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Re: J 29 check stays
I prefer to have the checkstays in place but drawn to the mast or stays and deploy when needed.
Checkstays are required for two reasons:
1) When you apply backstay to tighten up the forstay you also de-power the mainsail, putting the checkstay on will allow some of the draft to return to the forward third of the mainsail giving it more power.
2) Checkstays can be used to stop the mast from pumping under spinnaker.
Do you need them? My thought is yes, people who remove them often do not understand their use.