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I'm thinking of adding a back stay adjuster on my 1970 Columbia 36' sailboat. I know there are a few options including the screw type adjuster, hydraulic piston as well as different pulley systems. I'm planning to take the boat cruising this summer so I want to install an easy to use system. Does anyone have preferences on back stay tensioning systems? Bob
 

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For a masthead rig like yours (with probably a pretty skookum mast section) I'd be leaning towards hydraulic if you anticipate frequent adjustment.. Otherwise the threaded adjustables should do. If you wanted to go the extra effort of splitting the lower section, then a simple tackle and pulley setup adjusted to compress the inverted 'V' of the split works OK too. This would mean adding chain plates for the new back stay configuration.
 

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For a masthead rig like yours (with probably a pretty skookum mast section) I'd be leaning towards hydraulic if you anticipate frequent adjustment.. Otherwise the threaded adjustables should do. If you wanted to go the extra effort of splitting the lower section, then a simple tackle and pulley setup adjusted to compress the inverted 'V' of the split works OK too. This would mean adding chain plates for the new back stay configuration.
Hydraulics being expensive, tackle and pulley being ugly and requiring new chainplates leaves threaded as the best alternative in my mind. Do remember that they have to be hugely up-dimensioned, as they are prone to self-destroy the threads! And keep it well greased.

/J
 

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Hey,

If you have a single backstay you only have two choices - hydraulic and screw type. You will have to cut the backstay and change the ends. The hydraulic will be very expensive, the screw types just expensive.

If you have dual or split backstay you can use a block and tackle to make a backstay adjuster. That will be much cheaper, but still not cheap.

CS Johnson makes the car for the split backstay. You can learn about their systems here:
Johnson Marine Hardware Online Virtual Catalog: Page 36

Wichard makes the screw type:
Backstay adjusters


Good luck,
Barry
 
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