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redcobra 03-19-2009 08:52 PM

Running Backstays
I recently had my Pearson 39 yawl rerigged by Chesapeake Rigging in Annapolis. They added adjustable running backstays to the mizzen. Before they were fixed length but removable with pelican hooks. The adjustable ones with 3:1 blocks, cam locks, and lots of line seem to be an unnecessary bit of rigging and I am considering going back to the original set up. Any thoughts?

Faster 03-19-2009 09:27 PM

Running backstays on a mizzen on a yawl???? A picture of this setup would sure help....

JohnRPollard 03-19-2009 09:31 PM

I've never heard of runners that didn't run. So this is a first for me.

I guess I'd ask whether the old arrangement worked okay or not? One of the nice things about runners is they are usually adjustable. It sounds like this aspect was not a priority for you.

Even if you don't care about adjusting backstay tension, wouldn't it be a lot more convenient to be able to ease the lazy runner while taking up on the new working runner, from the cockpit (presumably)?

With the pelican hooks, it seems like you'd have to completely ease one runner before taking any tension on the new on. You must have some very aft-swept shrouds to go without backstay tension for that long? Or is there a fixed backstay as well?

Faster 03-19-2009 09:36 PM

My question was: how do you get a decent angle on "runners" on a yawl rig's mizzen... there's not usually enough boat aft of the mizzen mast for such a set up.

jrd22 03-19-2009 09:47 PM

Like Faster, I'm curious too. More info. needed.

paulk 03-19-2009 10:43 PM

Sounds like they're worried that the mizzen won't stand up to a staysail. Instead of pelican hooks or a tackle setup, I'd be inclined to use a hyfield lever. You don't use a staysail all that much, and the hyfield lever will take less room and look neater than the 3:1 line setup. It's not like you're trying to adjust the mizzen mast's curve with a running backstay, which is why you'd want a really adjustable arrangement. With a hyfield lever, it's either on or off, and you're done. The pelican hook setup might have been a bit too loosey-goosey. KISS.

sailortjk1 03-19-2009 11:52 PM

Im missing something.
Runners on the Mizzen?

gc1111 03-20-2009 09:33 AM

I have runners on my mizzen on an Allied Mistress ketch. I am pretty sure they were original factory equipment. The Mistress mizzen in only a little larger than typical yawl mizzens. I am not sure I would install them if I were to re-rig. They do add strength to the entire rig (there is a triatic connecting the two masts), but I do not fly a mizzen spinnaker or similar. They mostly serve to stumble over when going aft. Only used to ease the stay when off the wind to reduce chafe on the sail.

As a note, the mizzen is useless as an anchor sail. First it does not work, second it is much too large to leave up unless weather is extremely stable, third it would be noisy at night. However I do use the boom to raise/lower an outboard for the dinghy, but there are other solutions for that.

svHyLyte 03-20-2009 02:24 PM

In Praise of Runners
Runners are necessary on a yawl rig at any point when the sail is not hard sheeted as, without them, one has no aft support for the mizzen mast unless the cap stays angle aft, which is unusual as that would limit the range of motion of the sail. This is especially so when the main mast's aft support is a triatic. Without, aft support the mizzen masthead can rotate forward which, in and of itself, may not harm the mizzen mast--but can foul the set of a mizzen staysail--and will allow the main mast to rotate forward as well, making it impossible to trim the yacht's head sails properly as the head stay tension is relieved, causes weather helm; and, results in eccentric loading of the main mast by its intermediate and cap shrouds, which can contribute to a buckling failure of that spar. The multi-part runner tackle allows one to impart rather sizable aft loads to the head of the mizzen mast without a lot of effort and yet, to cast off cleanly, allowing the sail an unimpeded range of motion when the lee runner is not required. The Hyfield lever, with its limited range of motion, does not allow as much "slack" in the lee runner as does a multi-part tackle; and, runners set with pelican hooks may be difficult or impossible to release or reconnect if the mast is heavily loaded by the triatic unless the runners are unnecessarily slack--which defeats their purpose--and, in any case, are certainly inconvenient in comparison with simply casting off the tail of one runner and taking up on the other.


s/v HyLyte

Faster 03-20-2009 02:27 PM


Originally Posted by svHyLyte (Post 464458)
Runners are necessary on a yawl rig .........

Thanks, Hylyte, for the explanation.

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