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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Running Backstays
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Thread: Running Backstays Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-15-2009 09:30 PM
Axle2121 I also have a Pearson 39 Yawl with the running backstay/pelican hook setup. I haven't been using them at all, but maybe I should be. Would using them increase windward performance?

I've only had the mizzen staysail up once, but it sounds like this is when they would be most useful.
03-22-2009 12:11 PM
gc1111 Ahh, that explains a lot. The Rhodes Reliant was (is?) a really lovely boat. But it belongs to a specific generation. By relating your comments on yawl rigs to this class allows everyone to calibrate the validity for their own situation.

I really envy you for having had a Reliant, especially on SF Bay where I learned to sail on my father in-laws Fleur Bleu. I have fond memories of those "boisterous sails".
03-22-2009 11:25 AM
svHyLyte
"Some cases" Omitted

I should have indicated "In some cases" at the commencement of my earlier post as my comments are clearly not universally applicable, for example, in the case where a mizzen's spreaders angle aft or the main is supported by independent split back-stays or separate runners. My experience is based upon our, once, ownership of a 1963 Rhodes Reliant where the trim of the ship was much enhanced by the addition of mizzen runners--so much so that the former owner-during a boisterous sail on San Francisco Bay-exclaimed that he couldn't believe it was the same yacht.

FWIW...

s/v HyLyte
03-20-2009 08:22 PM
gc1111 Yep. And svHyLyte's defense of runners doesn't apply to my configuration either. My main mast has a normal (split) backstay as well as a triatic. And my multipart runners are not able to be tensioned enough to do any good unless you take up on them before any load is applied. (I don't have any available winches to use for them)

Maybe his arguments apply to some configurations, but they are not universally correct. These kind of arguments are much more accurate and better supported if you simply state what your experience with rigging options has been and let others draw their conclusions.
03-20-2009 06:01 PM
T34C Hang on a second.... The OP didn't say anything about a triatic or discuss his spreader angle. (both of which are important).

My mizzen has dual uppers (forward without spreaders) and single lower shrouds with aft swept spreaders. I have no need for runners of any kind. The only way I could see needing them would be if spreaders are not swept AND you are using a good size mizzen staysail or mizzen spinnaker.

Just my $.02
03-20-2009 03:27 PM
Faster
Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
Runners are necessary on a yawl rig .........
Thanks, Hylyte, for the explanation.
03-20-2009 03:24 PM
svHyLyte
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.

FWIW...

s/v HyLyte
03-20-2009 10:33 AM
gc1111 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.
03-20-2009 12:52 AM
sailortjk1 Im missing something.
Runners on the Mizzen?
03-19-2009 11:43 PM
paulk 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.
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