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post #1 of Old 08-30-2010 Thread Starter
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swept back spreaders without backstays

I am interested in any information or opinions on swept back spreader angles for masts without any backstays (standing or sliding) to accommodate big roach mainsails. Several new boats with no backstays are: (1) the new Beneteau First 30 with a reported spreader angle of 25 deg.; (2), the new Alerion 33 looks like it has about 25 deg. spreaders from drawings/pictures; (3) the new e33 is reported by Sailing to have 30 deg. spreaders. These boats have carbon fiber masts which also helps.

The boat I have is a Telstar 28 trimaran with a big roach main with full length battens that hangs up on a fixed backstay (absolutely terrible in light air, and extremely annoying in heavier air requiring mainsheet loosening/tightening on every tack). A very knowledgeable offshore sailor, with quite a bit of trimaran experience as well, thinks that the 20 deg. swept back spreaders on the Telstar 28 will be fine without using the backstay. An advantage of the Telstar is that in addition to a very robust aluminum mast, it also has two permanent A-frames (going fore and aft for single-handed mast lowering), that also provides strong support for the lower part of the mast up to about 8' off the deck. This is somewhat similar to the Hunter sailboats that all have B&R rigs with no backstay (they have 30 degree swept back spreaders and similar, but less robust, lower mast fixed support struts).

Any opinions on, or experience with, swept back spreaders without backstays would be appreciated.
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