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Old 31-12-2012, 07:47   #1
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installing a babystay

I have a 1980 hughes 38 I want to install a second forstay but I am not sure how to attach it to the deck in a manner that will be able to take the pressureof the sail and not damage the deck. Any ideas?
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Old 31-12-2012, 08:59   #2
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Re: installing a babystay

I'm doing the same on my Hughes 35. I will install a chainplate on the anchor locker/v-berth bulkhead, then have a removable forestay that can be rigged for heavy weather.

'Highseas' has a Hughes 38 with the same set-up, maybe he'll chime in.
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Old 31-12-2012, 09:04   #3
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Originally Posted by Brian.clarity View Post
I have a 1980 hughes 38 I want to install a second forstay but I am not sure how to attach it to the deck in a manner that will be able to take the pressureof the sail and not damage the deck. Any ideas?
Inner forestay or babystay? Uncommon, but this sounds like you want to put a sail on it. Either way there should probably be a bulkhead or athwartship beam near the deck fitting. You can install it with just a backing plate then test it in a blow: measure how much the deck moves up. 3mm is okay. 30mm not so much.
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Old 31-12-2012, 13:53   #4
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Thank you I was thinking of a steel plate on the deckhead above the vbirth
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Old 31-12-2012, 14:20   #5
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Re: installing a babystay

If you dont have structure belowdeck in line with the stay such as a bulkhead or the back of an anchor well you can install a plywood partition below the vee berth that gets filleted and glass tabbed to the hull, it can be running in either direction as long as it provides a good amount of surface area of attachment,now you can instal a tie rod from the deck to this partition. If you actually sleep in the vee berth you will want to make it removable, it usually is not a problem in that you only need the tie rod in place when you have the inner forestay in place which is usually when you want a storm jib up and you wont be wanting to sleep forward then anyway.

Steve.
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Old 31-12-2012, 14:22   #6
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Good point Steve. Thanks
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Old 31-12-2012, 19:04   #7
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Re: installing a babystay

Assuming there is a bulkhead at the forward end of the v-berth this would be a good place to install a chain plate for the forestay.

You will want to add intermediate uppers and running backstays too.

See attached sketch for how I would set it up. Big arrow on the lower plan view drawing shows where I would expect the bulkhead to be.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:38   #8
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So I would need to reinforce that bulkhesd?
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Old 02-01-2013, 18:32   #9
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Re: installing a babystay

That's not really a babystay. The babystay's I am familiar with are much shorter. About 1/3 the mast height.
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Old 02-01-2013, 22:24   #10
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Re: installing a babystay

Why not just put the babystay just above the lower shroads and let them counter the force?
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Old 02-01-2013, 23:05   #11
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Re: installing a babystay

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Originally Posted by Brian.clarity View Post
So I would need to reinforce that bulkhead?
Depends on what's there.

A 3/4" bulkhead that is tabbed to the hull on both sides would be fine. If the bulkhead is just a partition that is not tabbed, sounds like you need to do some fiberglass work. If the bulkhead is particleboard and not real ply, I would think about replacement, though I have seen some on boats.

The next question is how much meat is there at the top of the bulkhead, undoubtedly an access has been cut to access the chain locker and to allow maintenance of the headstay chainplate. Specifically what is the distance from the top of the opening to the top of the bulkhead? To figure out what is enough you need to know how long the chain plate needs to be. To determine the chainplate size you need to know forestay size. The only reference I have that discusses forestay (aka. staysail stay) size is Skene's Elements of Yacht Design which indicated it should be the same size as the headstay. Discussions of Skene's in other references indicate that Skene's is very conservative on headstay size to begin with and is really overdone if there is a forestay too. Given that discussion and the fact that dead loads in the fore and aft direction will now be carried by 2 stays instead of one so I would be comfortable using the smallest wire size used in the existing rig, probably one of the shrouds. It may be that all of the wire is the same size in which case go with that.

Knowing the wire size will give you the turnbuckle size, which will in turn give you the pin size assuming you stay with standard sizes. For arguments sake lets assume a 1/2" pin. At RIGRITE a standard flat chain plate (you would need to bend the top over to suit) would have 5-1/2"dia bolts thru the bulkhead at 2-1/8" centers. Given the need for meat below the bottom bolt and space for the nut and wrenches on the top bolt lets say you need 5 spaces or 10-1/2' of bulkhead. It's kind of iffy that there will that much meat in the bulkhead over the access opening.

Given the need to access the headstay chain plate for inspection and maintenance you don't want to fill up this opening. The number of bolts into the bulkhead is based on the bulkhead capacity, not the bolt or chainplate capacity so if the bulkhead were stronger you could get away with fewer bolts. In which case I would be comfortable with 2 bolts and happy with 3.

In order to make the top of the bulkhead strong enough I would get 2 plates of stainless 1/4" less in width than the maximum amount of meat in the bulkhead over the opening, same thickness as the chainplate (1/4" minimum) and long enough to span from the tabbing on one side of the boat to the tabbing on the other. I would not run these plates onto the tabbing. The plates need to be scribed and trimmed on the top to follow the deck and leave the 1/4" gap to the deck. If the deck is flat then no trimming will be necessary.

Next you need to layout the bolt holes. At the center you will need holes for the chainplate. The best way to do this is to clamp the pieces together and drill thru the holes in the chainplate into the reinforcing plates. Holes should be 1/16" larger than the bolts, so for 1/2" bolts use a 9/16" bit. During drilling you will need a cutting fluid (see this link for several different recommendations) on the bit to maintain bit sharpness. I would make the holes along the plates have the same spacing as the chain plate but staggered them top and bottom with the same edge spacing the chainplate has.

After making the first plate, clamp the second plate to it and drill thru the holes to guarantee that everything lines up. When drilling use a drill press or at least a guide so keep the holes normal to the plates. When drilling the wood clamp the plates in place, drill and install 1 bolt at each end before drilling the rest of the holes. Use the same bit, 1/16" oversized. Make sure to use stainless bolts.

Once the plates are installed THEN cut the deck for the chainplate, that way you don't get it in the wrong spot, the most obvious mistake would be to cut the deck at face of bulkhead rather than the thickness of the plate forward of the bulkhead. Now install the chainplate. You will need to bed around the chainplate the same as all others on the boat.

See attached sketch for how I would do it.

This give you a tang sticking up out of the deck that a turnbuckle could be attached to. Securing the tack of the sail will take some additional thought.

Alternatively install a 90-degree toggle and an extra long shackle onto the tang. With that in place you can install a Staysail Release Lever from Lin & Larry Pardey's website. Now you have a removable staysail that won't impede short tacking with the headsail.
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Old 03-01-2013, 13:21   #12
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Adelie your information is excellent. With this information I should be able to proceed with confidence. Thank you so much!
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Old 03-01-2013, 13:54   #13
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Re: installing a babystay

An inner forestay on a sloop is also called a Solent Stay,which could be removed when not in use. The link below has excellent information on an installation. A great blog BTW and I believe the author is a member here and he may chime in.

Solent Stay
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Old 03-01-2013, 19:03   #14
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Re: installing a babystay

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Originally Posted by Brian.clarity View Post
Adelie your information is excellent. With this information I should be able to proceed with confidence. Thank you so much!
Something I didn't put in the last post is make sure that there at least as many bolts beyond the edges of the opening as there are bolts in the normal chainplate. If there are 5 bolts in the chainplate (even if you are only using 2), try get at least 3 bolts on each side of the opening. As much as possible they should be skewed to the lower row as much as possible. My drawing shows them skewed to the top. If I had started layout at the bottom outside on each side there would have been 2 bottom & 1 top each side instead of the other way around. If the opening is very wide and there is not much bulkhead width on either side then something different needs to be done.

I also did not state that I think there should be at least about 6" of bulkhead over the opening. If there is a lot less or if the opening goes all the way to the deck then something different needs to be done.
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Old 03-01-2013, 23:32   #15
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Re: installing a babystay

Since somebody brought up the question of what stay we are talking about hanging a sail on here is my understanding of the terminology:

Baby stay is a stay running forward from the mast attached at about the lower spreaders. This stay does not carry a sail, its intended use is mast support and control

Forestay is any stay attached to the mast and running forward on the center line that carries a sail. I personally prefer to use this term for any fractionally rigged stay, anywhere from 2/3 fraction up almost to the masthead.

Staysail stay. The stay carrying the staysail. The staysail is defined historically as the inner-most foresail.

Solent Stay. On a boat that has a headstay this is a stay that attaches very near the mast head (7/8 or 15/16) and very near the stem. If there is no headstay this would just be a fractionally rigged forestay. This is not part of a double headstay setup.

Headstay. The stay that goes from the head of the mast to the stem. In a double headstay setup there are two headstay side by side.

Jibstay. Historically this was the stay which carried the top jib, ie the one that attached to the end of the bowsprit. With the decline of bowsprit use jibstay has come to mean most forestays carrying a sail.

See attached sketch.
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