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The Complete Rigger's Apprentice: Tools and Techniques for Modern and Traditional Rigging Hardcover – August 22, 1997
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Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
A masterpiece on the subject of rigging.''
From the Back Cover
"A masterpiece on the subject of rigging and its various effects." Sailing
"Toss's love of the subject shines throughout." SAIL
"Full of excellent instruction and information for any cruising person who wants to be able to repair and upgrade his boat's rig." Cruising World
"By far the best knot-and-ropework book I have ever used." Nautical Research Journal
"Brion Toss, master rigger, is a most perceptive teacher, advisor, and confidence builder as well as a humorous and delightful companion." Sailor's Gazette
Top Customer Reviews
1. Many of the illustrations and explanations are difficult to understand. There's a difference between artistic illustration (which is used in the book) and good technical illustration (which it should have). There's also a looseness with written explanation, eg, "bring it up even with the mark" where it's not clear which "it" is meant.
2. The book is fraught with typos. For example, Fig 4-15C shows a braided core buried for "4 rope diameters" when it should be 14 (the text has it right). Someone who has done eye splices in braid (like myself) and is using the book as a refresher would probably follow the figures rather than the text -- and get hurt. In another place, 8mm line is referred to as "1/16 inch" when it should be 5/16.
3. The eye splice for standard braid can be done as described only by using Brion's proprietary Splicing Wand. Not only is this a $50 item, but it can't be used with 1/4" or smaller braid (which I do have some of on my boat). I would have expected someone of Brion's stature to tell how to do a splice using a Uni-fid (or regular Samson fids) and then "here's how it's easier with my wand if you want to buy one."
4. Tables for things like sheet and halyard loadings are published without comment (and, in fact, contradictory data is given between Fig 2-1 and the Lewmar data in the Appendix -- almost a 2:1 difference in mainsheet loading for a 35' boat!). I would certainly thing someone of the author's experience would have his own opinions about these vital numbers.
Shortly after I bought the book I decided to completely replace all the running rigging on my 36' boat. While I had New England Rope's instructions, I turned to this book for a second opinion on how to splice ordinary braid, StaySet-X, and T-900 (this experience obviously colors my feelings about the book). After experiencing the difficulties I reported above, I discovered my local library had Barbara Merry's (out of print) Splicing Handbook. While the latter doesn't have some of Brion's exotics like the Mobius Brummel splice, what it does cover is how this book should have done it.
Will I keep this book? Yes. Will I refer to it? Yes. Do I think it provides one-stop shopping for everything I ever wanted to know about rigging? No. The next time I want to do some rigging work will I go to other books for alternate views rather than implicitly trusting this book? Absolutely.
1. Chainplates. Nothing. How is a proper chainplate shaped, mounted, doubled, etc? Where do they go? What should you consider when changing from single boomking backstay to double backstays?
2. Bowsprits. Hardly a word. How is a proper bowsprit mounted? What kind of materials are appropriate for a bobstay? etc.
3. Stemheads. Hardly a word. Come on, what good is a rig if it isn't mounted to something????
4. Mast steps. The rig seems to float in air with this book, and no proper consideration is given to how it MOUNTS TO THE BOAT.
Other than that, it is a great book. Lots of good info, formulas, etc. Lots of great knots, lots of funny quips, good explanation of how single and double spreader rigs are stayed and shrouded.
But most of us also have boats to go along with our rigs, and it would be nice to have a WHOLE CHAPTER on how the rig connects to the boat, because many of us need to maintain, repair, and improve that part of the rig as well.
Good book, but it is incomplete as currently published.
The book includes some important basic things like sweating a halyard and less well known things like how to use a marlinspike and why your lifelines should be left a little loose, and more. I was pleased to see a drawing of what I called a bowline with a tucked tail--a more secure version of the bowline that I haven't seen in any other text.
Much of the material is just not applicable to newer yachts, but there are many illustrations of innovative techniques that a modern self-reliant yachtman could use to replace, or repair, things that break. Reading this book will help you find solutions to problems you will face at sea.
I don't think I saw anything relating to rod rigging or any discussion of modern fibers and rope. If you are trying to rig a modern sailing yacht, and think this book is your solution, you will be disappointed.
I guarantee you won't regret buying the book.