Seaway Pre Yacht Delivery Rig Checks

Prior to any yacht delivery we undertake, at Seaway, we spend time going over your yacht with our bespoke 360 point check, specifically put together by Simon Phillips.

One major aspect of the seaway yacht delivery checklist is your mast and rigging.

An article recently published

“Neglect your rigging and you could well lose your mast.”

A brief list (not exhaustive) of checks we do up the mast:

Rigging wires & their tension, corrosion, shackles, sheaves, blocks, electric cables, instruments, bulbs, split pins, spreaders, sail tracks.

If you’re planning long voyages then it is a good idea to unstep the mast and professionally have the mast and rigging checked before setting sail. For general cruising, a full annual check would be more appropriate, with a complete replacement of your rigging every eight to ten years. In between this, there are a number of checks you can do prior to your yacht delivery with us to ensure your rigging is in good condition.

Rigging wires

When it comes to standing rigging, at deck level look at the swages (picture below) and look for any broken wires or strands that may be protruding. If you spot one stranded (broken) wire then replacing that shroud is something to add to your list of things to do in the very near future. Should you spot more than one stranded wire, replace that item and the same on the other side of the boat as a matter of urgency, as this will likely lead to rig failure.

Another area to check is the rigging screws, or bottlescrews. Are the split pins secure, or are the rigging screws slowly unscrewing themselves?!

It is important to check your rig every time you sail in order to see any problems. Binoculars from deck level help when checking the rigging further up the mast. A full visual check is carried out by Seaway from both deck level and aloft, both pre and post delivery and any defects found are noted.


Checking the rig tension is another key part to ongoing maintenance. The shrouds, lowers, forestay and backstay need checking to ensure they are not loose. The correct tension will vary between boats and it is worth asking a rigger how much slack there should be in your rigging wires prior to adjusting

An easy way to check the set up of your rig is to look up the mainsail track and check for straightness. If you notice your mast deflecting to either port or starboard, then it is a sign that your rigging needs adjusting.


With stainless steel rigging holding up an aluminium mast, it is inevitable that corrosion will occur in a number of areas over time. If your mast is painted, check for any bubbles that appear, as this is a sure sign of corrosion. If you spot bubbling then it will need further investigation by yourself or a professional. This will quite often be where rivets are used.

Other places to check include; vang and gooseneck fittings, the blocks at the base of the mast, spreader ends and spinnaker pole. Anything that has been riveted to the mast should also be checked. If you notice any corrosion then you will need to remove the fitting, clean it and then fix it back to the mast with an anti corrosive barrier between the two.


All of your shackles need to be undone to allow you to check for wear and or damage. Once the pin is unscrewed the thread should run easily. If it doesn’t, the pin may be distorted and should be replaced.


When it comes to your masthead sheaves, ensure that they are moving freely. Our initial checks include inspecting the sheaves, is there uneven wear, or any sign of cracking? We note if you have any of these problems as it is important to get them replaced, as it will avoid the sheaves chafing the halyards.

Electric cables

We check that all of your electric cables are sealed at the ends and that there is no damage to the outer cabling. Make sure none of them are lose inside the mast and also there are no rough edges for them to wear against.

In addition to these, we will check all instruments attached to your mast, light fittings and bulbs also.

For full information on how we check your yacht prior to departure, or to perform these checks yourself, please contact Simon Phillips as we will assist you.