swaging and nicropress standing and running rigging

The Standing Rigging (shrouds, forestay, backstay) of your sailboat are critical components and need to be inspected and maintained. Each wire should be checked for loose strands and breaks along the entire length of the wire with specific attention to the end fittings and anywhere it comes in contact with other rigging (ie. spreaders). Each fitting should be inspected for wear and the assembly should be replaced if there is significant wear, stress cracking or if the fitting hole has become oval.

Wire Running Rigging is also subject to wear and should be inspected often. Wire to Rope halyards are the most common wire running rigging but adjustable forestays, vangs, and backstay systems can also have wire components. The wear normally found on wire running rigging is broken strands at the fittings and along the length (often referred to as meat hooks) of the wire that passes around a sheave. As the wire wears the small broken strands along the length can catch clothing, skin, and sails resulting in small injuries, discomfort, and chafe. Broken or worn strands significantly reduce the strength of the wire and should be replaced.


Swaging and Nicro Pressing

Fogh Marine can perform either Nicro Pressing or Machine Swaging on most types of rigging wire. Unfortunately, our swaging machine is not capable of working with rod rigging and we do not sell 'hand swage' fittings.

Nicro Press Fittings: Are used to put loops or stops in a wire. The two primary fittings are a stop sleeve which fits the diameter of the wire and an oval sleeve that allows two wires through. This is a common fitting found on many dinghies, catamarans, and daysailers. Ideal for lower load applications and very convenient as there are many hand tools available. Fogh Marine can nicro press wire from 1/16" to 3/16"diameter.

Machine Swage Fittings: Are compressed on a wire using a Swaging Machine. There are many different fittings available and the mechanical joint between the fitting and the wire is much stronger than a nicro press. This style is found on many boats from dinghies to mega yachts. Ideal for standing rigging but requires a specific tool and is not a do-it-yourself option. Fogh Marine can swage wire from 3/32" to 3/8" diameter. For larger jobs Fogh Marine can swage wires at your location.

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Ordering A New Wire From Fogh Marine

There are three methods you can use when ordering a new wire from us.

Option 1 - Build from Existing

The simplest method is to bring in to the store or mail us the wire you want to replace. Cam will look at your existing wire and wire fittings and give you a quote for fabrication. He will incorporate any changes you may want to the fittings or length in the quote. Once you have approved the work he will build your new wire for you.

Option 2 - On Site Inspection

This option is only available in the Greater Toronto Region. One of our staff will come to your boat and measure the wire to be replaced. The site visit is charged at $80/hr including travel time from Fogh Marine. It is not possible for us to accurately measure stays attached to a mast when it is stepped on the boat but, if you are not confident that you can get the length or fittings right and are unable to get it to us, we are happy to examine the rigging when the mast is off the boat. Once we have the specifications Cam will quote you for the job and, upon approval, build your new wire.

Option 3 - Send us your specifications

If you know what you need or are able to accurately measure your wire and choose the correct fittings, you can Contact Us the wire length and fittings and he will quote the job and, upon approval, fabricate the wire to your specifications. We are happy to help you with this process and are often able to help choose fittings based on photographs of the existing ends.

Please read the information below for items to include in your specifications.


Measuring Your Existing Wire

The most accurate way to fabricate a new wire is to bring us your existing one. Leave the turnbuckle set to at the tensioned position and Fogh Marine will build a new wire using hardware that is as close a match as possible to your existing fittings.

There are times however, either due to need or distance, when it is not possible to bring in the wire you need to have replaced. In that case there are several pieces of information that we will need in order to fabricate a new wire that is a close match to your current one.

  • Wire Type: Most sailboats use standard 1x19 stainless steel wire but some performance dinghies, sportsboats, and catamarans have Dyform shrouds or forestays. Running rigging is usually either 7x7 or 7x19 construction as it is more flexible and runs around sheaves.assets/images/rigging/Wire-Types.jpg
  • Wire Diameter: Measure the current diameter of your wire. A simple way to do this, if you have swaged fittings, is to look on the fitting; there is often a number engraved on it. This number corresponds to a 32nd of an inch so a #4 fitting is used on 1/8 wire while a #8 fitting is used on 1/4" wire. If there is no engraving or the ends are nicro pressed the wire diameter can be measured with calipers or estimated with a ruler.
  • Fitting Types: The most common fittings can be found in a section below. Request the fitting by name and we will select the correct one based on your wire diameter.
  • Thread Direction: Threaded ends are either left or right handed. A right hand thread is the standard thread found on commonly available bolts but in the case of rigging turnbuckles the two threaded ends have to be opposite threads for the turnbuckle adjuster to work properly. The standard is for the swage fitting to have a Right Hand thread but it is not always the case. Always confirm the hand of your threaded fitting using the image below.

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  • Clevis Pin Sizes: The size of the clevis pin in eyes and forks is fairly standard but it is possible to have different size pins in fittings that work on the same diameter of wire. In some cases builders will drill out the fitting used on their boats in order to match up with hardpoints on the hull.
  • Length of Wire: Fogh Marine uses the effective length of the wire for measurement also known as bearing point to bearing point. This method of measurement uses the point of contact or load at each end of the wire. In the case of an eye or toggle this is the outer edge of the hole.

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Typical Bearing Points For Wire Length Measurement (click on images below)

Turnbuckles Eyes, Toggles or Forks Nicro Pressed Eye T-Terminals


Wire Fittings for Swage and Nicro Press

Nicro Press Stop
Nicro Press Stop

These copper nicro press stops are most often used to create lock points on halyards which correspond to mast mounted lock forks. They can be used whenever a stop or indicator is needed on a single wire.

Pricing and Availability

Nicro Press Oval Sleeve
Nicro Press Oval Sleeve

The oval sleeve is primarily used to create a loop at the end of a wire but can be used any time two wires need to be attached. Use with a thimble to create a hard loop or without for the tail end of a halyard being attached to a tensioning system.

Pricing and Availability

Thimble for Wire
Thimble for Wire

Thimbles create a hard loop in a wire. When a wire rope has a loop on the end, there is a risk that it will bend too tightly. A thimble added inside the loop to stiffen it, and protect the cable from pinching and abrading on the inside. The use of thimbles in loops is a best practice when there are no space considerations (ie halyard entering a mast).

Pricing and Availability

Closed Thimble
Closed Thimble

Thimbles create a hard loop in a wire. When a wire rope has a loop on the end, there is a risk that it will bend too tightly. A thimble added inside the loop to stiffen it, and protect the cable from pinching and abrading on the inside. The use of thimbles in loops is a best practice when there are no space considerations (ie halyard entering a mast).

Closed thimbles do not have any sharp edges and are used when snags or chafe are a concern.

Pricing and Availability

Swage Marine Eye
Swage Marine Eye

The Marine Eye is the standard wire end fitting. This eye has a larger clevis pin hole and a thicker, rounder eye compared to the aircraft type eye. Marine eyes are commonly used at the top of headstays and backstays when a fork or double strap fitting is found on the mast or using a masthead toggle. Also common at backstay bridles when double triangle plates are used to join the bridles to the primary backstay wire.

Pricing and Availability

Swage Eye Terminal
Swage Eye Terminal

The Blue Wave Eye Terminal is a highly polished, load rated marine eye.

The Marine Eye is the standard wire end fitting. This eye has a larger clevis pin hole and a thicker, rounder eye compared to the aircraft type eye. Marine eyes are commonly used at the top of headstays and backstays when a fork or double strap fitting is found on the mast or using a masthead toggle. Also common at backstay bridles when double triangle plates are used to join the bridles to the primary backstay wire.

Pricing and Availability

Swage Aircraft Eye
Swage Aircraft Eye

Aircraft Eyes are similar to the standard marine eye but with a more pronounced teardrop shape. Originally used in aircraft control cables and struts, the aircraft eye is thinner than a corresponding marine eye allowing it to fit narrow forks.

Pricing and Availability

Swage Aircraft Fork
Swage Aircraft Fork

Aircraft Forks have a pronounced teardrop shape. Originally used in aircraft control cables and struts, the aircraft fork has a thinner opening than a corresponding marine fork allowing it to fit with reduced slop when attached to mast fittings. The narrow fork opening matches the thickness of the corresponding Alexander Roberts Aircraft Eye.

Pricing and Availability

Swage Toggle
Swage Toggle

Toggles feature an articulating fork which in conjunction with the pivot at the clevis pin allows two axis of motion. This added adjustability allows the wire to pull evenly even if the deck or mast fitting is not completely aligned. This fitting is not common, however, as usually a turnbuckle with a swage stud at one end and a threaded toggle at the other.

Pricing and Availability

Swage Threaded Stud
Swage Threaded Stud

Threaded Studs are usually found on the bottom of standing rigging. They allow sailors to tension the rigging through use of a turnbuckle. When choosing the stud it is best to match it to the wire and thread diameter as most manufacturer offer a variety of threaded diameters to match existing turnbuckle bodies.

Pricing and Availability

Pricing for Wire Rigging Labour

Labour Description Price
Nicro Press Nicro Press of One Fitting On Selected Wire $3.00
Swage
Small Diameter Wire
Swage a Fitting On A Wire ¼” or Less $15.00
Swage
Large Diameter Wire
Swage a Fitting On A Wire Greater Than ¼” $27.50
Hourly Charge Jobs With More Than 6 Swages or Custom Wire Work or Travel Time $80.00/hr