Ask the Rigger Sense w rig

Published on July 21st, 2016 | by Rigworks

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Preparing Your Boat for Transport

Boat owners often ask us to commission their boats after transport. Of course, one of their first questions (as it should be) is always “what will it cost?” And our answer usually starts with… “That depends.” The cost of a commission is based on many things, but a key factor is how the rig was originally de-commissioned and/or packaged for transport. Opening a transport package can range from a pleasant surprise to a Pandora’s Box, and we have seen it all.

What can you do to ensure that your rig is properly packaged prior to transport? …

  • Use a camera! Labelled photos make all the difference.
    • Take pictures of the rig before the mast comes down, especially transition points such as mast to boom, shrouds/stays to deck, vang setup, mainsheet configuration, outhaul, downhaul, deck leads for your various halyards, electrical connections, etc.
    • Once the rig is down, take additional photos of the masthead, spreaders, and mid-mast connections.
  • Next, mark components for reassembly. We recommend specific labels (Port Upper, Port Lower, Port Intermediate, etc.).
  • Make sure pins and fasteners are taped in place.
  • Tape, bubble wrap or plastic wrap your hardware and/or connections.
  • Consider plastic wrapping the mast itself to avoid soiling, scratching and pitting.
  • Wrap furlers in cut-up pool noodles and secure them tightly.
  • Use small tag lines to pull halyards. Do NOT simply pull your halyards out of the mast.
  • Make sure halyards and sheets are well coiled, clearly labelled & stowed.
  • Store as much as possible below deck, but first cover your cushions and carpets to prevent soiling.
  • Make sure hatches are sealed and preferably taped to avoid leaking and damage.
  • Make a final inspection to guarantee that everything is secure. A part that moves even a tiny amount during transport can leave a nasty scratch.
  • Finally, if you would like Rigworks to recommission your boat when it arrives in San Diego, call and schedule the job in advance. We generally run two weeks out.

Of course, there are other factors that influence the cost of a commission. We take into account the size of the boat, the number of masts, stays, dodgers, arches, stanchions, pulpits & pushpits, the sophistication of the rigging, the crane and storage fees charged by our local boatyard, etc.

Because we are fortunate enough to have a steady stream of business here at Rigworks, we never dawdle. We get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible without risking the quality of our work.

Whether stepping your spar for the first time, preparing your boat for transport, or putting it back together when it reaches its destination, knowing the subtleties of the process is the key. At Rigworks, we specialize in big boat components and how they interact, and we make sure that your spar goes up and comes down safely, smoothly and professionally. Give us a call to discuss your personal situation.

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