Frequently Asked Questions
I can't read the gauge on my backstay adjuster any more. What can I do?
The lenses on the gauges over time become faded and clouded from direct sunlight. Unfortunately there is no way to reverse this process. Please note that Navtec does supply a clear plastic sticker that can be overlaid on top of some gauges which allows the gauge to read actual pull force rather than hydraulic pressure. If the overlay is clouded it can be cleaned off with soap and water. Please note that some cleaners and solvents will cloud the lenses, so use only soap and water. If cleaning doesn't work, your only option is replacing the gauge. Please contact your nearest Navtec agent to order the parts.
How is rod rigging size measured?
Rod is sized according to rated breaking strength as measured in pounds. The prefix "-" is called the "dash size" and is placed before the rated strength in thousands of pounds. -12 (dash twelve) rod has a rated strength of 12,000 lbs.
How do I convert the pressure reading on my hydraulic gauge, read in thousands of pounds per square inch (KPSI), to actual pull force in lbs. for my cylinder?
Actual pull force is determined by multiplying the hydraulic pressure (KPSI) by the pressure area of the cylinder. Please note that different cylinders have different pressure area, so 1000 KPSI in a -10 cylinder will not give you the same pull force as 1000 KPSI on a -22 cylinder. Refer to Support Documents on the appropriate cylinder page for Cylinder Specifications.
What information is needed to determine the correct size on a boom vang order?
Please contact any Navtec agent for a vang sizing data sheet, or use our online vang sizing calculator. You will need to know E, P, weight of boom and weight of mainsail along with the placement of the boom vang lug and mast vang lug relative to the gooseneck in order to fill out the sheet. Once the sheet is completed Navtec will recommend a vang size.
How does a mechanical locking cylinder work?
The current Navtec mechanical locking cylinder uses an extended piston rod with a long thread (equal to the cylinder stroke length). The extended rod is housed in an extended tube at the rod end of the cylinder. When the cylinder is adjusted hydraulically, the nut can be adjusted, following the movement of the piston rod. When the cylinder is adjusted to the desired point, the nut is brought up snug, preventing the cylinder from extending even if the hydraulic pressure is released or lost. The nut can also be set at a given point to act as a stop to limit the extended position of the cylinder. For example, if you release your backstay when running downwind, the nut can be set to limit how far the cylinder releases when the valve is opened.
What is the rod in rod rigging made of and how is it so strong?
Standard Navtec rod rigging is made from cold drawn Nitronic-50, which is a nitrogen strengthened austenitic stainless steel. It has higher concentrations of Chromium, Nickel, and Manganese than 316 stainless steel, giving it significantly better corrosion properties than 316 stainless. It is cold drawn to strengths of 180kpsi to 220 kpsi for use as rod rigging. At the cold work level required to reach these strengths, the ductility is still excellent giving an elongation of 12% or more.
Can Navtec hydraulics be powered by the boat's powered hydraulic system?
Yes, most ship's powered packs can be connected into the Navtec systems. Navtec has worked closely with Lewmar and Harken to interface Navtec hydraulics into their winch/windlass hydraulic power packs. The major problem is that most powered units are 2000 - 3000 psi, where the Navtec systems is a 5000 psi system. Cylinder size may need to be increased due to lower pressure. Please consult you nearest Navtec agent with details on your boat's powered hydraulic system and they can then specify the best way to interface to the Navtec system.
How can I clean out my hydraulic system if it has become contaminated?
If the oil becomes contaminated the whole system needs to be flushed with new oil. Fully extend all the cylinders so all the oil is drained from the cylinders into the reservoir. Then drain all the contaminated oil from the reservoir and fill it with new oil and replace the filter. Then each hydraulic line will need to be bleed individually at each cylinder. Then pump each cylinder down all the way down and then fully extend them to flush all contaminated oil from the cylinders. You should then re-bleed the hydraulic lines.
What can I do if my Integral Backstay adjuster does not hold pressure?
The most common reason for an integral not holding pressure is an air lock or worn out seals. You can get rid of an air lock by going thru the bleeding instruction in the owners' manuals. If you don't have the manual please look under manuals on the web site. If bleeding does not cure the problem the cylinder will need to be sent to the nearest Navtec hydraulic service center for new seals.
How can I tell what Hydraulic system would be best for my boat?
The correct hydraulic system for any boat depends on many variables such as type of boat and use. The best thing to do is consult your local Navtec agent and discuss your particular boat and what you want the hydraulic system to achieve.
How tight can I coil my rod rigging without damaging it?
You should not coil rod tighter than 200 times the diameter of the rod. If it is coiled tighter, the rod will retain some of the bend when uncoiled.
Can I use a failsafe turnbuckle on my integral backstay cylinder?
No. Due to the design of the integral, the only fitting that can be screwed on the rod end is the alloy jaw supplied from the factory.
How can I tell if I have steel or bronze turnbuckle screws?
All of our bronze screws have been chrome plated so a close examination will need to be dome to see what you have. The easiest way is to take a file and lightly file the end of the stud on the flat side next to the cotter pin hole. If the stud is bronze, you will see the golden color of bronze in the file mark. If the screw is steel, the file mark will show a silver steel color.
Where can I find some one to service my hydraulics or rod rigging?
Please refer back to our agent list and the chart of service provided for the closest servicing agent.
How much air pressure should there be in my Hydraulic Backstay Adjuster?
The normal recommended pressure is 100 psi. with the piston rod fully extended.
How much weight will I save by using Kevlar for my runners?
Kevlar is less than half the weight of comparable Nitronic 50 rod rigging or 1x19 wire. The length and size of the runner will determine the weight savings. The larger the wire or rod size the more the savings. For example, a 1/4" wire runner 50' long with eyes on both ends will weigh 6.92 lbs. A runner made out of -6 rod would weigh 5.66 lbs. and one made out of 3.8T kevlar with the same length and end fittings would weigh 2.55 lbs. Therefore in this example kevlar runners would be 8.74 lbs lighter than 1x19 wire and 6.22 lbs lighter than -6 rod.
What type of Loctite should I use in Navtec fittings?
Navtec uses Loctite RC 680 compound. It is very important that the surfaces be cleaned and free of dirt and oil before applying Loctite. While it is not necessary, we also recommend the use of Loctite Primer T to prepare the surfaces before the application of Loctite. RC 680 is a fairly high temperature high strength-retaining compound. To remove it, requires fairly high temperature. This temperature is too high for Navtec insulators so a lower temperature compound should be used on insulator fittings. Lower temperature thread locking compounds include Loctite 290 (green) and 277 (red). Both can use primer T or primer N. When using Loctite to retain rigging fittings, it is important to test the part for locking after the Loctite has set.
Do I need a different cone in a swageless fitting for 1 x 19, 7 Strand, or Dyform wire?
We make 3 different style cones for each of these types of wire constructions. Since the individual strands in each case are of different diameters, the cone shapes and diameters must be made to fit accordingly.
What kind of sealant should I use when assembling swageless fittings?
Use a non-corrosive marine sealant (DO NOT USE DOMESTIC BATHTUB SEALANT AS THIS CONTAINS ACETIC ACID, WHICH IS HARMFUL TO STAINLESS STEEL).
Do I need to replace the cones when replacing my wire rigging if I have swageless fittings?
Yes, when replacing the wire Navtec recommends that the cones be replaced also.
What do you recommend for lubricating the turnbuckle threads?
For turnbuckles with dissimilar metals, for example a bronze screw (chrome plated or exposed bronze) in a stainless steel body, any good waterproof grease is adequate. Lanicote is also used frequently. Oil, especially some of the oils with Teflon can also be used. For turnbuckles with stainless steel screws in stainless bodies, a grease containing Molybdenum Disulfide should be used. A dry lubricant containing Molybdenum Disulfide can be used. At this time, we know of no lubricant which comes close to the effectiveness of Molybdenum Disulfide in preventing galling. Note that Molybdenum Disulfide is black and makes sails and hands black very effectively!
How often should I inspect my rigging?
Navtec recommends that rigging be inspected annually and before major offshore passages.
What if any lubricant should I put on the rod heads when I reassemble my rod rigging?
Navtec recommends the use of a good waterproof grease on rod heads. Many riggers use Lancôme, which is a lanolin containing grease and is reputed to reduce staining of sails from grease.
How often should I change the oil and filter in my hydraulic system?
The filter should be changed one year after the system is initially installed. After that, the filter should be checked every year and changed at least every three years. The system should be flushed and new oil and filter should be added every 5-7 years.
Can I repair my own hydraulics?
Navtec hydraulics should be repaired by authorized Navtec agents. Special tools are needed to insert the new seals in place in order to ensure zero leakage. Please check the list of authorized dealers for the agent nearest to you.
What kind of oil do I need for my Integral backstay adjuster, hydraulic panel, or hydraulic cylinder?
Hydraulic oils used with Navtec equipment should be premium petroleum based, antiwear oils that have anti-foam and anticorrosion additives. They should have the following minimum properties: Viscosity grade of ISO 32, viscosity index of 95, and a pour point of -10 degrees F (-20 degrees C). Navtec recommends the following oils: Shell Tellus T15, Mobil DTE 11M, Texaco Rando HD215 and Royal Purple Syndraulic 15.