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The Complete Rigger's Apprentice: Tools and Techniques for Modern and Traditional Rigging Hardcover – Aug 22 1997

4.2 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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  • The Complete Rigger's Apprentice: Tools and Techniques for Modern and Traditional Rigging
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press; 1 edition (Aug. 22 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0070648409
  • ISBN-13: 978-0070648401
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 3.3 x 24.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 862 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #106,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"A masterpiece on the subject of rigging." -- Sailing

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

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Inside This Book

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First Sentence
Welcome. This apprenticeship begins with a few of the basic artifacts, principles, and procedures that define and make possible the art of rigging. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Brion Toss has become "da man" in modern rigging in many ways, and a lot of that is attributable to this great book. It's a big, thick thing, loaded with information, not all of it easily absorbed on the first read. It's meant to give you a firm grounding in what rigging is, what it does, and how to inspect and maintain your own rig, how to adjust it, how to replace worn sections. Will it tell you everything you need to know to design a rig from the ground up on a serious racing yacht? Heck, no. It isn't meant to. What this book does is give you the tools you need to approach your own rig without fear and trembling - to realize that, after all, it's just a bunch of parts, and that you can comprehend and work with those parts, understand their roles, and get the most from your boat. Will you be forever independant of professional riggers? Probably not. But it goes a long way toward making that a realizable goal, if you apply yourself. And it should be known that this book is especially strong on traditional rigs, the more traditional the better. You'll learn how to worm, parcel, and serve, how to lace deadeyes, and why galvanized is great and stainless isn't stainless. And if that last sentence frightens you, you're probably not in the intended demographic. Rod rigging and carbon fiber masts are mentioned, at best, in passing, and largely for comic relief. Keep that in mind. Makes an absolutely perfect companion to Marino's "Sailmaker's Apprentice."
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Format: Hardcover
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!).
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of my favorite books--because it teaches and it makes you laugh. Brian Toss's book can teach a beginner sailor more in 15 minutes just scanning the pictures than they could learn in years just knocking around on boats. If you are like me and think traditional rigging and splicing is cool stuff, then you will love this book.
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.
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By A Customer on Sept. 13 1999
Format: Hardcover
A great book. This work, aimed at the beginner, teaches a way of THINKING about ropes and rigging. Thus, it has many varied chapters on, e.g., forces, knots, rigging principles, and one very characteristic chapter which starts with "Like all arts, rigging is an attempt to finesse coherence out of ornery chaos, and the strangest things can save the day." There are lots of examples and illustrations, more than enough for your usual weekend sailor. The primary virtue of the work is that it demystifies all this rope and wire-work, and gives the practical sailor the thinking and doing skills to tackle the job. Of course, not everything is in the book, and a few typos creep in. You should probably not base the rerigging of your China Clipper exclusively on one of his chapters, just as you should probably not read "10 Easy Steps to Self-Defense" and then initiate a punch-up in your local dojo. This would be contrary to the prudence and think-thru-itiveness that Toss preaches.
There is even a chapter full of silly rope tricks to impress the younger generation. Rigger's Apprentice provides a mountain of useful information, then provides pointers to those who wish to go further into this fascinating practical art. I defy you to read this book, and not prop it up somewhere with a piece of string in hand, trying out some knot that Brion Toss is championing. It will convince your significant others that you really are going off the deep end with this sailing thing.
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