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How to Measure Sailboat Wire Rigging | Expert Advice

how to measure

Instructions for Measuring Wire Rigging

Please read these instructions on wire rigging measurement completely. If you have questions or are unsure about something, call, email, or live chat us before you place an order for rigging. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have.

how to measure wire rigging

Option 1:

Measure your rigging yourself

What you will need:

  • Two people.
  • A no-stretch measuring tape (we prefer steel or fiberglass) at least as long as the rigging you will be measuring.
  • A small diameter, fixed anchor point and a flat surface to work on (eg. A nail or screw in a dock or on a long tool bench). Do not try to measure on your boat.
  • Our Wire Rigging Measurement Worksheet  or our Lifeline Measurement Worksheet to record your information on.

For Standing Rigging:

  1. If you have a turnbuckle or other threaded adjuster, it is important you set the tension to the medium air setting prior to dropping the mast and removing the rigging from the boat. This is VERY important as we will make your new rigging with the turnbuckles set half-open unless told otherwise.
  2. If you plan to make any adjustment in your shroud or turnbuckle adjustment type, let us know so we can take this into account.
  3. If you had to change the turnbuckles from their medium air setting in order to drop the mast, return them to their medium air setting noted in step 1. Tape and/or cotter pin your threaded turnbuckles/adjusters (if any) to prevent movement while measuring.
  4. Remove the top and bottom clevis pin(s) if there are any (see photo above).
  5. Attach your measuring tape and rigging to the fixed anchor point (see photo above).
  6. Pull the other end of your rigging taut. To insure an accurate measurement, you will need to apply enough pressure to eliminate any kinks or memory the wire may have. If the wire is severely bent at any point(s), you will need to first bend it back so that it is straight.
  7. Tension your tape measure below your rigging. With both the wire and tape taut, take the measurement at the bearing surface of the end fitting (see photos above). Measure twice for accuracy.

For Running Rigging:

  1. Make sure your halyard shackle is closed.
  2. Put the pin of the shackle on your anchor point (see photo above)
  3. Follow from Step 6 above.

If you are measuring a threaded stud, don’t forget to determine the thread type, diameter and length of the existing stud. Visit How To Determine Thread Length and Type for more information.

Option 2:

Shipping Us Your Rigging

While we are happy to measure your rigging for you, please note it will add additional processing time.

  1. Remove your rigging from the boat and set all turnbuckles to their medium air setting.
  2. Tape and/or cotter pin your threaded turnbuckles/adjusters (if any) to prevent movement in shipping.
  3. Tag each individual piece of rigging and clearly note what it is. “Upper shroud, port side”; “Lower life line, starboard side”…
  4. Please include detailed instructions of what you would like done (eg. “Replace exactly,” “Replace with like but make shroud 2” longer,” etc) as well as your complete name, address, email address and a day time phone number where we can reach you.
  5. Ship your package by a trackable, insurable method (these are valuable one-of-a-kind items). APS is not responsible for items lost in transit or shipping fees.
  6. Package the rigging and ship it to APS Customer Service, 110 Severn Avenue, Annapolis MD 21403.
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