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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation > Balanced rig/weather helm
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


Thread: Balanced rig/weather helm Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-20-2007 08:26 PM
deniseO30 everywhere I happen to people sailing. It seems they would rather wrestle that main sheet instead of using the traveler... Of course they need a traveler that works with lines blocks and cleats. Under anykind of load that mainsheet is really hard to loosen and not get burns.
10-18-2007 09:47 PM
jboatjack How old are your sails, can you flatten (spade) them. I would be slow to make a rig change without exploring other options.
10-16-2007 10:32 PM
tdw
Quote:
Originally Posted by SEMIJim View Post
Particularly for a masthead rig, unless you race I'm kind of thinking the expense wouldn't be worth the performance gain one might realize. There are many, many other things of greater importance: Properly adjusted rigging, good sails and good running rigging (sheets, blocks, vang, outhaul, etc.) are far more important, IMO.

What an adjustable backstay is going to do for you on a masthead rig is to allow you to tighten the forestay (not sure how much that matters with a furler) and perhaps bend the mast a bit--perhaps allowing you to flatten the main a bit. The only time you're really going to care about that is going to wind in heavier airs, and, again, only if you're looking for those last bits of performance improvement.

Don't get me wrong: I sincerely hope I can either rescue our backstay adjuster or replace it. But I'm not going to cry (much ) if neither is possible.

Jim
Don't take this as gospel but it may be that the greatest advantage of the backstay adjuster would be in loosening the backstay and allowing more belly in the main in light to drifting conditions. It would also allow you to de-tension the rig when moored.
Given that we are a cruising boat the rigger has set us up for best performance in winds below first reef level. With the rig as it is now set up we can sail flatter when going uphill.

If I had a backstay adjuster then I would try and keep it. Even if you have stripped a gear , surely you can rebuild the thing. As an aside, when our anchor windlass sh_t itself everyone told me I'd need to buy a new one which was going to cost aud2500.00. Instead I spent a joyous few hours practicing my yoga in the forepeak whilst trying to get the damn thing out but having done so it ended up costing me aud500.00 for a new gearbox. Add in a new deck switch and deck pad and we are back in business.
10-16-2007 09:46 AM
SEMIJim
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdw View Post
All in all it's all good but most importantly to this thread, on the riggers suggestion we did not fit a backstay adjuster. Thus far I think he is on the money.

Emphasise that we do very little if any racing. Maybe do some twilights but that would be about all.

Boat is a 34' steel VDS sloop, masthead rig.

So, Denise, I'd reckon you need to shorten your forestay and get that rig set up poperly. It's a bugger when you have a furler but to my mind it's worth the hassle.
Particularly for a masthead rig, unless you race I'm kind of thinking the expense wouldn't be worth the performance gain one might realize. There are many, many other things of greater importance: Properly adjusted rigging, good sails and good running rigging (sheets, blocks, vang, outhaul, etc.) are far more important, IMO.

What an adjustable backstay is going to do for you on a masthead rig is to allow you to tighten the forestay (not sure how much that matters with a furler) and perhaps bend the mast a bit--perhaps allowing you to flatten the main a bit. The only time you're really going to care about that is going to wind in heavier airs, and, again, only if you're looking for those last bits of performance improvement.

Don't get me wrong: I sincerely hope I can either rescue our backstay adjuster or replace it. But I'm not going to cry (much ) if neither is possible.

Jim
10-16-2007 09:33 AM
SEMIJim
Quote:
Originally Posted by blt2ski View Post
Jim,

My system came std on my boat. not sure of brand, would swag goiot since that is what is mostly on this french built boat. i can get a pic and send it to you.

Marty
Probably unnecessary, Marty, but thanks.

Jim
10-16-2007 05:34 AM
tdw We had massive weatherhelm on the old girl to the extent that I've had her do a ninety degree turn that was uncontrollable and we very nearly t-boned another vessel. Old main sheet was very hard to let off under heavy load.

Anyway, asked rigger to look at it and we have since fitted a shorter forestay, new main sheet arrangement with extra purchase. We have actually fitted a complete new rig but that's got nothing to do with this thread.

Whereas previously we had considerable sag in the forestay it's now nice and tight and rigger has put a lot more tension on the backstay than previously.

Took her out for her first sail last weekend and...

Genoa comes off and refurls much more easily than previous. Good.
Extra bend in the mast means flatter main. Good.
Goes to windward with more power even in light airs. Good.
When it puffs what weather helm there is is very controllable. Good.
She also seems to go through waves much more smoothly with less hobby horsing. Good.

All in all it's all good but most importantly to this thread, on the riggers suggestion we did not fit a backstay adjuster. Thus far I think he is on the money.

Emphasise that we do very little if any racing. Maybe do some twilights but that would be about all.

Boat is a 34' steel VDS sloop, masthead rig.

So, Denise, I'd reckon you need to shorten your forestay and get that rig set up poperly. It's a bugger when you have a furler but to my mind it's worth the hassle.
10-16-2007 03:55 AM
tenuki I have a roller furler (Hood LD 705) and the forestay is adjustable, however it is a rather involved process that would really only be done at the dock as it means partial disassembly of the furling unit. I'm watching this backstay thread with interest.
10-16-2007 12:15 AM
blt2ski Jim,

My system came std on my boat. not sure of brand, would swag goiot since that is what is mostly on this french built boat. i can get a pic and send it to you.

Marty
10-15-2007 11:40 PM
SEMIJim
Quote:
Originally Posted by blt2ski View Post
... or a manual crank system as I have. I noticed a difference a week ago when raceing, and tenuki, crew that day, tightened the back stay in a mid 20+ knot wind.
Don't want to hijack Denise's thread, but what kind of manual crank backstay adjuster do you have, Marty, and how do you like it? Looks like we may have to replace ours due to a screw-up on my part.

Jim
10-15-2007 11:15 PM
blt2ski Denise,

Do not quote me on this, but as I was working on my masthead rig over the last 2 hrs, I am recalling that a boat with roller furling, can not have an adjustable head stay, the "ONLY" way to tighten a head stay is via an adjustable back stay!

So with what the birdie in the back of my brain is telling me, to get a tighter headstay for windier conditions, you would need to do probably all the above mentioned initially, ie shorten the head stay an inch or so, along with a back stay adjuster, be it hydraulic, pulley system or a manual crank system as I have. I noticed a difference a week ago when raceing, and tenuki, crew that day, tightened the back stay in a mid 20+ knot wind. I do not have RF, but the fore/head stay is non adjustable.

marty
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