From YouTube’s popular Rigging Doctor channel, The Rigging Handbook is an introductory to mid-level book intended for boat owners, sailors, and cruisers who want to better understand how the mast and sails work.
Part I covers the function of rigging on a sailboat and a general overview of common rig designs—with a focus on single-masted sloops and cutters, and two-masted ketches, yawls, and schooners—as well as the slight nuances between them. Chapters then progress to introducing the parts of standing rigging (the parts that hold the mast up) and running rigging (parts that hold the sails); the function of each piece; and a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of all rigging materials, including hemp, galvanized steel, stainless steel, titanium and aluminum, and Dyneema (synthetic).
Part II discusses how to evaluate, tune, repair, and replace rigging. Chapters cover in detail what happens when rigging parts fail or reach the end of their serviceable life—including from corrosion, cracks, and UV damage—how to perform a rig survey, and considerations for the wear and tear that happens with time, distance, and use and abuse. The final chapters discuss the basics of replacing standing and running rigging—including set up and tuning—and the advantages of steel versus synthetic, and polyester versus more modern fibers, enabling the reader to make an informed decision as to what grade of equipment they wish to use to outfit their boat.
Herb Benavent, the Rigging Doctor, has been living the cruising life since 2017 when he and his wife, Maddie, left Baltimore, MD and set off to do the impossible: cruise full time in a 1968 Morgan 45 with an electric motor and synthetic rigging, showing how it can be done to allow you to sail sustainably as far as your heart desires! Some 18,000 nautical miles later, they have sailed to the Bahamas, Bermuda, the Azores, Portugal, Spain, Gibraltar, Morocco, Madeira, Cape Verde, Suriname, USVI, and Puerto Rico.
Currently, Herb and Maddie are back living in Baltimore as they refit a 1966 Alberg 30 into a proper cruising yacht.