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Old 05-10-2008, 16:39   #1
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Baby Stay Tension

On the cutter rigged Ingrid 38 that we just purchased, I am still trying to figure out some of the rigging. I have had a cutter before and I really like the cutter rig. (Interesting though is the very short bow sprit).
I feel that the inner fore stay or baby stay is far too loose, but the p/o did not seem to think so. There is probably two inches of slack in the inner fore stay even when flying the (club footed) jib. Is this fore stay supposed to be reasonable tensioned (snug but not tight) to remove the slack? There is no type of a "quick" tensioner on it. The inner fore stay is mounted at the height of the upper spreaders.
Additionally, there are two lower "running backstays" as the p/o called them.
They are mounted at the height of the upper set of spreaders as well. They are tensioned by a set of blocks and line at the lower end of each of them and attached with snap shackles for quick release from the deck pad eye.
Are these running backstays absolutely necessary to offset the pull of the jib on the inner fore stay? In order to tack, the lee running backstay must be removed from the pad eye and secured forward of the main boom. This seems very inefficient at best. If you try to tack or jibe without removing the running backstay, the boom will hit the backstay and not swing further. This seems like it could place the boat in a dangerous situation in the right circumstances.
Any thoughts or suggestions on this?
(I hope I made a little sense in this post)


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Old 05-10-2008, 17:08   #2
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Sight along the mast whilst using the staysl to weather. If the wind is not too brisk you might not have to use the running back. You will have to use the runners in heavy winds.

Adjust the inner stay tension so that you can work very close to weather in heavy winds without too much stay sagging or leeway. If you have to (and can) barberhaul the staysl sheet inboard if necessary. After properly tensioning the innerstay under those conditions check just how much running back tension is required to keep the mast in column and mark the runner lines so that you can quickly return to that setting without having to check the mast.

Once you have the innerstay and running backstay properly tensioned then you can normally adjust the staysl halyard tension for on or off the wind trimming. Play with the sheet lead in heavy wind and light wind to note the best position for each.

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Old 05-10-2008, 20:19   #3
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Just for fun once I tried using my 'spinnaker boom cunningham halyard' for a baby stay to see how the boat handled in a blow. And Oh Man! The mast pumped so bad I pulled it down shortly thereafter.

I want to install an inner babystay some day but I'll definitely need running back stays. One more project on the list.
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:24   #4
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Aloha Clausont,
I would try to find an original blueprint of your rigging or at least a good diagram. The ketch bowsprit should is pretty long (6 feet) if I remember correctly but the cutter might be different. Your baby stay should be just as tight as your forestay while sitting in port.
Most cutters don't require the use of the running backs until the wind speed is above 15k.
Kind regards,
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Old 06-10-2008, 13:56   #5
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Rick - Great suggestions - I will do that. The staysl sheet is attached to a pad eye centered on deck but I may be able to do something about that.
Delmarrey - Great illustration on the mast pumping. I can see just why the running backstays would be needed then.
SkiprJohn - Not sure if I can find a blueprint or plan of the original rig, but a good thought and I will do that. The bowsprit is cut off about 18" in front of the bow.
There are four Ingrid 38's in our marina now - two ketch and two cutter rigged. The other cutter has about the same length bowsprit as the ketch rigged ones do. Mine is the only short one. I will look at that one more and talk to the owner of it also.
The p/o mentioned that under full sail, the boat has a bit of weather helm and this with a smaller than original main sail. I suspect that this may be tied in with the short bowsprit. It seems like the longer bowsprit may balance the rig better regarding weather helm. Not sure though.

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