Question: I have Navtec parts on my boat. Now what?
From the Rigger: As many of you know, Navtec and Hall Spars US, two of the sailboat industry’s iconic manufacturers, closed their doors permanently in 2017. For decades, these companies have provided us with high quality parts including hydraulic cylinders, masts and spars, swage fittings, tangs, goosenecks, and more. Our staff feels like we have lost part of our Rigworks family, associates and friends who over the last 25 years have helped us tackle a myriad of challenges. They have educated us on their unique products, expedited orders, answered tough customer questions, found or manufactured odd parts, and generally made our lives easier. We will definitely miss them.
So where do we go from here? First, we suggest that now more than ever, you perform regular maintenance to keep small issues from escalating. This is especially critical for hydraulic systems that have seals, fluids and moving parts. Rigworks has serviced thousands of Navtec cylinders over the years, and we will continue to do so. We still have inventory in stock and have already found reliable sources for compatible parts. Where components are no longer available, we may be able to machine a replacement… not the cheapest option but probably more cost-effective than replacing the entire unit. We can help you make that determination.
As for new products, it is definitely getting more challenging to find the parts we need to maintain your sailboat rigging. Fortunately, there are still a number of reputable companies in the industry. Harken and Sailtec, both based in the United States, manufacture high quality hydraulic systems as alternatives to Navtec. Southern Spars and Offshore Spars can fill the demand for masts and booms that Hall used to provide. Hayn manufactures a variety of high quality parts and fittings. So, don’t despair… there are alternatives out there. Our staff at Rigworks can review those alternatives with you and write up a quote to meet your specific needs.
And about those quotes… unfortunately, as competition declines, prices continue to rise. People are often surprised by the cost to replace their sailboat rigging, but rigging components are just that expensive. We can help you distinguish between ‘need to have’ and ‘nice to have’. And we are always happy to discuss alternatives to get you the best return on your investment. There is no denying that sailing is expensive, but is there a better sport anywhere? We think not!