Back Stay Warning - SailNet Community
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Back Stay Warning

My rigger called me today about something he found last week.

http://c320.org/article.php/20050312124048383

Some of you may have a Questus style backstay mounted radar antenna.

Apparently, the weight of the assembly caused the backstay to pump and it caused it to rub against something and the result is in the attached picture.

He then did a quick run through a few boats at the marina and between this kind of mount and people tieing the bimini hoops to the backstay when the bimini is off he found five more boats with damage to the backstay.

I'm sure most of you know, but just to be clear any damage even one strand broken or deformed is not acceptable on any standing rigging or lifeline. The backstay and forestay are especially important as you only have one of each.
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Last edited by davidpm; 6 Days Ago at 07:15 PM.
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Re: Back Stay Warning

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Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
.......The backstay and forestay are especially important as you only have one of each.
Not always true. We have two backstays that run independently from the mast to each side of the transom. If we install the inner forestay, we technically have two of those as well. Still, your point is well taken.

I've never liked stuff attached to rigging. I'm so tempted to clamp a small cleat to my shrouds. On one side it would easily secure the rigging for a radar reflector that I hang from the lower spreader and it would help with the flag halyard on the other. They make them just for the purpose. I think I would end up taking them off all the time to see if it was damaging the rigging. Currently, I just tie a rolling hitch around the shroud.
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Re: Back Stay Warning

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
My rigger called me today about something he found last week.

http://c320.org/article.php/20050312124048383

Some of you may have a Questus style backstay mounted radar antenna.

Apparently, the weight of the assembly caused the backstay to pump and it caused it to rub against something and the result is in the attached picture.

He then did a quick run through a few boats at the marina and between this kind of mount and people tieing the bimini hoops to the backstay when the bimini is off he found five more boats with damage to the backstay.

I'm sure most of you know, but just to be clear any damage even one strand broken or deformed is not acceptable on any standing rigging or lifeline. The backstay and forestay are especially important as you only have one of each.
We've had our Questus-mounted radar for 19 years without any significant issues, but our standing rigging is Navtec rod. During that time we've stored the boat with the mast up over the winter every year but one.

This post, however, has reminded me to check the grommets where the wiring passes through the pole. These black rubber grommets tend to deteriorate in the sun and need to be periodically replaced, lest the wiring be damaged by chafing.
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Re: Back Stay Warning

While the idea of self leveling is valid, after several decades of deliveries I would say that for most (but certainly not all) sailors it adds unneeded complication. Sort of like the old adage about "a solution looking for a problem". That's not totally true, but still...

When we are rolling around in the typical summer swells the boat seldom rolls further than the number of degrees on the beam can read on successive passes. And then, and more relevantly, we are on the ocean in the calmer summer season, where a long swell of 2 or 3 feet with a cross sea of 3 to 5 from surface winds is the norm.

If making a multi day passage, with a lot of time heeled down, I would likely have a way different take on the situation.

The comment about clamping anything to a shroud is a good one, too. I have a tubular radar reflector up high, and go up there every other season to check on the seizing wire and the condition of the shroud.

That rigging picture is scary.
Real Glad we have a stern post for our radar mount.

Good luck on the repair.
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Re: Back Stay Warning

Davidpm is exactly right. My boat came with a topping lift pig tail clamped to the rear stay. When I took it off, I found three broken strands of wire. Now I don't clamp anything to a shroud or a stay.
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