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Old 03-18-2009
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Backstay Tensioner replacement

So today's project is the split backstay (see below for update on reef point) As per insurance requirements, "the backstay tensioner must be replaced with an appropriate mechanical unit".



As you can see, it's really just a length of line tied off with no proper way to adjust it. It runs through a wire splice at the top, and through a shackle bolted to the deck at the bottom. I assume a turnbuckle would do the job - however, I'm not sure if there's a better way for a fractional rig, especially one with a split backstay, something a bit more readily tuneable perhaps? FYI, the block at the top of the split is just a basic round original 1970s block, with the topping lift hanging off the connection to the rest of the backstay.

Thursday's projects are installing hose from the sink drain to the thruhull (yes, it currently has a sink - that doubles as a step once you step into the companionway - which apparently drains directly into the bilge - and no bilge pump. Don't ask. Many of the "creature comforts" aboard had been removed, apparently in an attempt at weight reduction for racing.), an attempt at reseating the head and filing down a jagged metal edge on the luff foil. I seem to recall that once upon a time I had a life... and it's only been a few weeks!

As for the reefing cringle, the battle lines have been drawn. We went down to the boat last night, mostly to do a full clean. We talked about the reefing system... well, argued about the reefing system. He feels that simply raising the boom to its highest point will suffice, and doesn't seem concerned about the gap between boom and reefing point. He is adamantly opposed to removing the pin to let the bottom two slides fall below.

So am I being the nut to insist on getting that point lower? Does it really matter that much? Will the integrity of the sail be compromised, potentially resulting in a rip, either at the mast or at that fore diamond reefing cringle? (I realize that line will have to be incredible loose, but I'm concerned about the odd angle of force...)

So we've discovered what's going to make this project boat difficult - two headstrong individuals with separate sailing backgrounds coming together on one project I think this is going to turn into a question of "Do I want to be right? Or do I want to be happy?" Any tips there?
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