UK-Cherub Class

Get Your Heart Racing


Rig Set-up - Getting it Straight

Probably as important as the configuration and number of shrouds that you have the basic set-up of your mast and rig if that is not right then the boat probably won’t point and will be more difficult to sail. The first stage is to get the mast set up so that it is straight in the boat and has no small sideways kinks or bends in it.

Getting it Straight

With the mast off the boat check the spreaders making sure they are of equal length and equal angles. The spreaders must be solidly attached to the mast. If they move under rig tension then it will be impossible to control what happens to the mast on the water and it is a good sign that they are about to break.

First sight along the mast to get an idea of how straight it is off the boat and how much it bends under its own weight. Next put the mast on the boat and pull on rig tension. When you sight along the mast it should still look straight. However you will probably see several small bends located at the spreaders and possibly the hounds. If you have a full set of lowers, D2's main shrouds and caps there could be several bends going on and it can be difficult to work out what is causing what and where to begin fixing it. Start by simplifying the whole thing drop the tension back off and disconnect all but the main shrouds and tension up again. There is likely to be just one bend now centred at the main spreaders check the angles and adjust the lengths slightly to take that bend out. It is worthwhile at this point to check if the mast is straight in the boat. So take a line from the tip of the mast and place it against the back corner of the hull (Best done on the chine as this is the part you need to be symmetrical to and not the top of the transom which may not be straight itself). Adjust the shroud lengths so that the distance is the same to each of the corners. Many Older boats had hog stepped masts with a mast gate at foredeck level this gate should be packed so that the mast is a tight fit side to side and the gate is not causing any bends.

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With the mast in the right place it is now time to reattach the lowers and adjust the lengths so the bottom section is still straight with tension on the same needs to be done with the D2's if fitted. Finally we can sort out the cap shrouds these are the most difficult to do. As a difference in shroud length will bend the tip of the mast and a difference in the length of the spreaders will try to bend the mast at the hounds (which is normally held in position by the main shrouds). This will also result in the tip bending to one side or the other when the mast is in the boat. Depending on the set up it may be best to do this with the mast off the boat and just the cap shrouds under tension. First check the lengths of the wire disconnect them from the spreaders and pull down at the ends of each one they should be exactly the same length. Next fit them back to the spreaders and do the same exercise when you hold the ends together they should still be the same length if not then the problem is with the spreaders. With that all sorted out the caps can be tensioned back up again and care must be taken to keep them exactly the same length and sighting along the mast looking for bends is the best way of seeing that.

Rig Tension

With the verity of rig set-ups and configurations on Cherubs it is difficult to say what sort of rig tension should be used. In general the older and more delicate a boat and mast is it is safer to use lower tensions. If you are planning to increase the tension you are using it should be done in carefully in stages being aware of any unusual creaks or groans as you pull the rig on. Checking regularly for any damage to the hull or mast. The important thing to remember when changing the rig tension is that the length of the shrouds set the tension and the forestay sets the rake. This is because the fore and aft distance between the mast and the shrouds is tiny compared to the distance between the mast and the forestay. What this means is that if you just pull the forestay on to increase rig tension you will be adjusting the rake more than the rig tension!

Getting it Bent

With the mast straight from side to side the fore and aft bend needs to be sorted to match the luff curve of your sail read on.


tech/rig_setup_1.txt · Last modified: 2013/06/25 15:55 (external edit)