i was out in moderate seas with 16 mph winds and ended up calling for a tow from the coastgaurd.
Close hauled, my friend hiking out on trapeze, the mast suddenly came crashing down. We struggled to pull the mast back on board and take the sail down. This was particularly hard with the mast head float as each 5 foot wave would pick the mast up and dump it on us.
Once we have lashed the mast down and radioed for some assiatnce, we saw that the problem was the shroud/stanchion on the starboard side had snapped cleanly through just below its attachment to the mast. There was no sign of corrosion or rust. The break happened inside the plsatic covering of the wire!
my question is, how frequently should we replace the rigging? Is there any way to assess it other than looking? My boat in a 2005 Hobie 15 club. Do i need to replace all the rigging now or just the broken stanchion?