Wednesday, April 11

Crowley's Rigging Shop Profile

Oddly enough (to us anyway) one of the regular questions that we get in the customer service department is “Can you do this rigging job?  In every sense of the word, we are a full service rigging operation. Where appropriate we have factory trained personnel. We have years and many miles of practical racing experience. All of this gives us the expertise to advise you with rigging – maintenance, care and choices.

Mitch works on a deck layout
 job over the winter
In this day of computer controlled everything, yacht rigging is still a journey(wo)man trade. A rigger gains experience by rigging. Rigging experience is crucial since almost every mast and boat rigging combination is different. As production boats were built, some manufacturers changed rigging suppliers and other lines lasted so long that rigging manufacturing improvements changed the gear installed. Add to this one-off boats and grand prix racers that have to have the latest widget. All of these situations have left us an interesting mix of rigging where a rigger has to learn the fundamentals of rigging and then add enough experience to figure out what each different boat needs.

We take great pains to teach our riggers as much as they can absorb. There is so much to learn, a rigger can be in the business 10 years and still not be considered a master rigger. One of our advantages at Crowley’s is the depth of the rigging experience that we have out of the rigging department. Even though we don’t work in the rigging department, many of us have worked hands-on in various rigging fields over the years.

We are Navtec factory trained in rod rigging and hydraulic repair. We have the only heading press on Lake Michigan so we can manufacture and re-head rod rigging up to -40 size (1/2”).  We also have wire swaging machines for making wire rigging up to 1/2 inch diameter and lifeline jobs. We do all the splicing onsite for the rigging that we sell through the store. We also have the only Lewmar windlass repair center on the Great Lakes. We haven’t yet met a winch that we are afraid to service and since we are a Lewmar Master Part Distributor we have had plenty of practice searching for old winch parts. We are also the regional service center for Selden Masts.

As Jon explained in last week’s newsletter, many rigging questions don’t have easy, simple answers. Each situation can be unique to the owner-boat combination. We have tens of thousands of open ocean and offshore lake sailing and racing miles between us, so when you need advice we’ve got plenty to go around.

Navtec, Lewmar, Ronstan, Harken, Sta-Lok, Sailtec, Wichard, New England Ropes, Selden Mast, Furlex, Profurl, Schaefer, Tylaska, Sparcraft, US Spars, CS Johnson, Loos, Hayn, Forespar, Edson, and Tuff-Luff are all brands that we deal with on a regular basis.

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