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post #1 of 10 Old 08-04-2009 Thread Starter
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Question Dual Backstays or Split Backstay

Greetings,

I have a Cutter/Ketch with 3/8 rigging on the Main with the exception of the backstay which has 5/16 upper wire and lower split 5/16 wire via a trangle. Currently there are no running backstays - I will be adding them in the near future.

I would like to beef the upper backstay to 3/8 but the masthead pin hole is 1/2 as are the trangle pin holes, the 3/8 rigging uses 5/8 pins. I could run dual 5/16 backstays to the chainplates...... I would rather use one leg of the dual backstay as an antenna for the SSB anyway - it's currently on the port Mizzen midstay.

Is there any reason I should not use dual backstays and stick with a split backstay?

Thanks - CodeZero
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post #2 of 10 Old 08-04-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CodeZero View Post
Greetings,

I have a Cutter/Ketch with 3/8 rigging on the Main with the exception of the backstay which has 5/16 upper wire and lower split 5/16 wire via a trangle. Currently there are no running backstays - I will be adding them in the near future.

I would like to beef the upper backstay to 3/8 but the masthead pin hole is 1/2 as are the trangle pin holes, the 3/8 rigging uses 5/8 pins. I could run dual 5/16 backstays to the chainplates...... I would rather use one leg of the dual backstay as an antenna for the SSB anyway - it's currently on the port Mizzen midstay.

Is there any reason I should not use dual backstays and stick with a split backstay?

Thanks - CodeZero
Since you have 1/2" pins, I think I would recommend going with two 1/4" stays. The smaller insulators will be less expensive anyway.
You could run the numbers on the wire and terminals but I don't think you will spend anymore with twin backstays.
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-04-2009 Thread Starter
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Your right, I would only need 2 x 1/4" backstays to beef it up.. I think I'm starting to miss the forest because of the trees. I do have an excess of 5/16 wire I want to use which I purchased when Boat US went out of business.

Thanks!

CodeZero

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Originally Posted by knothead View Post
Since you have 1/2" pins, I think I would recommend going with two 1/4" stays. The smaller insulators will be less expensive anyway.
You could run the numbers on the wire and terminals but I don't think you will spend anymore with twin backstays.
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-04-2009
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dual backstays are much harder to tune than a split backstay. you can read about this over at Spartalk.

Also dual backstays probably won't let you fly a mizzen staysail as effeciently as a split backstay. ...a mizzen staysail GREAT sail on a ketch or yawl rig.
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-05-2009 Thread Starter
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I knew there was a reason why I might not want to do the dual backstays. I just could not think of it.

Thank you for the reply - going to go with a split and leave the SSB anntena on the port mid Mizzen

CodeZero


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dual backstays are much harder to tune than a split backstay. you can read about this over at Spartalk.

Also dual backstays probably won't let you fly a mizzen staysail as effeciently as a split backstay. ...a mizzen staysail GREAT sail on a ketch or yawl rig.
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post #6 of 10 Old 08-05-2009
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If it is the SSB antenna that you are thinking of in this project, take a look at a Gam antenna. I use one on my boat and the performance has been great. I have a split backstay, and the last 10 or 15 feet are above the split. I had the local yard hoist a worker over the split and press the last section over the single stay section.

Gam Antennas
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-06-2009 Thread Starter
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I had considered the GAM but had not researched it enough - does it appear to be something that will stay in place durring an extended storm at sea?

Thanks - CodeZero


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If it is the SSB antenna that you are thinking of in this project, take a look at a Gam antenna. I use one on my boat and the performance has been great. I have a split backstay, and the last 10 or 15 feet are above the split. I had the local yard hoist a worker over the split and press the last section over the single stay section.

Gam Antennas
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-06-2009
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Quote:
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I had considered the GAM but had not researched it enough - does it appear to be something that will stay in place durring an extended storm at sea?

Thanks - CodeZero
I've not had extended stays at sea, but I have been hit with some pretty high winds, in some cases in our Santa Ana wind conditions the winds were pegged at 60+ knots. Never had a bit of trouble with keeping the antenna in place. The antenna slides up the backstay and you use black electric zip ties every 5 to 6 feet to hold the slit closed. And then there is a clamp to anchor the bottom of the antenna in place. If I didn't have the split backstay, I could have installed the antenna from the deck. The antenna is also reusable if you have to repair the backstay later or move to a new boat.

I anchor the bottom of the antenna to one of my turnbuckles. The advantage of a Gam over backstay antenna is you can install it closer to the water. I was able to get a chance to talk to Gordon West, and he recommended keeping the antenna as low and as close to the water as possible to take advantage of the bounce off the water. I also don't have to worry about offsetting the antenna feedline away from the backstay. The plastic cover shields from that accidental grab. I have to admit though, I have not tried to grab the antenna while transmitting to test it out.
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-06-2009 Thread Starter
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Gorden West - I recognize that name in the Ham/SSB realm. It does make sense to use the GAM - I have a swaged insulated backstay and I see no way to save the expensive isolators. I understand an accidental grab could either burn or shock you correct?

Thanks Again!


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Originally Posted by windward54 View Post
I've not had extended stays at sea, but I have been hit with some pretty high winds, in some cases in our Santa Ana wind conditions the winds were pegged at 60+ knots. Never had a bit of trouble with keeping the antenna in place. The antenna slides up the backstay and you use black electric zip ties every 5 to 6 feet to hold the slit closed. And then there is a clamp to anchor the bottom of the antenna in place. If I didn't have the split backstay, I could have installed the antenna from the deck. The antenna is also reusable if you have to repair the backstay later or move to a new boat.

I anchor the bottom of the antenna to one of my turnbuckles. The advantage of a Gam over backstay antenna is you can install it closer to the water. I was able to get a chance to talk to Gordon West, and he recommended keeping the antenna as low and as close to the water as possible to take advantage of the bounce off the water. I also don't have to worry about offsetting the antenna feedline away from the backstay. The plastic cover shields from that accidental grab. I have to admit though, I have not tried to grab the antenna while transmitting to test it out.

Last edited by CodeZero; 08-06-2009 at 11:13 PM. Reason: Spellin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CodeZero View Post
Gorden West - I recognize that name in the Ham/SSB realm. It does make sense to use the GAM - I have a swaged insulated backstay and I see no way to save the expensive isolators. I understand an accidental grab could either burn or shock you correct?

Thanks Again!
I went with it because I didn't like the idea of cutting up my backstay. Seems that the backstay would be more prone to failure. The other reason was I will probably be replacing the rigging in a few years and I didn't want to spend the money, only to have to do it again in a couple of years. I figured if it didn't work, I would do the insulated backstay antenna and use the Gam as a backup. So for me it made sense to give it a try, and I've been very happy with it.

Yes, you can get a good RF shock if you grab a bare wire antenna while someone is transmitting. That is why it is recommended that the low end of the antenna be about 7 feet off the deck. That would make it low enough to reach the bottom of the antenna from the deck if you need to work on the antenna, but at the same time high enough so it won't be accidentally grabbed.
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