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bkw 12-09-2006 12:06 PM

running backstay
i sail on chartered yachts and would like to make or purchase a running backstay system. most of the yachts do not have them. some of the boats have split backstay. i know how i would make one for the split backstay but i am not familiar with the hardware. i would need two blocks that i can attach without removing the backstays. can anybody tell me what these blocks are called? is there a way to tension a single backstay using a home made rig?

Faster 12-09-2006 01:11 PM

You could fashion a portable split backstay adjustor with a couple of opening snapshackles, a heavy duty ring and the appropriate tackle. Finding a fair lead for the attachment at the deck could be more difficult depending on the boat. One of the backstay chainplate/tangs would probably be the easiest.

Fashioning a similar mechanism for a single backstay is more difficult - Seems to me you'd have to swage or crimp something onto the existing backstay, which the charter company may not appreciate.

Giulietta 12-09-2006 01:20 PM


Please go here, it has what you want.

I'd go with the fiddle blocks and 4:1 purchase. Remove the bottom end of the backstay, make a loop attach fiddle with jaw on bottom, and upper fiddle to newly made loop on existing backstay.


Note: Since the boats you are renting don't have adjustable backstay, please be very carefull as the mast might have "bending back" limitations, and you don't want to pay for it, do you?

Also, here is a simple fix, not as "stretch resistant" as a real backstay, but if the boat has a supplementary main halyard, (or similar) just tie it to the stern, as centered as possible, and use it as a backstay.;)

GO EASY ON IT, chances are those masts aren't prepared for that.

What boat is it?

sailingdog 12-09-2006 03:20 PM

UMMM... Why would you want to do this, especially on boats you don't own. Also, most charter boat companies frown upon people messing with the rig and you could find yourself blacklisted if caught doing so....

Giulietta 12-09-2006 03:24 PM


I think, (must have read somewhere) he might be "racing" with it....

am I wrong????

sailingdog 12-09-2006 04:12 PM

Nope...didn't see anything about racing it...or that he owns it... and modifying the rigging on a boat you don't own is generally not a good idea.

bkw 12-09-2006 04:17 PM

thanks for your replies.
i am racing and right now the guys use rope tied around the splits and pull down on it.
i just want something that works a little smoother.
of course if i break something i will be responsible.

bkw 12-09-2006 04:30 PM

have they turned off instant email feature today?

sailingdog 12-09-2006 04:34 PM

You don't want a running backstay, but a backstay tensioner. CS Johnson makes one for split backstays...Look here.

BTW, Running backstays aren't what you're describing... A good description of a running backstay is here.

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