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Old 06-29-2012
Paul Comte Paul Comte is offline
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Re: Islander 28 Backstay Adjuster Preferences

Sunday, sorry I missed your post of a week ago.

I added the shortest toggle I could find to the forestay and I believe it added in the neighborhood of three inches. I also cut a quarter of an inch off the bottom of the mast because my new lower inner stays couldn't have cotter rings! Next time make the structural repairs before ordering rig... After that, the backstay turnbuckle was "all in" so I ordered a StaLock (?) mechanical fitting and gathered my nerve.

It was funny to look up and see my crew had gathered for a race. They were on the dock with jaws hanging as I tested the emergency wire cutter on the backstay. They thought I was kidding around and really freaked out when I cut the stay! The StaLock went on like a dream and we were on our way to test race it in just thirty minutes.

The skipper experienced a bit of pucker for that first race! All is well now.

By cutting off the longer fitting and installing the StaLock I was able to bring the rig into enough tension to sail the boat well.

It has been a year since I posted I'd like a mechanical tensioner. For cruising and occasional racing I'd like that upgrade but am going to leave the turnbuckle in place for now.

If we start racing more, I'll go for the rope and tackle split backstay. That installation would be simple except for getting "around the corner" inside the seat locker. Compared to the other options, the tackle system is inexpensive, reliable and FAST to use. On WISDOM the backstay is adjusted on each leg so rope beats all other systems for speed.

Also, it is hard not to see you've got the rig in tension when buttoning things up after a sail.

The only downsides to the split backstay I can see is that, besides having another line underfoot, it really crowds up the transom & boarding ladder, making it harder to get aboard.

Paul Comte
Let's Go!
Milwaukee, WI
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