Marine Surveys - Rig Survey

Rig Survey

This involves inspection of the spars (masts and booms), the standing rigging and chain plates. The Rig Survey is recommended before you carry out any period of extended cruising, after an accident or when your Yacht’s Rigging wires (standing rigging) are more than a few years old. Some Insurance Companies will require that you replace your rigging wires every ten years, other Insurance companies will only continue to insure you if you have a Rig Survey.

There are basically two methods of surveying the rig, with the mast stepped (standing) or un-stepped) lowered. The most effective method of surveying the rig is to un-step the mast and inspect the spars when supported horizontally on stands. This should be done periodically during the life of a sailing yacht. Interim inspections can be carried out with the rig stepped (standing).

Insurance companies will generally not expect a rig to be un-stepped for inspection, unless this has not been carried out for a long period. The majority of the rig inspections that I carry out are with the mast stepped so this involves going up the mast.

Rig surveys for yachts up to and around 12 metres or about 40 feet are normally completed within two or three hours. Rig surveys on larger yachts with multiple spars are generally completed within one day.

The Rig Survey includes an inspection of the following:

  • Mast(s), Including mast base, tangs and spreaders
  • Hardware mounted on the mast(s) e.g. winches, clutches and spinnaker gear
  • Boom(s) goose neck and boom fittings
  • Rigging wires (standing rigging)
  • Rigging terminals
  • Turnbuckles (rigging screws) wire locking and split pinning
  • Toggles
  • Chain Plates

The detail of the survey is presented in a clear, easy to understand report. Photos are used where necessary. Within the report defects found during the survey are listed and information given on their importance and recommendations for repair.


“Joe Rowles helped me a lot with the survey. I have got the report in one week and it was very detailed. Joe Rowles answered all my questions and advised me during the buying process of my new vessel. Thank you very much. I really appreciate your help!”Survey report in July 2010