Fittings & Equipment General Guidance
Fittings and Equipment General Guidance
- Some products are supplied with a user manual or instruction sheet with specific information and guidance to be followed in relation to their installation, use and maintenance. This documentation can also be downloaded from the support tab of the Ronstan website.
- Consideration must be given to the maximum loads that could be exerted on the substrate and transmitted to the structure by the fitting or equipment, and its fastenings, using a factor of safety appropriate to the application.
- Ensure correct positioning and alignment with expected load orientation.
- During assembly and installation, apply appropriate sealants and corrosion inhibiting materials in accordance with their manufacturer’s instructions. Avoid using strong adhesive sealants unless specifically recommended in a product manual or instructions.
- Ensure appropriate threaded fasteners are used in accordance with product specifications and/or instruction manuals available on the Ronstan website. Use assembly/installation torque settings according to industry standards.
- Use suitable backing plate and/or washers.
- Use a secondary backing nut or locking nut on through-deck bolts to secure threaded assemblies.
- Where physical access for periodic inspection may be difficult after installation, consider providing access for device-assisted visual inspection (e.g. illumination, inspection mirror, endoscopic camera).
- Refer to information/drawings provided by the builder or specifier for correct and intended use of running rigging, fittings and equipment. Use equipment only as intended and seek advice from the builder or specifier before using the product in an alternative manner or for purposes other than those originally intended.
- Ensure that persons using or operating the equipment, and the systems that rely on the equipment, are familiar with safe practices and procedures for its correct utilisation in the local application and context. Where available, user manuals or specific product instructions should be read and understood before using the equipment. Consider markings or labels to alert new or less experienced users to potential hazards.
Inspection & Maintenance
Requirements for regular inspection and maintenance of equipment may vary according to frequency, conditions and manner of use. In some circumstances, regulations may prescribe specific inspection and maintenance intervals and record-keeping requirements. You must ascertain whether any such regulations affect you. At a minimum, the following recommendations should be adhered to.
- Equipment should be rinsed regularly with fresh water to help prevent build-up of salt and contaminants and ensure efficient operation. A mild soapy solution may be used to remove accumulated contaminants, followed by thorough rinsing with fresh water. Some fittings may require occasional disassembly for cleaning to remove accumulated contaminants that may lead to corrosion or seizing of assemblies.
- Regular inspections are necessary to verify that fittings and equipment are in good working order, and for the early detection of any issues that may compromise efficiency or safety:
- After initial sailing trials (or after first use for non-sailing applications)
- Thoroughly check fittings and fastenings, from above and below the mounting surface, with particular attention to integrity of structure, substrate, fastenings and threaded assemblies. Any evidence of movement under load, material deformation or other anomalies must be investigated and remedied before further use of the equipment.
- These checks are also to be performed after removal and re-installation, or replacement, of the fitting or equipment.
- In normal service
- Carry out frequent and regular above-deck visual inspections, with particular attention to any evidence of movement under load, material deformation, abnormal wear or corrosion. Any anomalies must be investigated and remedied before further use of the equipment.
- After exceptional events
- Equipment may be subjected to extreme load conditions or overload as a result of exceptional events including improper use, unconventional manoeuvres or other unusual circumstances which may compromise its useful service life and/or contribute to a premature failure.
- Any fitting or equipment involved in an exceptional event of this nature should be thoroughly disassembled and inspected, including inspection of structure and substrate where appropriate, before further use.
- Non-destructive testing may be advisable to detect potential issues not visible to the naked eye.
- At intervals of not more than 12 months
- Visual inspection above and below deck, with particular attention to integrity of structure, substrate, fastenings and threaded assemblies. Any evidence of movement under load, material deformation, corrosion or other anomalies must be investigated and remedied before further use of the equipment.
- Where access for visual inspection is difficult or compromised, use of devices such as illumination, inspection mirrors or endoscopic cameras may be of assistance.
- At intervals of not more than 15 years (or 10 years for elements of mast and spar rigging systems)
- Disassembly and removal of equipment for complete visual inspection including integrity of structure, substrate, fastenings and threaded assemblies, evidence of movement under load, material deformation or corrosion. Any anomalies must be investigated and remedied before further use of the equipment. Before re-installation refer to the Installation considerations above.
- For fittings used in conjunction with mast and spar rigging systems or other high tensile load applications which may be subject to high cyclical and surge loads in service, non-destructive testing may be advisable to detect potential issues not visible to the naked eye.
- In some industry segments and/or jurisdictions, government or other regulations require replacement of standing rigging and related components within certain periods of time. You must ascertain whether any such regulations affect you. Fittings that transfer high loads from rigging elements to the mast, deck or other structure, and/or their load-critical components and fastenings, should be evaluated and considered for replacement at the same time that these rigging elements are replaced.
Further information may be found on the Support tab of the Ronstan website.