How to tension forestay with roller reefing? - SailNet Community

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Old 06-12-2007
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Question How to tension forestay with roller reefing?

I have just installed Harken roller reefing. I no longer have access to the forestay. Anyone solved how to measure the tension in the forestay once it is hidden away inside the roller reefing tube?

I inherited a spring loaded measuring device from the previous owner that uses about two feet of exposed wire to measure the tension. There is now no exposed wire on the forestay.

Thanks.
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Confusing question in a way. If you didn't change the backstay adjustment then you could just set the tension of the back stay to what it was before by adjusting the head stay. Essentially you want the same length after you added the furler. I've never used gauges, I just sort of pull on the wires to see what feels right.

If you did not change the length of the headstay then you should just be able to tighten up the backstay to get the proper tension.

As a side note: I also believe an adjustable backstay is handy for roller furling setups. You want to tension the jib halyard as tight a possible without making it difficult to furl, too tight or too loose and it can wrap or pulse as you try to furl it. So the backstay adjuster will tighten the headstay and halyard at the same time, so to speak. This avoids having to tighten the halyard after you unfurl the sail and loosening the halyard when you want to reef or furl.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene T
Confusing question in a way. If you didn't change the backstay adjustment then you could just set the tension of the back stay to what it was before by adjusting the head stay. Essentially you want the same length after you added the furler. I've never used gauges, I just sort of pull on the wires to see what feels right.

If you did not change the length of the headstay then you should just be able to tighten up the backstay to get the proper tension.

As a side note: I also believe an adjustable backstay is handy for roller furling setups. You want to tension the jib halyard as tight a possible without making it difficult to furl, too tight or too loose and it can wrap or pulse as you try to furl it. So the backstay adjuster will tighten the headstay and halyard at the same time, so to speak. This avoids having to tighten the halyard after you unfurl the sail and loosening the halyard when you want to reef or furl.
I agree...
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Ok, for a couple of reasons I actually made up a new forestay rather than cutting the old one. I cannot guarantee that the made up length of the new forestay (with furler installed) is absolutely identical to the old forestay.

Backstay tension surely could be affected by the lower forward shrouds?

The book advice on tuning a rig assumes ability to measure tension on both forestay and backstay. Is it really enough to center the mast and then monitor the tension solely on the backstay for the final adjustments?
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Can you tension both fore and aft. Mark the turn buckless, Install the furler. Tighten forestay to marks. Tension backstay to proper tension. Insure mast is straight. Be happy. Drink rum. Go sailing.Constantly worry about rig failure.

Or is this too simple?
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Getting the correct length is important. It should actually be shorter because it will stretch over time. In your case I would tighten the backstay to where it was prior to the change, then tighten the headstay until the backstay is the proper tension.

Note that the lever arm effect will change the forward lowers much more dramatically than the change in headstay or backstay.

If every thing is out of whack you may be better off starting over by centering the mast, if that is what the manufacturer recommends, i.e. no rake, and then snugging it all up.

I might be inclined to hire a rigger for an hour or so to show me and set it up right once. Learning how to do it right would be valuable knowledge.
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The problem here, if your system is similar to mine, is that in order to adjust the forestay you have to dismantle the furler. in effect you need to get the forestay right before you install the furler. If anyone knows of an alternative method please advise.
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Your genoa track should have a section at the lower end with a smaller diameter, that is secured with 2 or 3 allan key screws, that is thiner and goes inside the track. If you undo them, you can push that section up, into the track , exposing the stay steel cable...there you go...easy.

See photo bellow...let me know..



My furler is racing code zero, and has that feature fot stay tensioning...yours should have something similar.
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Giu-

Unfortunately, not all furlers have that feature. The Furlex unit on my boat doesn't.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
Giu-

Unfortunately, not all furlers have that feature. The Furlex unit on my boat doesn't.
Don't you think its time to get a real furler???

Look closely, I am sure its there, no tracks are made to the exact measure. At some point there is an insert to compensate..maybe yours is on the upper section of the stay track, some you have to open them half way into.
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