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September 29th

Dynex Dux Redux – Stepping the Mast

Posted by // September 29, 2012 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

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couple months back I gleefully introduced my fancy new-tech, old-technique rigging and I think it’s past time for an update. I’m using Dynex Dux from Colligo Marine for all of my standing rigging. This is a high-tech synthetic line initially developed for heavy industry which is now being touted as a technological leap and potential sea change in sailboat rigging (and I’m not just parroting ad copy here, this is the opinion of, for example, Brion Toss a rigger known both for his considerable skill and his traditionalist approach). My Dynex Dux line was rigged at the factory with Colligo’s fittings- an unusual approach adapted to the particularities of Dux which eschews modern turnbuckle tensioning systems in favor of a very traditional set of deadeyes and lanyards. Colligo also rigs Dynex Dux with turnbuckles but for reasons I’ll get into in my next post I much prefer the ‘traditionalist’ approach. 
The Colligo deadeye and lanyard system
It is still a bit early to judge- I’ve only had the rigging up for a few months, and I admit to a couple of small reservations but I am overall impressed and very pleased with this new technology. Despite a small and somewhat irrational part of me which refuses to trust anything ostensibly made out of plastic I am excited about what this synthetic line technology represents for sailboats and am ardently hoping that it turns out to be all it’s cracked up to be. So far, so good. My next couple posts will go into the process of rigging my boat with Dynex Dux, how it has performed so far, and a few thoughts on what it might mean for the future. I’m particularly interested in the low-budget and cruising side of things which, contrary though it may seem in the context of synthetic rigging, is quite relevant to this new technology.

 The rigging process:

Actually, this is mostly about setting things up to receive the Colligo fittings as the actual rigging only took about an hour. The only real work was in setting up the mast and chainplates to receive the rig. I got my rigging from Colligo ready to roll – it was sized for the boat with all fitting installed and and had been pre-tensioned to remove construction stretch (more on this later). Given that one of the exciting aspects of this new rope is that it can be cut and spliced by the consumer with no special tools this felt a bit like cheating. However, my father preempted my admittedly stubborn and glacially paced DIY ethic by telling me about it only after he had placed the order. The rig also included attachment hardware for the mast – necessitated because the Colligo end fittings are significantly larger than those used on wire rigging and these fittings at least required enough work to soothe my ruffled feathers.
The fittings used by Colligo to terminate their Dynex Dux line are much bulkier than the tangs typically used for wire rigging (we’ll get to the reasons for this later) and so the rig came with stainless plates designed to bolt to the mast and attach to the Colligo end fittings. In order to install them we had to do some modification to the mast, drilling holes and making stainless plates to spread the load.
Before that we had to remove the old tangs. This involved some of my favorite tools:
The two pound sledge,
the breaker bar,
and my personal favorite combination – the sledge with the impact driver.
 Incidentally iff you work on old boats and you don’t have a manual impact driver do yourself a favor and go buy one – it’s the best tool I know of for freeing stubborn screws without stripping out the heads.
Next we made up a couple plates and installed them.

It’s important to use lots of anti-seizing lube such as Tef-Gel or Marelube. Then you don’t need the sledge or the breaker bar down the line
I ground the ends off all the screws to minimize the chance of snagging an internal halyard

Then we installed the backing plate and new tangs. The red wire nut is just there temporarily because we were short a nut
Here’s the whole assembly installed and ready to go (minus that one nut!)

Next up were the uppers. Again we had to retrofit the mast to accept the new tangs.

We made these plates (one per side) to spread the load from the cap shrouds

and installed the Colligo tangs through them

Ready to roll

Installing the Colligo end fitting. It accepts a standard clevis pin.
Wit the mast fittings installed running the rigging was a breeze. We just installed the clevis pins on the mast and pinned the cap shrouds into the spreaders. Then we laid the lines out to ensure they ran fair and had the yard raise the mast with their crane. 
Running the lines

Looks good!

The cap shrouds are pinned into the spreaders – don’t forget the spreader boot and/or rigging tape!
Mast goes up

…and comes down.

Sorting out the shrouds
We guided the mast into its step and while it was still supported by the crane we attached the Dux end fitting into the chainplates with their clevis pins and then took up enough slack on the lanyards to hold the mast up on its own. I’ll go into that process in detail with my next post but for now here are a few photos to get the general idea.
Installing the backstay

Tensioning the lanyard. I appear to be following the proper technique of closing your eyes and yelling obscenities

… and that’s all there is to it!

 Well, that’s the general idea anyway. Next up we’ll get into the particularities of using this very interesting deadeye and lanyard system.

This article was syndicated from Safe At Harbour But Meant For The Sea: DIY Sailing with Paul Calder

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