Adjustable backstay on a masthead rig? Totally worth it! - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
 Not a Member? 


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 12-10-2012
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Liberty Landing
Posts: 668
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 4
peterchech is on a distinguished road
Adjustable backstay on a masthead rig? Totally worth it!

I had been conflicted about whether to put an adjustable backstay on my masthead rigged boat, and couldn't find much info on the net that wasn't as conflicted as I was. Therefore I'm posting this in case anyone else has the same idea. The idea was that it wouldn't do much to flatten the main on a masthead rigged boat, and might mess with the lowers (I have fore and aft lowers). Well I went for it anyway. It actually costed less to make a new synthetic backstay than to hire a rigger to swage an eye on the existing one (amsteel is getting cheaper and cheaper). So I spliced it myself using youtube instruction (piece of cake) and installed it. Put in a fiddle block and two cascades to give 16/1. Whole set up costed about $150.

Yesterday I went out in the rain and tried it out. Wind was very gusty, going from about 6 knots to 15. I torqued the backstay in the gusts, let it out in the lulls, and found it to be very effective. Maybe not quite as effective as on a frac rig, since it doesn't flatten the main at all, but still well worth the effort. And I haven't ripped out the lowers yet
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 12-10-2012
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 2,561
Thanks: 3
Thanked 20 Times in 18 Posts
Rep Power: 13
Sailormon6 will become famous soon enough
Re: Adjustable backstay on a masthead rig? Totally worth it!

I agree it's totally worth it. My previous boat had a masthead rig with a backstay adjuster and I used it all the time, and loved it. My present boat doesn't have it, and a backstay adjuster is on my list of upgrades.

I think people often expect an adjustable backstay to enable the boat to point higher, but I think that's mistaken. You can tune a rig with a fixed backstay so that the boat will point just as well as a boat with an adjustable backstay. The benefit that you gain from having an adjustable backstay is that you can instantly change the tuning of the rig from a taut forestay, which is better suited for sailing to windward and in stronger winds, to a loose forestay, which is better suited for sailing off the wind and in lighter winds.

There is a limit to the amount of tension you can put on the forestay without damaging the boat structurally. The benefit that you gain from a backstay adjuster is in being able to change the tension quickly, without having to get out your tools.

To tune a masthead rig properly, when the boat has a backstay adjuster and fore and aft lowers, the aft lowers should be considerably looser than all the rest of the stays. That enables the mast to bend a little when you tension it. If you have equal tension on all the fore and aft lowers, they will prevent the mast from bending in any direction. (You will never see as much mast bend as you will with a fractional rig, but you need some bend to make it work well.)

Last edited by Sailormon6; 12-10-2012 at 07:46 PM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 12-10-2012
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Liberty Landing
Posts: 668
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 4
peterchech is on a distinguished road
Re: Adjustable backstay on a masthead rig? Totally worth it!

Great advice about the lowers thanks sailormon!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 12-10-2012
saildork's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Huntsville, Alabama
Posts: 295
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 8
saildork is on a distinguished road
Re: Adjustable backstay on a masthead rig? Totally worth it!

I second the advise from Sailorman. I installed a backstay adjuster on my previous boat, a Catalina 22, and the effect was dramatic. Even though the C22 is a masthead rig, I was able to induce some bend that positively influenced performance upwind.

Now I'm in the process of purchasing a Caliber 33 (11 foot-itis), and wondering if I need to concern myself with such matters. This boat won't be raced. Or should I start a new thread on the subject?
__________________
Sailing isn't a matter of life and death. It's much more important than that!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 12-11-2012
downeast450's Avatar
Tundra Down
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Seal Harbor, Maine
Posts: 1,252
Thanks: 33
Thanked 18 Times in 18 Posts
Rep Power: 7
downeast450 is on a distinguished road
Re: Adjustable backstay on a masthead rig? Totally worth it!

I, added a backstay adjuster too. The adjustable headstay tension is helpful in variable wind. My tension gauge is the head door's ability to open easily. Ha!

I will see what loosening the aft lowers a little adds. Thanks, Sailormon.

Down
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Adding adjustable backstay sandycohen Gear & Maintenance 7 05-15-2011 09:52 AM
Adjustable backstay of a masthead rig? OhioTom General Discussion (sailing related) 10 07-01-2009 09:56 AM
Adjustable Backstay? lrak Gear & Maintenance 5 08-16-2008 01:53 PM
Adjustable Backstay B49 kawabonga Beneteau 0 02-06-2008 11:04 PM
Adjustable backstay help, please? bobmcgov Gear & Maintenance 10 01-25-2008 02:41 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:31 PM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.