Rod Rigging

Wally Day Sailor

    In the world of sailboat standing rigging there are three common materials used, stainless steel wire, Nitronic 50 rod, and various types of synthetic fibers, which are becoming more and more popular. I want to talk today about Nitronic 50 stainless steel rod. This specific type of stainless steel is very strong and noble. Rod rigging can provide lower stretch, less windage and reduced weight characteristics than its wire counterparts.

So if your boat is equipped with rod rigging, what maintenance schedule should one adhere to? In order to maintain your rod rigging or any rigging for that matter, it is highly recommended to simply wash and rinse the hardware with soap and water. This in itself      can make a big difference in its longevity. Mast Being unstepped!

The general guidelines for rod head inspection and service are 40,000 – 60,000 miles or 6 years, whichever comes first. Rods, tangs and fittings, generally should be replaced once the rig exceeds 120,ooo NM. This is a generalization that will vary by geographical region and use. Typically (at least in my experience) one will find that they reach the 6 year mark before the 60,000 miles. The rod head service is extremely important and should not be overlooked. In order to inspect/service your rod the mast will need to be un-stepped.

cracked rod head

Rod heads are made by a hydraulic cold press machine that utilizes a series of dies, clamps and rams to press a head onto the rod. The rod heads are responsible for keeping the fitting from slipping off. The rods themselves can last a very, very long time. Much longer than the expected life span of wire. This is due primarily to the type of metal used, how it is treated, and also the construction characteristics of the wire vs that of the rod. Rod cold heads however, are prone to cracking and should go no longer than 6 years without being serviced.

G100 eye dimpled fitting
Typically Rod Marine Eyes Get Dimpled!

With some type of rod fittings the head can easily be accessed, cleaned up and inspected for cracking. However, other types of fittings will be dimpled to lock the fitting and can therefore not be undone to be inspected. In this case you will need to replace the fitting as well as the head for a satisfactory inspection. This does not necessarily mean the rod needs to be replaced. The length lost will be minimal and is usually within the throw of a turnbuckle.

Navtec Rod Stud
Rod Studs Also Typically are Dimpled!

There are instances where the entire rod will need replacing. If the rod has been damaged, bent or kinked, one should replace it. Navtec guidelines talk about it being acceptable to bend the rod back only once if the bend isn’t too severe. Personally, I would get it replaced, because I don’t like ‘if’s’.

Navtec Spreader Bends
Aluminum Spreader Bend

Another situation that would call for rod replacement, is when a head needs to be replaced aloft on a shroud which utilizes a spreader bend. A spreader bend is an aluminum or stainless sleeve that is slipped onto the rod before heading and is bent in place to a designated angle at the point where the rod intersects the out board spreader end. As there is no turnbuckle at the top end of a stay (at least not typically, that would be weird), the loss of length can not be made up. In other words the spreader angle would no longer be the same. Lastly, you would need to replace any rod that simply does not have enough length for re-heading. This is rare but can happen especially if the rod has been re-headed several times.

Navtec C550 Rig Screw Style Turnbuckle
Navtec C550 Rig Screw Style Turnbuckle

Regarding terminals, if using a rigging screw type turnbuckle (see picture) make sure your rigger knows to replace the screw itself. These are also very prone to fatigue and aging. A good school of thought here is, any terminals that look extremely old and worn should be replaced. This should be evaluated on a case by case bases. Remember, it is always recommended to seek the advice of a professional. At least at The Rigging Company, advice is always FREE of charge.

Read here for more info from Navtec on how to maintain your rig!

Have a question or a comment? Just drop us a line below and we will reply.

P.S. –  If you have these tangs aloft ( old model C&C owners), you should have them checked by your local rigger. Certain older models have been deemed unsafe! – Ask us for details.

86 thoughts on “Rod Rigging

  1. Good Day, how much on average you loose when reheading rod?I s there a rule of thumb? Im unstepping my rig in few months and am afraid that there is not enough range in the turnbuckles to rehead, and at the moment my budget is too tight for new rods…
    Thanks in advance, great article and great replies to other questions, much appreciated!

    1. Hi Thomas,

      Thanks for the kind words. It’s roughly about two rod diameters per head. If the Turnbuckles are out of adjustment, many times longer screws can be made to accommodate that. Shrouds that pass through spreaders may need to be replaced in their entirety due to the spreader bends located/ crimped onto the rod.

      Although rare, older rods can crack when re-heading. This usually indicates that the rod is too old/ tired, thus requiring complete replacement.

      Hope this helps and let us know if you need anything else.


  2. Hi,

    I bought a 2005 Beneteau First 36.7 recently. The boat is in great shape, with original rod rigging. It came with the original Harken furler (optionnal on this boat), never used for what I know… Still, I want to make sure it is safe to put it on the boat for 2-3 years (will be easier to sail with kids, still possible to race). Any advice on checking the rod there to make sure if it needs replacement?

    Thank you. Your website if very instructive!


    1. Thank You Jean Denis!

      If the rod is thought to never have been serviced, it is time. It should be about every 6 years (at least 10) and then it varies depending on use and where the boat is being kept. With a rod service you will be re-heading some rods and replacing some depending on length lost, rig configuration and if the rod is able to be re-headed.

      Not sure where you are writing from but we can help you find a local rod service center. You will need to start by planning on the mast being down for at least a month (at least in our experience). You can also take the mast down and send it to us for the service work. We will need to ask a few questions and provide a few directions for this to go smoothly. Feel free to email us at for more info.


  3. Hi Guy’s-
    I have a 1994 Swan 36-2 that I bought in December. It has original rod rigging. The boat was sailed occasionally off the central coast of CA its first four yeas. From 1998 to current, it was leisurely sailed very very seldom – no more than 24 hours / year and none of it racing. I’m researching replacing the rod rigging and have read and been told many different things. Based on the boats age and sailing history, what do you recommend regarding replacing the rigging?

    1. Hi Alan,

      Thanks for waiting for a reply. Due to it’s age, I would consider replacement or at the VERY least…re-heading. When re-heading the Uppers and Intermediates will need replacing due to the spreader bends. The other remaining stays should be able to be re-headed and re-used. Having said that, some older rods tend to crack under pressure when re-heading so during this process it may be time for replacement all together. As for the fittings and terminals they should also be replaced due to age. So very likely full replacement is the way to go for a boat of this age.

      Bear in mind, even with light use or none at all (the boat just sitting at the dock) cycle loading is the factor to consider. This in itself requires the rod to be inspected/ service/ re-headed every 6 years or so. The only way around this is if the rigging is disconnected, removed and stored properly, indoors. Otherwise cycle loading is the factor….at the least.

      Hope that helps and thanks for question.


  4. Hi Folks, BTW, great site! Could you provide a rough estimate for replacing the rod rigging on my 2003 Sabre 452?

  5. I have a Beneteau First 36.7 made in France. A previous owner sailed her from France to southern Mexico.
    When I got the boat it had wire rigging and also had an extra set of wire rigging. I can’t tell which rigging is newer. I need to replace the fore stay do to a roller furling issue and I don’t seem to have a replacement for that. Should I start returning the boat to rid rigging? We race the boat every week and in all the races we can here in Puerto Vallarta. I also thought about perhaps going to carbon forestay with the groove for the sail built in to the forestay. I have already gone to dynama back stay.

    What would be the cost for rod rigging on my boat and would it be worth it to do?

    1. Hi Daniel,

      Returning the boat to its original configuration is always my first choice. Since you are racing there are many lightweight options as well, but they are pricey.

      We cover all areas, wire, rod and synthetic.

      I recommend you email one of our sales staff with as many pics and specifications as you have and let’s let the conversation start.


  6. Hello,
    Thank you for your introduction for the rod rigging. It is very Helpful. Recently I bought a Beneteau first 35s5 with rod rigging. Since I am planning to participate in races, and I do not know when they have installed, I think an inspection is required. Since I am getting different responces with respect to the procedure I have to follow, I feel quite uncomfortable. Most of them propose to change to the wire rigging, but I think they are not experienced enough with the rods. May I have your advice please. In case I have to replace with new ones what should be the cost and what brand rods I have to ask to install.
    Thank you in advance,

    1. Hi George and thanks for asking.

      Yes, inspection and/ re-heading is likely required if this hasn’t been done in the last 6 years or so. Often times many of the boat’s rods can simply be re-headed and length adjustments be made elsewhere to make up for any length lost during re-heading. This may require full replacement of some of the rods but not all. Having said that, it may be that the existing rods won’t re-head without cracking, we don’t know until we try, and if that’s the case full replacement will be necessary. Costs for re-heading, for a boat of this size/ type, can range from $2k-$3500 approximately. Full replacement can range from around $4-$6k. PLEASE KEEP IN MIND these are very rough numbers and we will provide you with a much more exact figure when you are ready.

      Although we do provide all types of rigging, wire, rod, synthetic, replacing with wire would not be my first choice. There are usually other considerations which drive up the price to do this correctly.

      Please email Aaron Moeller who is very well versed on rod rigging as well as all things Beneteau at for more information.

      Thanks for your patience in awaiting our reply and thanks for choosing TRC for your rigging questions.


    1. Hi Neil,

      There is not a specific tool for these that we know of. Typically, after the use of lots of heat, we use either a long slotted screw driver, strap wrench, pipe wrench, channel locks, sometimes if not re-using, the rod itself. Long story short they’re not really that fun to remove. Lots and lots of heat and then when you’re done heating, heat it a bit more…is usually the answer. As a last resort a cut off wheel on a grinder may even be the final answer. The old style Navtec tangs are typically corroded to their aluminum through tube, so be patient and be vigilant.

      Other than that feel free to email us pictures and/ or call the office for more tips and advice. 443-847-1004.

      Hope that helps and good luck.


        1. Corrosion is always a factor, but not as much as the fact that the through bars are aluminum and the new ones use stainless. This was a chafe concern especially from the days of wire halyards, sawing through them! ALSO, and most importantly it was the 1st generation of what we call a rod stemball. This 1st generation stemball was quite literally a half of a ball that the rod head sat in. This caused a hard spot/ weak point where the rod exited the ball. The newer design, which came out shortly after this initial iteration, uses a design similar to a hollowed out golf tee with a tapered shank through which the rod exits (see image here). This makes for a more fair fitting.


  7. Last year I bought an X-332 (33″ boat from Danish X-Yachts) from 1998. It is rod-rigged.
    Will it be safe to go on longer journey if rig is properly inspected?
    What do you bring instead of wire cutters if you have a broken rod or mast that need to be cut loose?
    Thanks, Martin

    1. Hi Martin,

      Depending on where the boat has been kept/ sailed for the majority of its life this answer can vary, but only slightly with rigging of that age. One, you will likely have to replace ALL of the rod rigging before any journey (long or not). Two, you may be able to re-head some of the rods and replace the ones that will not be dimensionaly correct anymore after re-heading.

      To cut rods a simple hacksaw will work fine. A cordless grinder with friction blade and charged battery is ideal.


  8. Hello from Corfu Greece.
    Im maintaining a Benetau 58 with 3 spreader mast and rod standing rigging.
    The boat is 5 years old (bought from new) and my client complained that the leeward cupshrouds are very loose when sailing, i guess upwind mostly.
    My question is: how much tension should i give as long as i dont have “loose gauge” for the rods.

    Thanks in advance

    1. Dionisis,

      Hello from Annapolis, Maryland, USA!! Albeit having the shrouds overly loose can cause problems, typically, having the shrouds swaying on the leeward side is not necessarily a structural concern and here’s why.

      BUT FIRST, Please read our mast tuning guide available on the site. in order to ensure a proper static (dock) tune.

      Additionally, then, you can sail tune the boat.

      Once a proper static tune is achieved, the amount of tension on the stays can vary, respectively, with varying conditions. With the static tune achieved, you should seek to sail the boat in conditions that resemble the most common condition expected for that boat. Then…

      …while sailing close hauled, properly trimmed, with the appropriate sail accompaniment for the condition. Check the tension of the leeward shrouds. If they are dangling or too loose, undo the pins or nuts that secure the turnbuckle and tension the turnbuckle (read here for info operating a turnbuckle), by hand.

      Only on the leeward side!

      Make sure to count what you are doing, number of half turns (or 180 degree rotations). Tension, by hand, until the stay just begins to be taught.

      …then tack the boat to other tack, again close hauled and repeat the same number of turns to tension the opposite side equally.

      IF the stays are too tight, then loosen the stays until they begin to sway (may require tools), and re-tension that side by hand to be snug or just taught.

      REMEMBER: Once a static tune is achieved always tension the shrouds equally from port to starboard…maintaining a proper static tune.

      Once the leeward shrouds, in this ideal condition, are just hand tight or snug, then the amount of tension is ideal for that condition/ sail combination.

      Lastly, if you were now to own a Loose Gauge, you could bring the boat back to the dock, and with all halyards slack (including boom topping lift) and the boat floating fairly plum or even, you could measure the stay tension according to the gauge and document it. This would allow you to duplicate this setting for any similarly rigged Beneteau 58, at the dock, for these aforementioned conditions.

      Windier is tighter and calmer is looser.

      Make sense?

      Hope that helps and thanks for asking.


  9. I read that the tangs on older model c&c have been deemed unsafe. Would be able to elaborate on that a little. I have an 1982 c&c 32 any idea if I should be worried labour the gangs failing

    1. Hi Travis,

      It is likely that your boat has these tangs. To be sure you can send us a picture of what’s there to The fitting they use inside of them is what was deemed unsafe. Also the cross tube that holds the tang on has had reports of being sawed in half by halyards. Pictures will help a lot.


  10. Hi !
    I’m in France and the vessel I’m interested to acquire is in Malaysia. It’s an Bénéteau First 51 build 1987. She is rod rigged, not sure these were recently replaced.
    I’m order to evaluate the cost of total expenses to upgrade her, would you please indicate me the cost of replacing all the riggings and corresponding hardware. She has hydration tensioner fore and aft.
    Many thanks in advance
    Sasha B.

    1. Hi Sasha,

      Thanks for contacting us. To service the rod you will need to have the mast taken down and then back up again. For rough numbers, to have the rod serviced not replaced, may come in around the $5k – $6,500 mark. For full replacement it may likely run more around $8k – $10k. This is for the rod work only, the mast still needs to come down and go back up at the least… shipping and applicable taxes of course.

      At least this is our best guess without seeing it. For more precise info you can send us the old rods for service or replacement, and or we might be able to find someone who can help that is close by. Just email us at sales@theriggingco for more info.

      Hope that helps.


  11. Hello!
    I have a 1983 Niagara 35, and it’s rigged with the original Navtec rod rigging. Obviously I’m not comfortable with 30+ year old rigging, so I’m looking to replace it, but unfortunately the old Nav tangs are really not budging when I try to unscrew them. Any tips tricks, and ideas would be really helpful! (Someone mentioned the the tie rod in ’83 was aluminum, and they’d be welded tight with corrosion with the ss heads. idk though)

    1. Hi Jack,

      I know them well, they may also be Loctite-ed. First the shrouds will need to be freed from the spreader ends and spreaders removed. Then you will need LOTS of heat! Heat it until you’re uncomfortable, then keep heating it some more, right when you think it’s gonna melt…use the rod stay itself, articulated into the slot, and use it as a fulcrum. This may bend the rod a bit, but since you are replacing no big deal.

      Last resort cut the tang with a cut off wheel, not the rod, as the rigger will need the rod whole for measurement. The tangs will also be replaced, exact replacements are likely available.

      In other words it’s no easy task but heat is likely what will make it move.

      Good Luck and we hope that helps. Let us know if you need anything else.

      Remember you can always package and ship it all to our facility and we can set you up with a kit to be sent back to you for you to install.


  12. I am looking at changing boats and the one which has caught my eye is an X332 with Rod Rigging.
    I have no experience of Rod Rigging, and as the boat was built in 2000, am concerned that the cap ends may need inspected and possibly replaced as I have so far been unable to determine if any NDT inspections have been carried out over the years. The boat has been only very lightly used over the past fourteen years by the current owners. What would you suggest should be done to determine the state of the rigging and what is the likely cost. The boat is based in the west of Scotland.

    1. Hi Eric,

      Thanks for commenting. If you are unsure, have the rod ends replaced. This may mean that some rods get replaced but not necessarily all of them, unless the boat has been sailed for significant miles, 60,000 or so (it doesn’t sound like it). You will need to find a rod rigging service center, have the mast unstepped, and replace all of the heads and the fittings at a minimum. If you cannot find someone close by you can always have the mast unstepped and then coil the rigging and ship it to us for service. Once completed we can ship it back. The furler will need to be the item of discussion, but we can work that out.

      It would be my hypothesis that the cost for this can range anywhere between $3500 to $6000 (give or take a $1000) depending on what needs to be done. Shipping would be additional.

      Once we receive everything we can provide a detailed quote outlining all of the tasks and parts and give you a more concrete number.

      I hope that helps.

      Good Luck,

  13. We have rod rigging on our Irwin 52, while sailing from panama to Tahiti, we broke port D2 at the spreader. Is it possible that the rest of the rod rigging should also be replaced Incase other rods are weak , we are not able to get rod riggging in Tahiti, so we need to completely rig the main mast with cable SS

    1. Hi Louis, Thanks for contacting us. Likely it is all suspect. Believe it or not this isn’t the first time that we have gotten someone to contact us via our site for help regarding rod in Tahiti. CONTACT:

      Mat Rigging Services
      BP 4164
      98713 Papeete TAHITI
      French Polynesia
      Tél: +689 87 72 05 02

      They are a BSI rod dealer last we checked and they seemed very responsive. Let us know if this helps and good luck with everything.


  14. good morning ,
    Spreader corrosion :
    i have a X Yacht 50 Launched 2008 with a Navtec carbon mast . Due to aluminium corrosion I have a problem removing two stainless steel plates in which the rod head is fixed in . Unless I manage to remove the end bit of the coroded Aluminium spreader which is sandwich between the stainles plates which in turn are connected by a thread I have to replace my rods unless an alternative end cap sytem can be adopted provided the rod heads are ok .
    I have a picture but unable to attche it .
    BTW My boat is in Malta /Europe

  15. What a great website for a newbie owner of a rod rigged boat. Mine is a 1980 Niagara 35 with the original rod rigging. We are refitting and replacing just about everything else to go cruising south, from what I’ve read there is no point inspecting the rod rig so I want to replace with wire – easier to fix and replace where we are going. Can you recommend a solution and replacement hardware for fixing new wire shrouds for the mast uppers and lowers? Thanks!

    1. Thanks for the compliment. Although wire replacement is possible, we recommend just servicing the rod. The cost associated with this is very likely less than wire conversion anyways and it is a better performing, longer lasting product. Simply fill out our Work Request Form, and coil, package, and send us (or drop off) the rods for service. Once we received the package we will make an estimate for the required items free of charge. Once you approve the work, the turn around time is likely about 2 weeks until we are ready to ship.

      Thanks again and give us a call or drop us an email for more information…


  16. I have rod rigging on my 1982 islanders 40 , it’s been inspected and it is in good shape and I’m thinking of trucking the boat to a new port which would involve removing the mast. I am concerned about not damaging the rod rigging during removal and transit, any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  17. I own in last the 3 years a C&C 42 Landfall 1978 model with rod rigging. Should it be looked at before i sail to far off regions.
    Morehead City, N.C.

  18. I have a compression fitting as shown for the uppers on my Cal 2-46 done in 1989. what types of problems have been found and what solutions are available?

    1. Hi Ernest,

      The fitting is prone to corrosion issues at the threaded tube. The tube is aluminum and is also susceptible to being cut in half by the old stainless steel wire halyards (which then also chafes the newer rope halyards too). Then the older generations all used round balls for the rod head to seat in (inside the tang) which created a hard spot where the rod where it exits the ball and was known to cause rod failure. They later changed these tangs to a similar design with different rod seat called a tapered stemball. There are replacements readily available through <a href=”” target=”_blank”>BSI</a> and The Rigging Company. You will need to rehead stays and this means any stays with spreader bends will need to be replaced all together.

      Thanks for the comment. For more information please don’t hesitate to contact one of our sales staff at 443-847-1004.


  19. Have a boatload of Navtec (ugh) and the rod is cobalt non-contiguous on a 4 spreader mast. -150 down to -115 down to -60 up top half with diagonals -60, -30 -22
    What is the solution with Navtec now gone? Can I source Nitronic 50 and have the various rods made to length and threaded?? Can I trust the nitronic 50 buying it straight from supplier of rod?
    Is Navtec France still in play, can BSi produce the rod? Can I buy and trust the Nitronic 50 from a manufacturer and go the long haul to make up the new rod? Should I convert to Synthetic? What are my options?
    The solution and cost of any changes will be the difference from saving a grand old girl, or not.

    1. Hi Todd,

      Rod and all fittings necessary can certainly be sourced. BSI is a great place to start. I think Navtec globally is finished, their parts have been liquidated to various other manufacturers. Hayn, Rig Rite and another company that escapes me right now did most of the acquisition. We are dealers for all of the above and can therefore certainly be of more help. Please email for more information or give us a call at 443-847-1004. Synthetics are also an option, but I’d need to know more about the grand old girl before I can recommend one thing or another.

      Thanks for Commenting,

  20. Hi,

    Thank you for your article with info about rod rigging… I have been sailing around the world on a Southern Cross 35 with rod rigging since 2009. Following Navtec guidelines since departure has kept the mast up all these years but I would sleep better at nigh knowing that I can jury rig something to hold the mast up and keep sailing (at least safely to my next port) if one of my rod fails in the middle of an ocean passage.

    In your opinion, could a 6mm Dyneema SK75 temporarily replace a Nitronic 50 number #10 rod that has a breaking strength of 10 000lbs ?



    1. Hi Serge,

      I think this is a great idea…we even make what is called a Spare Stay Kit here at TRC. It is basically as you describe, but with a very nice Handy Lock, tool-less, turnbuckle, and a few other nick-knacks for blown out tangs and/or chainplates.

      So if the rig is still up, and you can make it up the mast for a fix, I’d say there is no better option. Just check your breaking strength and be sure that you are running a stronger than the rod synthetic, it could even be Vectran (less elongation for long runs). Keep in mind as you bend the line, i.e. truckers hitch or other knot, you greatly reduce the strength (to be fair everything is typically overbuilt to ensure certain safety factors) so the stronger the better.

      ….at least to get you back to safe harbor to make adequate repairs. In the meantime stay on top of the rod service as you’ve been doing :0)


  21. Thank you for your article with info about rod rigging. Just purchased a 1988 C&C 41 with rod rigging and during our first sail the intermediate shroud slipped suddenly about ¾ of and inch on the threads! Do you know if the stainless steel used is typically significantly harder than the bronze of the threaded rod? I am hoping that is the case and that I can simply replace that threaded rod and not the entire stainless shroud. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Patrick,

      The theory of the bronze and the stainless is that the stainless will give way to the bronze. This preventing thread galling. However in your case if the threads have slipped already I would avoid all uncertainty by replacing the entire turnbuckle. I would additionally see my local rigger about replacing all of threaded rods with new ones as well as talk about reheading the rods if that hasn’t been done yet?

      Lastly, the age of the boat makes me think about the through-deck chainplates. Have they ever been pulled and properly inspected? Same goes for the shroud mast tangs.

      Just some thoughts and thanks for asking.


  22. Hi I have a 1982 Bruce Farr 48, build by Pacific Seacraft, with a broken rod lower port shroud, broken at the top stem terminal, size 3/4, nitro 50, can you please explain what i need to do to fix it? and send me what i need. I am in Tonga now the complete middle of nowhere as too rigging services, non existent! I expect to find a swaging machine in Fiji, where i will go next. There is enough room on the rigging screw to use the same rod. Does it need just a swage terminal, or a rod head, or both? Detailed instructions and education would be highly appreciated. your Frans

  23. Hi,

    First, thanks for the explanation of rod rigging, service limits and repair. I am looking at buying a Morgan 454 and all of the ones I am looking at has not had the rod rigging replaced. As a result of reading your article, I have asked the brokers if there were inspections and replacement of rod heads. Is there an age limit or just the 120,000 NM limit? Also what would be a ballpark figure for replacing the rod rigging in a Morgan 454?

    Thanks for the help.

    1. Hi Mark,

      Thanks for reading and the kind words. We are glad you find this info helpful. Rod rigging, unlike wire, has no set time limit, just mileage. Having said that the rigging does experience mileage just by sitting at the dock or on the hard, this they call cycle loading. Although it takes a REALLY long time for this to make the mileage requirements, it is possible. A very old boat that has been sailed hard for many miles and then stored on land, or in water, for an exceptionally long period, could make all of the mileage add up. So in this scenario complete rod replacement is recommended.

      To answer your question on cost; complete rod replacement for a boat like this could run around $7500 here at TRC (you can easily give or take thousands if not careful, i.e. $5500 – $9500). You will also need to think about taking the mast down and back up, add $2k (for rough numbers sake). A rod service (not complete replacement, but re-head all stays, replace fittings and rods on case-by-case basis) may run around $3500-$5500, plus taking the mast down and back up. So either way I would say…prepare yourself for a bill as low as $5k or as high as $12k, let’s just call it $10k. These are very rough numbers, but I have enough experience that I can speak loosely to the cost of things for this type of boat.


      1. Hi, Thanks for the great info.  I have contacted a rigging company in Alameda, Ca and we are going to do an inspection. Great service! Mark

  24. My understanding is that Navtec is going or is all ready out of business.
    Where can I purchase replacement rod rigging for an aging lagre boat?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Steve,

      That is my understanding too. All of our rod products are now <a href=””>BSI of Denmark</a>. You can purchase them directly from us or ask us any questions we’d be glad to help. Thanks for choosing TRC for your sailboat questions, and please don’t hesitate to <a href=””>contact us</a> for more information, or more questions.


  25. Hello, I own a Beneteau First 40.7 year 2000 and I would like to know if I must change the rods.
    If yes, how much will cost the full replacement? As I intend do the North West passage, I would like to be shure that the rigging will not be a problem…
    As I will go up the Atlantic coast, where can I do the appropriate service?
    Best regards

    1. Hi Elio,

      Full replacement is likely not necessary with rod rigging. Unless the boat traveled more than 120,000 NM. However the rod heads need to be replaced on all of the rods and fittings need to be serviced and inspected.

      Having said all of that, based on site unseen, you will likely need spend around $7k-$10k for a rod service. This includes unstepping, re-heading all rods, and stepping, complete with tune and everything ready to install sails.

      Full rod replacement may run around $10k-$15k including step and unstep. If you give us rod diameters of the various stays and some pictures we could come up with some more defined numbers.

      Also, let us know where on the east coast you are so that we can provide a good recommendation for where to take your boat.

      Thanks for the comment.


  26. Hi. I have just bought a second hand forestay furler. I need to shorten it to fit my boat.. I have already cut the ‘head end’ to start to shorten it. is there any other sort of head bearing other than the cold pressed head you describe ?.

    1. Nothing, the BSI version is fine as far as I know. So is the newer version of this Navtec tang. It is this style tang, made by Navtec on older boats that have the problem.

      The through tube was aluminum and therefore corroded to the caps. It was susceptible to failure. Especially if the boat was ever equipped with wire halyards. Think….hack saw.


  27. Hi, C&C 34, 1979. Apparently original rod rigging. The tangs looks exactly like the ones you mentioned in “PS” section at the bottom of the article. All but one tangs do have a ball inside the tangs moving freely, the one for the inner left shroud appears frozen. Did try PB blaster to no help.
    Do you have a cut-through diagram of how this tang is made?
    Any suggestion on how to unfreeze the ball. The mast is currently unstepped laying sideways, could that be affecting the motion of the ball on the top side?
    Why are those tangs unsafe?
    Thank you,

    1. Hi Vlad,

      Thanks for checking us out. Those tangs are threaded onto a threaded tube. You need to use the shroud itself, uncaptivated by the spreader, in against the mast and into the slot where the stay goes into the tang. Then use the stays as the fulcrum in opposing directions to wrench them off…..HEAT REQUIRED (I recommend a good MAP gas torch). Should be lefty-loosy, righty-tighty. Here is a diagram of the tang.

      This thing might be a bear, but stick with it and get it REAL hot (I mean within reason:-0)). You will likely need to upgrade to the newer version anyways. In-case you have to cut it out!!!

      The problem with the old ones were that the wire halyards would saw through them. Besides that they used aluminum tubes with stainless caps, corrosion nightmare (hence what I said before about cutting them). Here is a likely replacement that will be much better.

      Hope that helps, good luck!


    1. Hi Clive, Not sure what you mean by swaged head. Although there have been some vague discussions on using wire swage fittings on rod, I would NOT recommend this… these fitting are designed to be swaged onto wire. Besides that, stick with what works, it’s a ’79 right? So just re-fresh what’s there and it should provide you with years of worry free service, as it has thus far :-0)

      Hope that helps and thanks for the help.


  28. Is there anything in particular to do with the rod on the ’79 Landfall 42 that I should look out for beyond what you’ve said here ?

    1. Hello, Just make sure that the rod has been properly serviced. This means the mast needs to be unstepped, the rod heads re-headed, then re-stepped. Unless this has been done recently. Certain rods and fitting will need replacement just due to the nature of re-heading. Be sure to contact your local rigging shop that can perform rod services for more information.


  29. How would one pack rod rigging for shipping to you for inspection and repair? Navtec says the minimum diameter for coiling is 200 x rod diameter, which means at least a 75″ x 75″ box for 3/8 and around 68 x 68 for 5/16. (the vessel is a Shannon 39).

    1. HI!

      Although I have heard of this guideline, I have yet to actually use it myself, ha. This sounds like a very loose guideline. It also depends on how long the rod is. To be honest we do it by feel. We will usually twist in the first coil and then pull it until it starts feeling tight (but not forced, or too tight). I will then secure the coil with the short end via a twist. I then roll the coil until the twisted end begins to work its way out and then I twist it around the coil again (sometimes two times depending how much is sticking out). After the third twist I will make a bundle of tape at the loose end to secure it to the coil. Then I continue to roll the coil until I have the other end…again with three twists and a bundle of tape I secure it.

      Careful as loaded rod coils can cause injury!!!

      I have a piece of in the shop that is around 3/8″ now and the hoop diameter is approx. 60″. This is actually a bit of a sloppy coil so I think I could make it even tighter as it was done by the customer. It is an upper shroud off of a Sabre 42….just FYI.

      Please use our Online Work Request Form (or something like it in the package) so that we have all of your info. MAke sure you label the stays well and also (if you have not unstepped the mast yet) mark the threads on the turnbuckles where they intersect the threads.

      Regards and we look forward to working with you.

  30. Hi guys, I have one of these tangs on my 1983 CS 33. The boat currently has rod rigging but I am converting over to wire. I don’t race the boat and it is easier to service wire rigging locally. Do you know of a fitting that would replace this tang with one I could use with wire? Any help or thoughts would be appreciated.

    1. If you have the K150 style tang you should be able to remove the existing tang, make the cutout bigger and replace it with the Navtec K200. Use this in conjunction with wire swage stemball fitting. All parts apropo tangs and upper wire terminals should be listed on this page…..

      Thanks for the comment, hope this helps. Let us know if you need anything else and how things turn out.


      P.S. – NOTE: stay lengths and bearing points will likely be affected!!!

  31. I have a 1979 C&C 36 with original rigging that needs replacement. I cut off the head of the main shroud fitting near the spreader and it did not slide out of the mast. Do I drill out the center of the aluminum post?

  32. I have a failure of a back stay rod rigging on a 1999 C&C 110 sailboat and what published information you may have on the rod failures

  33. I’m contemplating the purchase of a 1980 C&C Landfall 38 and the current owner has told me that the rod rigging is “original”(!?!) – That would put it in the neighborhood of 35 service years! Is the Landfall one of the C&C models you alluded to above? Does this mean all rod & fittings will need to be replaced first thing? What kind of expense would I be facing to replace all the rod and accompanying fittings? Is there a more economical solution for replacing the rod rigging?
    Thank you for your time and consideration – I love your website!
    ~ Fair Winds!

    1. Thanks for the kind words Angus. The C&C is a great boat. I have one myself! I am not sure if this model will require the new tangs, but there is a very good chance. It would be best if I could look at it. Is the boat local to us in Annapolis, MD? In terms of how much money this could cost, it could be anywhere from $5k on the low end and $10k on the big end….so let’s call it $7500 for the sake of throwing around loose numbers. I can help create something more accurate by looking at it, or some pictures and measurements from you will suffice as well.
      Just let me know when the time comes.
      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    2. Thanks for the kind words Angus. The C&C is a great boat. I have one myself! I am not sure if this model will require the new tangs, but there is a very good chance. It would be best if I could look at it. Is the boat local to us in Annapolis, MD? In terms of how much money this could cost, it could be anywhere from $5k on the low end and $10k on the big end….so let’s call it $7500 for the sake of throwing around loose numbers. I can help create something more accurate by looking at it, or some pictures and measurements from you will suffice as well.
      Just let me know when the time comes.
      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  34. Rod heads for Nitronic 50 are cold forged at the factory. Can they be heat forged on site? The boat has moved from the coast to a small lake.

    1. Hi Ray, thanks for asking. I have never heard of heat froging rod heads. You would simply have to remove the rod, package it and ship it to us or any rod service location. We would cold press the new heads and mail the rods back once finished.
      Please feel free to contact us for further information.

  35. I have a c&c landfall 35 with rod that I am replacing with 5/16 316 stainless
    The picture on your site the shows the shroud upper tang at the top of mast what tang would you suggest I use for wire

    1. Hi Doug, thanks for the comment. Navtec makes a direct replacement for this tang, if you were to stay with rod. Ultimately it depends on the size of the hole left behind. BUT if I were going to wire I might try to reshape the existing hole in the emast to accommodate the K200 tang by Navtec…

      Hope that helps, thanks for the read,and let us know if we can help you further.


  36. I have one of the ‘old style’ navtangs on my ’83 S2 9.1 which I purchased earlier this year. I’d want to inspect the heads, so for starters I loosen the tension on the intermediates, went up the mast, to see if I could separate the heads from the tang. (I used halyards to compensate for the de-tensioned intermediates.) One head was jammed tight in the tang, it’s counterpart on the other side could move around a bit. Either way, I could not remove the rod from the tang nor could I disassemble the tangs from the tie bolt. Could you explain the proper disassembly procedure and the required tools to do it properly? Thanks

    1. Thanks for asking!
      These tangs can be very difficult to remove.

      You should know that these tangs are threaded caps which hold the rod and stem ball captive. These caps are then threaded onto threaded tubes.

      First, you’ll need to unstep the mast. Situate the mast in such a fashion that it can sit track up or front side facing up. This way you can access both sides of the tangs. Then take the spreaders off. Next heat the tang with a torch and make sure it is REAL REAL hot. Then fold the rod in alongside the mast in such a fashion so that it is laying in the groove of the tang. Now, using the rod as a fulcrum, with you on one side and another helper on the opposing rod try and break it free so that you can unthread it. This may feel really tough (it may be really easy too). Grab the rod as short as possible when wrenching it. Nitronic 50 rod is a lot less susceptible to bending than you might think. Beyond that….if the tang’s caps don’t want to break free you may need to go ahead and buy the replacements and cut out the old tangs!….

      Once the tang can spin freely, align the rod so that it is perpendicular to the groove, or 90 degrees to tang cap, and continue to unspin the tang all the way off.

      Note: You should have to perform several revolutions before they will unthread completely.

      I know this seems like more than what you may have bargained for, but this is how I’d do it.

      …hope that helps. Let us know how you did.


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