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post #1 of 7 Old 09-26-2013 Thread Starter
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Use of Solent Stay or Inner Forestay

I plan to add either a Solent Stay or Inner Forestay on my boat to be used with a storm jib.

For those that have either a solent or inner forestay, could you provide some input as to advantages or disadvantages?

For the removable inner forestay, I am thinking I will need to add running back stays. How much tensioin do you put on these? Do you tension to stop mast pumping? What happens in a blow if you forget to tension the running back stays? Can rig damage occur suddenly or would the failure be a slower process? What happens if the boom hits the runners? Can the additional pressure on the runner cause a mast failure?

Seems a solent would be easier as no runners needed, but then the stay is about 2X the length. I am also thinking the running back stays could add support to the mast in storm conditions.

BTW, boat is 34 foot mast head sloop.

Thanks for any input.
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-26-2013
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Re: Use of Solent Stay or Inner Forestay

You can't just bolt a chain plate or pad eye to the deck for a fore stay, especially if it's to be used in heavy weather. It must be tied into a structural member (bulkhead, crossbeam, etc.) that is strong enough to take the load.
As for running backstays, most these days are block and tackle set ups instead of the older, more efficient hyfield levers, so they can't be excessively tightened without a winch. At any rate, they should be brought up snug, not putting a bend in the mast. Again, you will want to run them to some place strong enough to take the load, like the genny track, not a pad eye on the deck.

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post #3 of 7 Old 09-26-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Use of Solent Stay or Inner Forestay

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You can't just bolt a chain plate or pad eye to the deck for a fore stay, especially if it's to be used in heavy weather. It must be tied into a structural member (bulkhead, crossbeam, etc.) that is strong enough to take the load.
As for running backstays, most these days are block and tackle set ups instead of the older, more efficient hyfield levers, so they can't be excessively tightened without a winch. At any rate, they should be brought up snug, not putting a bend in the mast. Again, you will want to run them to some place strong enough to take the load, like the genny track, not a pad eye on the deck.
I plan to install a fitting on the fore deck for the new forestay that is made for this purpose. It will be structurally connected to the bulkhead just afte of the anchor locker.

As for the running back stays, I will use my aft spinnikar whinches to tighten. A significant padeye will be installed to accept a block, and the padeye will be connected to a bulkhead. An additional block would be placed on the lower end of the runner in order to tension. The blocks would be detachable when not used. The inner forestay would also be detachable and use a baby stay tensioner.
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post #4 of 7 Old 09-26-2013
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Re: Use of Solent Stay or Inner Forestay

I just added an inner forestay and runners. Decided it was a better idea than a solent because it effectively lowers the entire support of the mast to a specific point. The section above could really be removed and the main and jib would still have support. The rig forms a three legged stool so to speak and the storm jib area is plenty large enough. The only advantage I can see in a solent stay is the it can easily be attached to the existing masthead. I built a very rugged mast hound for the endpoint of the three stays.
Use of Solent Stay or Inner Forestay-hound1.jpg

The foredeck attachment is around 3' from the forestay. The two padeyes sandwich the deck and a piece of 3/8" dyneema runs from the lower eye straight to a thru-hull, 1/2" s.s. eyebolt I drilled into the bow. It is above waterline, so there's no worry about leakage. I bent a piece of 1/8" s.s. to make a big fender washer, so to speak, for the 1/2" carriage bolt to go through. The bow is solid 1-1/2" glass there.

I used 5/16" turnbuckles on all the deck connections, Dyneema for the runners and 1/4" wire for the inner forestay. The turnbuckles are really not that difficult to attach and tension. I would like to have quick-attach hardware but the price for those specialty gizmos is ridiculous.

Another essential item you need for the inner forestay is some method to secure it when detached. I built a 1/4 semicircle from some bent (w/ a standard emt pipe bender) 1/2" s.s. pipe and welded it to a backplate that attaches to the bottom of the mast. The end swage fitting is then tied to a padeye on the deck.

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Last edited by smurphny; 09-26-2013 at 04:30 PM.
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post #5 of 7 Old 09-26-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Use of Solent Stay or Inner Forestay

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Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
I just added an inner forestay and runners. Decided it was a better idea than a solent because it effectively lowers the entire support of the mast to a specific point. The section above could really be removed and the main and jib would still have support. The rig forms a three legged stool so to speak and the storm jib area is plenty large enough. The only advantage I can see in a solent stay is the it can easily be attached to the existing masthead. I built a very rugged mast hound for the endpoint of the three stays.
Attachment 15735

The foredeck attachment is around 3' from the forestay. The two padeyes sandwich the deck and a piece of 3/8" dyneema runs from the lower eye straight to a thru-hull, 1/2" s.s. eyebolt I drilled into the bow. It is above waterline, so there's no worry about leakage.

I used 5/16" turnbuckles on all the deck connections, Dyneema for the runners and 1/4" wire for the inner forestay. The turnbuckles are really not that difficult to attach and tension. I would like to have quick-attach hardware but the price for those specialty gizmos is ridiculous.
That looks good. How do you fabricate the mast houd? I am thinking of using somthing similar. How do you bend the plate into the sectional shape of the mast?

Have you used the inner forestay?
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Re: Use of Solent Stay or Inner Forestay

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Originally Posted by casey1999 View Post
That looks good. How do you fabricate the mast houd? I am thinking of using somthing similar. How do you bend the plate into the sectional shape of the mast?

Have you used the inner forestay?
I've only used it to try it out, not yet for a storm...not that I'm impatient for that!
I took a paper template of my mast, made an inner "plug" from some plywood and then just bent some 3/16" 316 s.s. 4" bar stock. I made the rounded shape of the s.s. before bending. For this, created another paper pattern to trace on the s.s. w/ a magic marker. I did my cutting with a chop saw with a metal blade and then smoothed out with a grinder, sanded to 300 grit with a small DA and then polished a bit. A big vice is really all that's needed and careful bending until it matches the "plug." I use stainless Missile Weld rod as suggested by the welding supply for this application and a regular DC arc welder, reverse polarity. The rod is wicked expensive but does a GREAT job.

You need to do a scale drawing of your particular boat's angles to get all the bends for the attachments right. Draw the whole thing up exactly before starting.

Alberg 35: With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.

Last edited by smurphny; 09-26-2013 at 04:50 PM.
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-12-2015
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Re: Use of Solent Stay or Inner Forestay

Hello,
I am planning on adding an inner stay on my Alberg 30. I really appreaciate reading all you have written, but the photo would not load! I was wondering if you could send me any and all photos of this which you have.
If you could pm me I will give you my email. Cannot put in forum.

Also the running back stays, were they attached to the rear of the boat on the side? And if so did this no get in the way of the boom? Also I am assuming you attached the running back stays to the mast hound, and if so, when under tension, did they get in the way of the main sail?
Thanks,
andrew
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