Shroud and stay tension when climbing the mast - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-24-2019 Thread Starter
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Shroud and stay tension when climbing the mast

I loosened my backstay and forestay (actually, I removed the forestay and replaced it with a halyard) before climbing the mast. I didn't loosen the cap shrouds or the inner shrouds.

It occurs to me that this might have been a good idea, and since I have to go up again next week to attach the new forestay, I thought I'd ask.

Should I loosen the shrouds in this situation? Why?

Boat is a Newport 30 mkii
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-24-2019
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Re: Shroud and stay tension when climbing the mast

I'm sure a pro rigger would be better to ask, however, I would imagine that if the mast stays in column, it would not be necessary to adjust the shrouds. If your spreaders sweep aft, you may have trouble keeping the mast from being pulled aft.

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post #3 of 5 Old 05-24-2019
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Re: Shroud and stay tension when climbing the mast

Why are you loosening shrouds? Are you worried that your extra weight will overstress the deck where the mast is mounted?

Don't worry about it. If your shroud lines are adjusted correctly, you mast is already in compression to the tune of several thousand pounds (generally, 1/4" forestay and backstay generally tightened to 1300 lbs each, 1/4" upper shroud tightened to 820 lbs, fore and aft 1/8" shrouds each at 240 lbs). So your weight is a miniscule addition.

Moreover, when sailing in a stiff breeze, the loading increases... by more than your body weight.
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post #4 of 5 Old 05-25-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Shroud and stay tension when climbing the mast

Fair enough. My thought was that since I loosened the forestay and backstay (in order to remove and replace the forestay), that the mast will have more forward and backward play. When that occurs, depending on the location of the chain plates, you could end up pulling on the cap shrouds in a way that does not occur under normal conditions. Any time anything happens to a rig that is outside of normal conditions, I ask more questions and take more care .

I am not worried that my shrouds will break, but that the boat could be stressed in a bad way. From the answers here I don't see any indication of that. I'll probably double check with the rigger when I pick up my new furler and forestay next week.

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post #5 of 5 Old 05-25-2019
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Re: Shroud and stay tension when climbing the mast

Have gone up my mast a number of times with both the fore and back stays disconnected and replaced with halyards. Never a problem. Also done it with cap shrouds lowers disconnected.
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