on being an educated consumer…

As I said before, there’s nothing wrong with the basic sloop rig on the CAL 34 and, if your rig is in good shape by all means go with it. The problem arises when you’re confronted with a rig that is well past its sell-by date.

New chainplates, tangs, toggles, turnbuckles, pins, and wire quickly add up to some serious wallet pain. Seriously, it’s a good time to get out your West Marine catalog out and price it all for yourself. Sure it will take you a couple of hours but it is an excellent exercise and it will give you the sort of economic baseline you need if you’re serious about VolksCruising.

So, I’m now assuming that you’ve done your homework and have a rather depressing bunch of numbers in front of you.


The first thing I’ll point out about those numbers is that you really don’t want to buy your rigging materials from a marine store because their markup is nuts. My hard and fast rule about buying stuff from marine vendors is to only buy stuff when it’s on deep discount and less expensive then my normal suppliers provide. This rare occasion is usually when West or Defender bought up a warehouse and decide to blow out the stuff they really don’t have the space for. It doesn’t happen often but when it does you need to grab it fast.

This brings us to the second thing which is that you need to know what a good deal actually is. Being an informed consumer is often hard work but it pays big dividends which are well worth your time and effort. So, I’ll underline that by saying knowing the real price of 1/4″ stainless wire and various bits can make the difference between an affordable or too expensive rigging refit.

The third thing is knowing about alternatives as often one can save a huge amount of money by going with something else entirely. For instance, you could use 304 stainless, galvanized, or Dyneema instead of 316 wire any of which have some real advantages over the 316. Obviously, some study is advised when sorting out alternative materials. That said, I should warn you that one can get hooked on the myriad possibilities available to you.

Have at it…

Share this post

1 thought on “on being an educated consumer…”

  1. I rigged a 28ft ferro boat with a telephone pole that had been dumped, some galv wire, and a cut down a large bermudan mainsail to make a gaff/gunter main and a jib. Cost was under £100, and it got me to the Mediterranean from the UK. A cruising chute or large genoa would have been nice to have also, but the small 10hp Bukh was so economical, it worked out cheaper to motor than buy a new sail.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top