Back stay boom supporter broke - now what? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 25 Old 06-20-2013 Thread Starter
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Back stay boom supporter broke - now what?

I don't have a topping lift that comes down from the mast, but I did have a roughly 4 foot long wire attached to the back stay that clipped on the end of the boom to support it when raising/lowering mainsail and when reefing (while pointed close to the wind).

It broke.

My boom isn't very heavy or long, and pretty easy to manage, rest on my shoulder etc...

Any reason why I should hurry up and fix it? Any problem with the boom resting on the cabin top, "bending" down at the goose neck? I notice that a lot of boats at the marina with much larger booms leave their boom resting way down and to the side. No topping lift or anything.... When I am done sailing for the day I use the main halyard to support the boom by clipping it to the end of the boom.

A proper topping lift from the mast does seem like it would be useful when reefing while not pointing into the wind I must admit.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 25 Old 06-20-2013
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Re: Back stay boom supporter broke - now what?

It's something you can do without, you just have to remember when dropping the main that it isn't there

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post #3 of 25 Old 06-20-2013
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Re: Back stay boom supporter broke - now what?

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Originally Posted by matthewwhill View Post
Any reason why I should hurry up and fix it?
You should at least find a way to stow the boom securely, would not like to have flopping lose.

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Any problem with the boom resting on the cabin top, "bending" down at the goose neck?
If our goose neck is pivoting that far down it's not a problem.
If it is bending it is not good..

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A proper topping lift from the mast does seem like it would be useful when reefing while not pointing into the wind I must admit.

Thanks!
When I'm putting in a reef I'm never pointing into the wind and I would not like to have to lift the boom while putting in the reef.
When I need to put in a reef there is also some waves around that would make it into a juggling act (lowering the main, pulling in the reef while holding the boom clear of deck)
So I prefer a proper topping lift
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post #4 of 25 Old 06-20-2013
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Re: Back stay boom supporter broke - now what?

I agree with all that's been said, so I won't repeat.

I'll only add that I would fix it. Why not really. It only makes your life a bit easier and that usually translates to more sailing.


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post #5 of 25 Old 06-20-2013
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Re: Back stay boom supporter broke - now what?

Well, without going up the mast... you could consider a boom-kicker, or a rigid vang.

Without a kicker or a top lift (or that pigtail), for when you are docked, and need the boom lifted, you can use the halyard, attached sufficiently far back on the boom.. obviously this would be AFTER you've flaked the main. But as long as your goose pivots far enough it's really not a deal breaker.

I've got a topping lift, and others are right, they are handy for reefing, and for when you drop sail... but pretty much the entire rest of the time it's a PITA. It's constantly interfering with the leech, and, messes with my ability to check flow off the main. I know the kickers dont' fully support the boom and all, but I think I'd prefer it since it's pretty much set it and forget it.

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post #6 of 25 Old 06-20-2013
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Re: Back stay boom supporter broke - now what?

I hate those pigtails. I almost consider you lucky to no longer have it.

Make a very light topping lift out of dyneema. It will blow out of the way of the sail when sailing and it keeps the boom high and out of the way when you aren't. You can easily make it adjustable by making it about 2' shorter than the leech, putting a lightweight block at the lower end, and running line from the boom, up to the block, and back down to the boom. If you make a fixed one you want it to be a couple of inches longer than your main's leech.

I've made two of these. I used 1/8" dyneema with a tiny Harken carbo-block on one, and 2mm dyneema with a heavier block on the other. The 1/8" one works better and that size dyneema is a lot easier to splice.

You'll need to climb the mast (or drop it) for installation. If the Kent Ranger 24 has a mast tabernacle and you've never dropped the mast then I'd recommend that approach. It'll give you a chance to carefully inspect all standing rigging, inspect sheaves, inspect and replace mast wiring, and take care of other business.

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post #7 of 25 Old 06-20-2013
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Re: Back stay boom supporter broke - now what?

I somewhat agree with Alex that those backstay pigtails don't do a whole lot except add add stress and strain on your backstay. The reality is that you can't even use them effectively when you are reefing. I would suggest that a rigid vang is an unnecessary expense. On small boats, the boom is often stored by being hung from the main halyard once the sail is dropped which does double duty in keeping the main halyard from beating up the mast. If yoy feel that you want a permanent topping lift, which does make reefing much easier, you should be able to get by rigging one with 1/4" or 5/16" double braid dacron with a thimble tied in to make a small tackle. That should be way cheaper than the dynema and block (which is a lovely way to go if performance is important) and all that you should need.

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post #8 of 25 Old 06-20-2013
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Re: Back stay boom supporter broke - now what?

You could get something like a shroud cleat, put it high enough on the back stay to hold the boom up out of the way and attach a bungy to it. Once the main is raised you can detach the bungy and re-attach it to a point on the stern rail if you have one. I've sailed some J-24's that did it this way. I think they cut one hook off the bungy and tied that end to the cleat and kept the hook end for the boom.


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post #9 of 25 Old 06-20-2013
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Re: Back stay boom supporter broke - now what?

I also feel that the pigtail can be unsafe. If you forget to release it when sailing then you can be in a tough situation when you try to trim for a beam reach and find that the boom isn't moving anywhere. Trying to clip the pigtail in before dropping the main can also be a harrowing experience in 20mph or higher winds.

Double braid is quite a bit cheaper, but when you are talking about the difference between $11 (30' of Samson LS) and $15 (30' of 1/8" Samson AS-78) it hardly seems important. The choice of a block ($15) or thimble ($2?) is independent, and I do like the thimble as an inexpensive and light solution. The dyneema solution will require splicing, but 12-strand eye splices are very easy to learn.

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post #10 of 25 Old 06-20-2013
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Re: Back stay boom supporter broke - now what?

Boom kicker. One of the best bang for the boat bucks I've spent. Easy to install and works great.

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