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killarney_sailor 01-30-2008 02:28 PM

Running backstay specifications advice
My Bristol 45.5 does not have tackles to tighten up the runners -rather a tail is taken through a turning block to a winch. The lead for this is not as fair as it might be and it takes up a winch, so I am thinking about changing to tackles for this. I was wondering what strength of blocks would be needed to make up a more conventional tackle (4:1?). I would use a low stretch line of some sort, should I go to something fairly high-tech or stick to a high-end dacron?

Thanks for any suggestions.

sailboy21 01-30-2008 02:41 PM

Are the runners synthetic or wire? I wouldn't go with a tackle, too much $$$ (about $300 or much more per runner??) and deck clutter IMO. If you do, get the highest rated you can, check product recalls, and avoid snap shackles. You can't get something that is TOO strong. 45' is going to have significant loads, so it may be worthwhile to talk to a professional rigger. Sail Safe!

hellosailor 01-30-2008 02:42 PM

Killarney, I'd call or email Harken or Garhauer and get some professional opinions. Harken has calculators and knows formulas for loads, Garhauer has a rep for personal service at a lower price, if both give you the same specs you can probably figure they are correct.<G>

Giulietta 01-30-2008 02:43 PM

What's your sail area?

Plumper 01-30-2008 02:58 PM

Are these check stays for sail shape or do they back an inner forestay and staysail?


Jeff_H 01-30-2008 04:47 PM

I would look at reworking the lead so that it has a fair lead to the winch and adding sheet stoppers on each side to free up the winch. My backstay is a 32:1 cascade. You really don't want to do that.


killarney_sailor 02-01-2008 01:43 PM

these are for support of an inner forestay

Originally Posted by Plumper (Post 258180)
Are these check stays for sail shape or do they back an inner forestay and staysail?


The runners support an inner stay that might have a staysail or storm jib on it. I am looking for something that could be tightened up and released fairly quickly and moved forward when not needed.


Plumper 02-01-2008 02:00 PM

That is the setup I have on my boat. Originally the runners ran back to the winches but didn't like it because it took a winch so I put in two tackles sized about the same as my vang. I am not sure they are big enough though. I don't think the mast would come down if one broke but I would not be able to point very well under just the stay sail without the runners. They are not original. The mast was designed without them but the previous owner thought it pumped too much. I had the rig completely retuned after I bought it and I don't get any pump. I think he just had everything too loose. The runners are good insurance though.

sailboy21 02-02-2008 01:36 AM

Retractable runners
Here is the setup I found to work extremely well, simple and inexpensive. This setup is straight out of "Riggers Apprentice" by Brian Toss. Admittedly, this is for a removable inner stay on a sloop, but I don't see why it can't be used for a cutter. I used 1/4" Amsteel which has 8280lbs breaking strength (which exceeds most of the hardware used). The basic setup is Amsteel runner led to a turning block and then to a secondary cockpit winch. I spiced a cover on the tail for ease of handling. Midway on the runner is a light weight block with a length of bungee attached. The bungee runs to a turning block on the rail, and then up to the spreaders where it is anchored. It doesn't matter where the bungee goes, just that it has enough strength to retract the runner down to the rail. Since it is not in use most of the time, I tie the runner and bungee to the rail and aft lower shroud with wool yarn when not in use. This keeps a tidy deck, and allows for immediate deployment. I only use the runners when a storm jib on the inner stay is set, so for day sailing and sitting in the slip I climb the rig and remove them to save UV degradation, however the cost of replacing them every few years is negligible. A tapered eyespice and a cover spice with 12-strand is amazingly simple, so I consider this an end user serviceable system. Not so with wire unless you use mechanical terminals.

Bungee and amsteel (before cover splice):
Bungee and termination at spreader (runner also visible)
Rail turning block and wool ties:
Result of splicing a Sta-Set (New England) cover onto Amsteel (Samson):
You can clearly see the "flying" block used to retract the runner. I used Harken Carbo Air blocks for their light weight, low cost, and synthetic cheek. Getting hit with glass filled nylon causes less pain than steel or aluminum.
And on my (And S/V Seaya's) way to #1 of 2 times going under the Golden Gate

killarney_sailor 02-04-2008 11:10 AM

Thanks for the useful suggestions
Certainly goes to show that there more than few ways to skin any cat (or cutter).

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