Dave Whyte, Mandara, #397

staloks will work with any type of turnbuckle. if you use staloks (well worth doing), know that the instructions lack a bit--i'll be glad to help with that if you go with the staloks. ps, Rigging Only has the best price. make sure you get 2 "long eyes" to handle the headstay and backstay tops...the regular stalok eyes won't work at the pearson masthead.

give some real thought to replacing the turnbuckles right now, too. the buckles rarely fail, BUT THEY CAN, the primary cause being vibration fatigue and embrittlement. you can replace all of them for about 250.00 from Rigging Only, also. they are available with toggles already part of them, saving you from adding all those extra parts...you do want toggles. headstays should be toggled top and bottom, as well. the forged toggles won't usually clear on a pearson masthead, so you'll have to use the heaviest stamped stainless one you can find.

can't see any practical reason myself not to put bronze buckles onto stainless chainplares and shroud terminals...most do, and they don't seem to eat each other up. doesn't keep me awake myself.

Rob Squire, Head Over Heals, #96

As far as Stay-Lok not being able to be used at the mast head, I used toggles at both ends of my stays and Norseman fittings to hold the wire. No problems with the spacing! Also, I have no preference of Norseman vs Stay-Lok....I got a good buy on the Norseman fittings, so I went down that road.....good instructions, easy to use and spare parts easily available.

Jeff Maher, #30, KAYNEE

I consulted a second rigger who told me that he would never re-swage old wire because crud between the core and outer strands might compromise the strength of the fitting. He recommended Stalocks or Norseman fittings. I had previously over-estimated the cost of the mechanical fittings and, when I looked again at the prices, found that they would actually be slightly less expensive than re-swaging. I like the look of the original swages, but learning to apply Stalocks is, in my mind, a move toward self-sufficiency: a good thing. Anyway, I put on my first two today and , sure enough, there's crud inside the wire. The second rigger (who has a very good reputation) told me that crud wasn't a problem with mechanicals unless the strands were so brittle that they would break when I tightened the fitting--a sign that the wire is kaput. The strands are still supple; and, after learning a few tricks handling the wire, I got the backstay and forestay eyes on. Not easy at first, but I'm getting better at it. I also discovered that the masthead fitting had a 1/4" clevis holding the 3/8' eye on the backstay. Primitive toggling or an error? I drilled that out to accept a 3/8" clevis and a stainless toggle.

The rigger also pasted an extra instruction to the packages: "Use red Loctite for pre-assembly". The Stalock instructions only say to use it, and the caulk, at final assembly; but the galling can ruin the fitting on the first snug-up. I went crazy trying to get the wedge 'slipped' over the core on the first try....the rigger guy said that sometimes the factory squeezes the thing tight when they cut the channel in it, or the packer cinches the body together, compressing the thing. He told me to insert a screwdriver into the channel and twist. The least little burr on the core will likewise hang the wedge up half way to where it's supposed to be. And it's hard to get off again without marring it. (sweat, sweat) What really helped me was using a snall nut driver over the cone, using it to push the wedge home, while holding the neck of the wire in padded vicegrips. There's a lot of finesse to getting the thing right....very frustrating; but once you do one, yer all set. I thought I had completely gummed up the first one. Unwinding the outer strands, without crossing them up, is also really tricky....until you learn to twist the narrow spot that forms in front of the flair. Then it's a breeze. The instructions say to use one spanner to cinch the fitting; I thought this meant that I should use only my fingers to hold the eye while turning the wrench....not very tight at all; but the rigger (man, he musta got sick of me callin' him) said to use two....and give it a couple firm ooomphs. What Stalock needs to do is supply an instructional video!

Dave Whyte, Mandara, #397

i shared these points about staylok assembly with jeff before, but since it has come up, i thought i'd post it for everyone. the staylok instructions don't go into the greatest detail on a couple of critical points.

1) proper assembly for full grip strength requires that the socket and the body be screwed together tight enough to show a maximum of two open threads. staylok recommend the use of loctite on the threads at assembly. this is not just to seal salt water out of the threads, but to lubricate on assembly and prevent galling of the threads. without loctite, you can't get the fittings screwed home--the threads gall and it comes up "tight" long before the fitting has been well assembled. i use two good-sized crescent wrenches to get it done.

2) sealant may be used in the wire former end. the instructions mention this, and they are spot on that a dab the size of a pea is enough. however, they recommend silicone...that's ok, but many silicone sealants have contents that are corrosive to stainless! 5200 works just as well with no worries of corrosion. as you tighten the fitting home, sealant will come up past the socket and also actually out of the wire! wipe of the rest with thinner and it'll look just fine--and definitely be sealed... no worries of corrosion now!