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  Topic Review (Newest First)
06-29-2012 11:39 AM
Paul Comte
Re: Islander 28 Backstay Adjuster Preferences

Sunday, sorry I missed your post of a week ago.

I added the shortest toggle I could find to the forestay and I believe it added in the neighborhood of three inches. I also cut a quarter of an inch off the bottom of the mast because my new lower inner stays couldn't have cotter rings! Next time make the structural repairs before ordering rig... After that, the backstay turnbuckle was "all in" so I ordered a StaLock (?) mechanical fitting and gathered my nerve.

It was funny to look up and see my crew had gathered for a race. They were on the dock with jaws hanging as I tested the emergency wire cutter on the backstay. They thought I was kidding around and really freaked out when I cut the stay! The StaLock went on like a dream and we were on our way to test race it in just thirty minutes.

The skipper experienced a bit of pucker for that first race! All is well now.

By cutting off the longer fitting and installing the StaLock I was able to bring the rig into enough tension to sail the boat well.

It has been a year since I posted I'd like a mechanical tensioner. For cruising and occasional racing I'd like that upgrade but am going to leave the turnbuckle in place for now.

If we start racing more, I'll go for the rope and tackle split backstay. That installation would be simple except for getting "around the corner" inside the seat locker. Compared to the other options, the tackle system is inexpensive, reliable and FAST to use. On WISDOM the backstay is adjusted on each leg so rope beats all other systems for speed.

Also, it is hard not to see you've got the rig in tension when buttoning things up after a sail.

The only downsides to the split backstay I can see is that, besides having another line underfoot, it really crowds up the transom & boarding ladder, making it harder to get aboard.

Paul Comte
Let's Go!
Milwaukee, WI
06-28-2012 02:48 PM
Re: Islander 28 Backstay Adjuster Preferences

It looks like the Islander 28 really likes a very strait rig. The recomendations I found were for 1-1.2 inches of prebend, though it does like additional backstay as the preassure builds. Personally I like cascading backstays on boats this size since for a couple of hundred bucks you can get a 32 or 64 to 1 setup that makes applying preassure pretty easy. I don't normally think of hydrolics until you need around 3,000lbs of backstay preassure or more.
06-28-2012 02:31 PM
Re: Islander 28 Backstay Adjuster Preferences

Here is an update. I removed the fore stay and pulled the mast vertical and measured about 4.5 inch extension required. I bought new link plates and plan to use a back stay adjuster to take up the slack created by the forestay adjustment. New shorter back stays was going to be about $100 each to have made and believe I can add the adjuster cheaper. I don't want to bend the mast or add backwards rake, just get it verticle as that aseems to be the original design. Waiting for parts to come in before the fitting out takes palce and I will advise on my success.
06-17-2012 01:20 PM
Re: Islander 28 Backstay Adjuster Preferences

Hi Paul et all: Last year I bought a I-28 and have been doing a number of repairs. I still have to do the compression post as I ran out of time this spring. I noticed in these posts that there are other I-28s with the mast leaning forward and that is what I am seeing this spring. I am not sure if the forestay (North Sails roller furling gear) was cut too short but that is what it looks like to me. I see that Paul added a toggle to the forestay and was wondering how long it was as I have no more available lengthening adjustment on the forestay.

I will have to make adjustments to the split backstay either with a roller tensioner block and tackle or just get new split lower wires (shorter) made up so that I can take up any slack via the turnbuckle, created by a longer forestay.

How much length did you add to the forestay? It looks like it could be 6 or more inches to bring the mast to verticle (guesstimate only at this point).

04-24-2011 01:34 AM
joelozzy Paul,

I also found that the mast was leaning forward a bit after making the same repairs. I'm glad that I'm not the only one who observed this. Thought it was an illusion of the naked eye for the longest time.

I've still got the split backstays, so I just installed a couple of the Schaefer wire blocks over the split stays, connected to a triangle plate, which has the 3rd (lower) point connected to a double block w/becket. Line through this to a triple block mounted on deck (padeye) running to a rope clutch. The line was the max size for the clutch, actually acts like a natural brake when load is released - so doesn't 'SNAP' when released.

The backstay tensioner really improved upwind performance in 20+ knots of breeze.

I'd watch the amount of force put into the backstay, due to additional mast bend from the new 'forward lean' coupled with the fact that the spreaders are in-line with upper shrouds. Good luck. ~Joel
04-19-2011 10:45 AM
Faster On a rig with in-line spreaders it's not advisable to but a multi part purchase directly into the backstay unless you also have a wire strop as a safety (ie set at the minimum tension setting). With swept spreaders it's unlikely the mast will fall down if the tackle fails or is accidentally let run free, but with inline spreaders the backstay is the only thing pulling back on the stick. This is probably why the split backstays are popular for adjustment.

I think hydraulics or mechanical 'screw' type adjusters are otherwise the way to go.
04-19-2011 12:23 AM
kentg I have a Bahama 30, without a split backstay and will probably keep it simple. Shorten the backstay, add a Norseman style fitting so I can put in a triple block and use a mechanical backstay. Lots of racers do something simple like that. Cascade the blocks and you can double the purchase.
04-18-2011 12:17 PM
Paul Comte
Islander 28 Backstay Adjuster Preferences

We own a Non-Split Backstay I28.

After making the hull repairs including the base plate under the Compression Post and adding a Mast Step Turning Block Plate (with fill of the dimple on cabin top), we can go forward with a Backstay Adjuster.

BTW, the repairs mentioned have actually changed the geometry of the rig to the point where the mast was leaning forward (a bunch). A toggle on the forestay helped but we took all the slack up in the backstay turnbuckle and need more tension.

I am leaning toward the Wichard 5526 that will cost about $525 US. We day sail, occasionally cruise but do drive the boat when out...

Anyone have suggestions or comments?

Paul Comte
Still un-named I28
Milwaukee WI

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