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      We have just taken the mast off our B34 which we have owned since new in 2002. The mast has only been down once before when we fitted the radar dome in 2004. Since then we have left the mast up and the rig under tension. We have checked the rig tension using the Selden system of measuring the stretch on a 2 metre length of wire on several occasions between 2004 and 2012 but have always found it difficult to achieve 4mm of stretch or 20%. The end result was that we could never get enough pre-bent in the mast and I was concerned that the mast could invert under load, especially when carrying a large amount of headsail with a well reefed mainsail.

      Unwinding the rigging screws on the cap shrouds, they felt very tight and on close examination the threads have distorted. As a result what has been happening is the threads have been binding up and preventing me from getting enough load into the rig. What I thought was tension from the rig was in fact friction from the distorted threads.

      On checking availability of replacements I have been told that the stainless steel 1/2 inch bottle screws are no longer supplied as they were found to lock up due to the effect of stainless steel on stainless steel . For this reason new bottle screws on offer are chromed bronze alloy.

      Has anyone else had experience of this problem. Another thought is that 1/2 inch rigging screws can be purchased for 7mm and 8mm wire. The wire on my B34 is 8mm and you can get a 5/8inch rigging screw to take 8mm wire. Is the original 1/2inch stainless steel rigging screw up to the job?
      As I have to replace these for next season I will carry on my research but would appreciate information from anyone who is in a position to inspect the same fittings on their boat.


        We keep Wish ( 2001 B34)in Port Solent and when we had a rig check by Alan Leaming he said to change the stainless bottle screws as soon as possible as they are prone to seizing.
        It’s on the agenda next spring when we haul out

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