseman made plastic impregnated galvinated wire. We may use plain olde fashioned stainless steel wire to replace it, but have had other suggestions of using some of the new fabric material on the market. At this point we are reluctant to use any material that is "new". In fact "new" is starting to look like a four letter word. Ann and Nev

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Point taken. But we had lots of stretch from our "non stretch" crossbeam lashings and dead eye lanyards and it took more than a year before the stretching stopped. How do the new fabrics take to extreme solar exposure? We are not racers just out for the one or two seasons with plans to replace them soon. We will be cruising in tropical sun half of each year and hope to get many, many years out of the rigging. I admit that our beam lashings and rudder lashings are the same ones we put in back in 2002 and they still show no signs of degradation. But they are dacron (teryline) braid and I think they would not be advisable for rigging wire replacements. I don't mean to be difficult, but this will be an expense for us and I do not want to get it wrong again... Specific brand names would be appreciated along with long term use stories. Ann and Nev
Hi Ann, We used Dynemma Dux. WE got it from Colligo Marine in Arizona. Real nice people to do business with. You can make up your own shrouds and stays. The stuff is very easy to splice. I plan to use it on all of my boats. David www.boatsmithfl.com
Hi Ann and Nev, sorry to hear about the problem. I am seriously considering Dynex Dux as a stainless replacement, share your concerns re UV, but it does look like a good product, and one other consideration that I like is light weight. I look forward to seeing your outcome on this one.
Good old stainless steel. It is certainly heavier, it is harsh on the sails, and not lovely. But we think it will keep the masts and halyard blocks up there where they belong. Walter Green will wire splice them for us and I can see how he does it while we are up at Greene Marine next month for haul out so we can repaint Peace. Joan makes leathers for the loops over the masts. Walter has a 1920s schooner with olde fashioned rigging as well as all those race multihulls he designs and builds and used to race before he got Parkinsons. We will trust his work and that material and avoid getting involved in another new rigging material. We may be making a mistake here, but at least the boat will be sailing and safe during our old age final cruising years. The failure of our current Norselay rigging material has been a heavy expense for us. We cannot afford another disappointment. But keep us all posted about the Dynex Dux.
And thanks to all of you for the kind and detailed information that was provided. I am sure others will be looking into this and reporting in about it.
Ann and Nev
Ann, Nev and all friends,

This is a very interesting discussion. And add backgound info to all of us.
I had the same problem on Pahi 42' "Rainbowbird" rigging, when I restore this boat and I was her skipper . My choice to replace it was stainless steel too, for long term.
I know the new ropes made from spectra and PBO. Some years ago I had work with this materials on an Open 60' monohull, but, like you, I'm not sure to use this on my cruising boat, specially under tropical sun. I think we need more data about this matter.
I think that sharing our experiences we will build, sailing and maintain our boats better.
Another thing that do not work so good is the rope lashing chaffing on the wood lashing blocks and crossbeams. On this place is needed to use a protect material sheet, like leather or PVC.
We appreciate so much your lovely boat, by internet, since 2002.
Best winds!

Tarcisio Silva
Hi Tarcisio,

Thank you for adding that information about your experience with the Norselay plastic coated wire rigging material. I agree that the solar degradation of the fabric replacement rigging is a problem, but also the chafe of that material is a major concern. However, I sure hope somebody will reply with some years of experience cruising in the tropics with that material. It is very interesting indeed. If I had enough money to make that experiment, I would.

You mentioned having trouble with rope chafe on the lashing blocks and crossbeams on your boat. We do not have that trouble and our ropes are not getting chafed at all, but perhaps that is because our ropes are extremely tight so there is almost no movement. We last tightened the crossbeam lashings in Martinique with the assistance of Bertran Fercot. We are using a lighter weight line for the frapping turns and that allows us to make the beam lashings extremely tight. We have movement of the crossbeams when there are high waves - it was about one inch movement when we had 30+ foot waves one time in a Force 10 offshore.

Our ropes are not getting chafed, but the crossbeams are. I saw a well built Wharram with some groove shaped hard wood over the tops of the crossbeams that the ropes could sit in without damaging the beams. It looked good. We intend to use some strips of Stainless steel over our crossbeams where the ropes are making little grooves. We were given a lot of stainless sheet and we hope to fill in the grooves with epoxy and perhaps the stainless will strengthen the surface of the beams and prevent the ropes damaging the beams in the future. It will not make the boat look so traditional, but it will likely work.

I do admire you three living aboard the Tiki 21. Bravo! I lived 6 years on a monohull 28 and the last year with Nev.

All the best, Ann and Nev
Hi Ann and Nev,
I remember reading somewhere that a builder added carbon fiber to the epoxy where the lashings wrapped over the tops of the crossbeams and that seemed to alleviate the chafing of the beam, anyway. Not sure if any mention was made of the state of the lashings themselves over time. All the best. Bob
Hi Bob,

The idea of some carbon fiber added to the epoxy over the crossbeams at the point where the lashings come, is a good one. It could make use of the rather ugly stainless strips un necessary. Perhaps some colloidal silica and epoxy to fill the grooves and then strips of carbon fiber laid over the tops would do the trick and paint would cover the whole area. We would have to do the lashings one at a time with the boat in the water and would inspect the lashing lines inch by inch and replace them having end for ended them... Thanks! We will do that. I know a guy with some carbon fiber too. Looks like I will be doing a little extra work around his boat shed...

It is worth noting that there is no damage to the modified aft most beam which we made of wood rather than the alloy pipe in the plans. We fashioned this with a totally rounded top and the lashings are not cutting in there at all. Building from new, I would be tempted to fashion a rounded area at that spot specially for the lashings to fit in and perhaps put three strips of the fiberglass there to protect the wood from line chafe.

I remember now that the Wharram with the hard wood placed over the crossbeams at the lashing point is Ron Halls Tiki 38. It was a half round with edges to help the rope stay in place.

Together we can come up with lots of good ideas. Ann and Nev
Hi Ann and Nev,
I like your rear beam and we may copy that from you. It is the rear beam of a Captain Cook, no? We like that beam much more than the alu tube.
Hi Bob,
It is a beam of our own design with some input from the Pahi 42 forward net beam. Come over and measure as much as you wish. We wanted a light weight beam but one we could screw the radar and wind generator poles on and also the Monitor wind vane. So there are solid squared off areas at both ends for the poles and in the middle for the Monitor. The rest has the rounded top and the little blocks between the upper part and lower part have been drilled so they are light but can cope with the compression loads. I can carry that beam alone probably for several blocks so it really is light weight but it is also strong because I often stand on it and we both jumped on it when we were testing it after building it. Works for us. Bob, some day I hope to have a camera that can send digital photographs. Sorry to be so slow with the high tech bit. Some photos of our boat can be seen on the Wharram web site. Perhaps you have some photos of your old boat and ours together at one of the meets showing that beam?
Ann and Nev
Hi Ann and Nev,
We have many pictures of that beam. I'll get some measurements next time I'm on Peace.
We're off to New York City for the holiday.
Talk soon.

Bob and the gang
Hi Ann+Nev, Bob and Jacques,

I'm very happy with the ideas coming from our discussion. The carbon fiber solution for the crossbeams where the lashing comes is pretty well. Better than my idea using PVC sheet protection.
And the rear beam made from wood with block spaces inside is at all very Wharram way and of course our way. At last, we love this boat style.
I built new forward and rear crossbeam for a Pahi 42' by plans and round the corners like you; it work and looks very good. I think that Jacques buit is lighter and will work well too.

Best winds,

Jacques said:
Hello Ann, Hello Neville.

Another idea I copied from your boat. Not wanting the aluminum pipe too, I scaled down the normal beams to half material (i.e: 2 layers of 9 mm instead of 2X18mm for the core) and made some cuts to make it lighter. looks great and very convenient to attach brackets or whatever we have to put on this beam.

It is also not that heavy, and seems stiff and strong. On the top of it, it is cheap: built with leftovers from the main beams building.

Plenty plenty of stuff I took from Peace, because usually very smart, minimal and above all proven at sea.

Here is a picture


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