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Old 25-10-2010, 21:21   #16
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You may find that rebuilding the hydraulic system is the easiest, most cost effective option. Do yourself a favor and check the price on a rebuild kit. It is not a difficult job.
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Old 25-10-2010, 23:45   #17
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The reason you see them more on larger boats is they are a much smaller part of the total cost of the boat. Anyone that can afford a racing 40 footer can probably afford a backsatay adjuster without much pain. If the boat is a serious race boat, the mast is designed to be bent to get the ultimate out of the sails. Doesn't mean you have to do it, just that for anorak racers, it'll do something. The typical cruising boats straight stick tends to be over spec'd for rigidity and won't benefit all that much from releasing the tension on the backstay.

For me, there are enough things to mess with the sails and riggiug without adjusting the backstay. Set it up for good upwind performance and leave it. The cost of a new hydraulic backstay for 40' boat will keep you cruising for a couple of months.
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Old 26-10-2010, 00:04   #18
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Set it up for good upwind performance and leave it. The cost of a new hydraulic backstay for 40' boat will keep you cruising for a couple of months.
Oh I don't know...Iv got a couple of these laying around I could install one for you pretty cheap..LOL..
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Old 26-10-2010, 00:58   #19
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The reason you see them more on larger boats is they are a much smaller part of the total cost of the boat. Anyone that can afford a racing 40 footer can probably afford a backsatay adjuster without much pain. If the boat is a serious race boat, the mast is designed to be bent to get the ultimate out of the sails. Doesn't mean you have to do it, just that for anorak racers, it'll do something. The typical cruising boats straight stick tends to be over spec'd for rigidity and won't benefit all that much from releasing the tension on the backstay.

For me, there are enough things to mess with the sails and riggiug without adjusting the backstay. Set it up for good upwind performance and leave it. The cost of a new hydraulic backstay for 40' boat will keep you cruising for a couple of months.
So in this scenario - you think skip a mechanical or a hydraulic adjuster and just use a turnbuckle?
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Old 26-10-2010, 01:03   #20
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You may find that rebuilding the hydraulic system is the easiest, most cost effective option. Do yourself a favor and check the price on a rebuild kit. It is not a difficult job.
Actually it's not a cost issue - I'm happy to fork out $1700 for a brand new navtec one - mine really is looking a bit tired (free international shipping from mauripro too at the moment - so very timely)... it's just that if I don't have to have one, I think I'm better off with one less thing to break, one less thing to think about.

I just came back from the boat just then actually.. doesn't look like I can split the backstay, so it's really 1. a hydraulic 2. a mechanical handle-thingy... or 3. my preferred option - just a turnbuckle.

So as a general query here - how many full-time cruisers who don't really care about speed play with their backstay tension here?
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Old 26-10-2010, 01:06   #21
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Sure you can find a happy medium and set it and forget it...lots of boats are that way....mine is but Im a gadget guy so im going to change it..
So you have a turnbuckle or an adjuster?

Also - do you fiddle it at all at the moment - heavy weather etc? Or really - did you just tension it a few years ago and that's it?
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Old 26-10-2010, 01:32   #22
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Just plain turnbuckles so no current real on the fly adjustment.

Well we haven't had an opportunity to really sail this boat much but I can say that there can be a very real benefit to having an adjustable back-stay in the stink compared to light winds...we have seen both spectrum's and it would make a big difference... and we don't have no racing sled either...

Thing is IMHO keeping it set up tight for heavy weather is just to hard on the boat...so it should be slacked back off at rest at the dock....turn buckels are just not ment to be constantly adjusted that way.
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Old 26-10-2010, 01:43   #23
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Just plain turnbuckles so no current real on the fly adjustment.

Well we haven't had an opportunity to really sail this boat much but I can say that there can be a very real benefit to having an adjustable back-stay in the stink compared to light winds...we have seen both spectrum's and it would make a big difference... and we don't have no racing sled either...

Thing is IMHO keeping it set up tight for heavy weather is just to hard on the boat...so it should be slacked back off at rest at the dock....turn buckels are just not ment to be constantly adjusted that way.
I guess there's that too...

So what happens if you leave it set at "ok upwind performance", but not "really cranked up"... and you're in a storm? Does it really matter if you're well reefed etc - or is there something else inherent in backstay tension apart from pointing ability and depowering sails?

(sorry about the questions - while I've become quite accomplished with fibreglass and other things, my sailing experience leaves much to be desired...)
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Old 26-10-2010, 01:48   #24
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Greetings Folks,

I'm at the pointy end of a very extended refit and I'm finally out on deck and looking at various things to work through.

The boat is an old racer (40 feet) - but will be used for full-time cruising/liveaboard. I don't plan to race whatsoever and I like to keep things simple and low-maintenance.

The boat originally came with a hydraulic backstay tensioner, however it requires a rebuild/replacement to keep things safe.

I have two options really:

1. Buy a new backstay tensioner - navtec or similar

2. Replace the backstay (bit longer) and just have a turnbuckle

I would like the simplicity of just having a turnbuckle and "set and forget" backstay tension - but I've really never seen too many boats over 35ft without a backstay tensioner (hydraulic or winch handle/bottlescrew thingy).

Is there a reason for this?

Can I save some money and just go for a turnbuckle and be done with the backstay tensioner?

Any thoughts/advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!
An Adjustable system is better for your mast. Crank it on in heavy weather to increase prebend,flatten the main and depower a bit.

Then ease it when off the wind or on the mooring to allow the mast to rest in its natural position.

Whats wrong with a 24 to 1 block and pulley system? Sometimes the simple solutions are the cheapest, easiest and lease likely to fail.
Here is a ronstan solution. Ronstan Sailboat Hardware AUS - System Schematics

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Old 26-10-2010, 01:50   #25
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So what happens if you leave it set at "ok upwind performance", but not "really cranked up"... and you're in a storm? Does it really matter if you're well reefed etc - or is there something else inherent in backstay tension apart from pointing ability and depowering sails?

Then you have an OK performing boat but not at its best...

There are so many veriabals to your question that it boils down to specific boats and specific conditions...some times just the wave forms can jar a boat to where you want more tension to keep the mast from shuddering so much...rather you have any sails up or not.
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Old 26-10-2010, 02:00   #26
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Before I forget - does the fact that I will have a furler change any of the pros for having a tensioner?
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Old 26-10-2010, 02:42   #27
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No........
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Old 26-10-2010, 02:57   #28
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Akio, I think a lot of the advice you've gotten here doesn't really apply to your boat. I imagine that people singing the praises of adjustable backstays for cruising are based that experience on fractional rigged boats. Particularly when they are talking about depowering the mainsail. You might be able to bend your mast with the inner forestay (very carefully), not so much with the backstay.

I like your plan of using a turnbuckle on the backstay. Adjust the backstay tension to get a good jib shape upwind, and then call it a day.

Martin
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Old 26-10-2010, 02:58   #29
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No........
Bah.

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Old 26-10-2010, 03:01   #30
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Im mast head and I can put a foot of bend in my mast with back stay tension alone

This is not something you have to do...go with what makes sense to you and you alone...if it aint broke don't fix it ..
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