First Year Inspection

The synthetic rigging has been up and used for the past year now and it's time to perform the yearly rig inspection to make sure everything is holding up well and to identify any problem areas so that they can be addressed before the problem arises.

I did not evaluate the mast head on this climb because I was installing two new check stays for the staysail and time was a concern. I did perform a through evaluation of the lowers and the spreaders.

The stays are holding up very well! I was concerned that the rigging might suffer from chafe aloft when the halyards swing through the wind. If there is any rubbing, there has been no damage from said potential rubbing!

The lowers have settled into their thimbles nicely, with all the strands of the line set neatly within the lip of the thimble. There is no sign of fuzzyness or degredation from UV exposure nor any broken strands. 

One point of relatively low concern is the clevis pin on the aft lower had rotated 180* so the cotter pin is now head down. The legs are properly splayed so there is little risk of the cotter pin falling out, but I still like the cotter pin oriented head up. I tried to rotate this pin, but it was not cooperating with my efforts. Other pins that had rotated were re-oriented to have the head of the cotter pin aiming up, but this one did not and I will have to loosen the stay, climb the mast, orient that pin, and then re-tension that stay. I will first climb to the mast head to inspect the headstay and backstay connections before I worry about a single inverted pin.

The spreaders were my second area of focus. The spreader tip is seized onto the cap shrouds as they pass through the jaws. I wanted to make sure that the small line (5/64" or 1.9mm) has held up well. I did have a few issues with halyards getting caught in the jaws, as well as the drifter rubbing over the spreader tip. To my great pleasure, everything out at the end looked in fine shape with no signs of chafe to the service placed over the stay. If the service were to become severely chafed, I would simply replace the worn service before the stay suffered any damage.

The rigging looks very new and is holding up wonderfully, even in full exposure to UV radiation, harsh winters, and sweltering summers!

On a final note, when you go up the mast to inspect your rigging, don't forget to enjoy the view!

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