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Old 05-24-2002
Contributing Authors
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Mast Deflection

I have a new Dufour 36CC, but somehow I don't get the right bend in the mast. The top of the mast is curved forward. I have a Facnor furling headsail and the tension seems OK, but even with the backstay maxed out, it still bends forward. The shrouds appear to have the right tension, and they are symmetrical. What could cause the wrong defletion of the mast? Could it be that I have the wrong size backstay and that stay is too long? I know the problem isn't with the mast because when I release the tension all the way around, the mast is essentially straight. What can I do?

Sue & Larry respond:

Thanks for your question about tuning the rig on your new boat. From your description, it sounds like there is a problem with the length of your backstay, maybe the length of your forestay, or possibly both. Before you address the length of your forestay or backstay though, make sure that your lower shrouds arenít pulling the mid section of the mast aft, giving you the false impression that your masthead deflects forwards. If you are sure that everything is good with your lowers, we'd recommend that you remove the backstay and measure its length.

With the backstay laid outstraight on the dock, measure from the center of the pin to the center of the pin and compare this measurement with what Dufour says the length should be for your boat. Depending upon your findings, you may or may not have to repeat this with the forestay. Itís very likely that since your boat is new that one of the stays was simply made to the wrong length. It does happens from time to time. Here's hoping that your get the problems resolved soon so that you can resume enjoying your new boat.

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