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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 12 May 1999
Brion Toss is a demi-god among modern riggers -- not only a master rigger but someone who, judging by his TV appearances and classes, can also teach and explain. I bought this book expecting it to be a lucid compendium of everything one might want to know about rigging. It falls short.
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.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 7 June 1999
A very well written book in which Brion Toss describes all aspects of boat rigging with great aplomb. Included are details of 'Turks Head' knots, which have always fascinated me, and interesting details on calculating the stresses on jackstays - indeed all the stays. He obviously loves his subject and like all good communicators, this comes over in the text. I commend this work to any sailor who wants to do more than just sail boats; you will not be disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 3 July 2009
A fascinating read with an incredible amount of information. I like the sense of humour running through the book that lightens what could be a very heavy subject, in fact it became a bedtime read from cover to cover which is more than I can say for most "serious" books.
It was to hand while I rerigged my old gaff cutter and I found it invaluable. So why only four stars? Well, there are a small number of errors which really shouldn't have slipped in - the ones I found were obvious once actually doing the job but the inexperienced might blame themselves instead of the book... I'd still recommend it though.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 August 2012
This book is a must for people wanting to learn about rigs and rigging and for those wishing to rig their own boats, or to save money by doing it themselves.
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on 30 August 2014
As a student I would read the relevant pages in the chandlery as I hadn't the money to pay for the book. Now I'm wealthier and own the whole thing I wish I had spent a little less on beer and more on this. Technically worth every penny and a joy to read.
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on 29 December 1998
Far more than I had expected. I thought I was purchasing a book on rigging sailboats - it's that and more. Decorative knotwork, easy to follow instructions, cordage, even magic! A great handbook!!!
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on 26 January 2014
Lots of good stuff if you think you might get involved in maintaning a boat and want to understand the function of standing rigging.
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on 9 April 1998
excelent book easy to understand and very informative a really good book to own if you own a sailboat or just loves to sail
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on 22 May 2014
A good reference book to have handy if doing any sort of work on yacht rigging. Plenty of detailed information
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on 4 December 1998
Perfectly written, wonderful illustrations. Great for the first time traditional sailor or hopeful rigger.
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