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Old 21-12-2017, 16:32   #1
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Installing T-ball backplate on anchor?

I'm rigging up a solent stay to hoist a storm jib, and have decided to go the t-ball route because it was available on island. However, taking down the mast is not an option, and I'll have to do it in place.

My question is, is it possible to install such a plate, within a foot or two of the top of the mast, with nothing but a drill and a file? Issues I see are the fore stay and furler unit hampering my ability to get the drill I to position, and the shavings/dust falling inside the mast.

My plan was to drill two holes inside the rectangle of the backing plate and then file it out from there.

My other concern is about water. I'm putting a hole in my mast, how is this a good idea?
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Old 21-12-2017, 17:00   #2
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Re: Installing T-ball backplate on anchor?

Shouldn't be a problem. You'll need a blind rivet tool and something to hold the plate in position while you mount it to prevent it being dropped and lost down the mast forever. Aluminium swarf won't cause any issues and I'd reckon just about every one that's pulled the mast from an older boat has found a collection of old rivets and screws sitting at the base with no detriment. Careful you don't grab any wiring though when drilling. Water getting into the mast shouldn't be an issue either as there's already a bunch of other spots that allow water to enter. Just stick a ball of butyl around your wiring where it passes through the deck if any water is seeping in there.

As an aside, it possible to take the mast down on a Vega using a gin pole setup. I've seen it done with the boat on the water.
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Old 21-12-2017, 22:32   #3
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Re: Installing T-ball backplate on anchor?

Hi,
The backing plates for T-ball type fittings are usually fairly flat, with just a slight curve to them to better seat on the side of a mast.
You want to put this type of backing plate on a substantially curved area. What happens is that the plate cannot come up close to the mast, thus leaving a big gap, and the T-ball between the ‘T’ and the elbow is usually not long enough. The result is a poorly aligned terminal which does not fit well and causes the cable to exit the terminal unfairly.
A better solution, in my opinion, is something like a Wichard Babystay tang, which takes a toggle terminal. With a toggle you will also get more freedom for sideways movement.
You will, however, still have the same installation issues.
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Old 22-12-2017, 04:21   #4
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Re: Installing T-ball backplate on anchor?

As far as leaks are concerned, I know that when I removed my masthead light, the open bolt holes that were left caused a small drip leak along the wiring into the cabin when it would rain. I believe I might be able to access the point where the wiring comes in by removing a wooden panel on the bulkhead and re-sealing it.

I guess I hadn't considered that these fittings might be better suited for the sides of the mast than the front or back. I've attached a photo to show the size of the backing plate up against the front of the mast. Let me know what you think.

The other option would be to find some padeyes or something similar, and install them on either side of the mast, and run a length of Dyneema to the front of the mast (see other photo). I will be using Dyneema for the stay itself, as well.

Edit: My internet is too slow to even upload the small images right now, so I'll come back later when I have a better connection and add those files.
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Old 22-12-2017, 04:49   #5
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Re: Installing T-ball backplate on anchor?

On a 27' boat better to buy a headstay fitting for a mast that size which will be a tang and straps and drill and tap it. The curve of the from of the mast, especially an older style mast is going to be to great for most of not all t bar plates.
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Old 22-12-2017, 07:47   #6
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Re: Installing T-ball backplate on anchor?

Here are the photos that I couldn't post earlier. The first is the fitting up against the mast. The second is an example of someone who used a Dyneema loop and two Colligo fittings. Would it be possible to use some mast fittings of some other sort on both sides, then splice in a dyneema loop?

The Wichard baby stay tang can be obtained here, but I've been told that it's way too big for my boat, and I also don't know how it would install.

Other than that, I haven't been able to find any mast fittings, mast hounds, or tangs that would work for a forestay. My only option would be to have one custom made by the stainless guy on the island, but I have a feeling that won't be cheap.

I'm also leaving in a few weeks, so a shipment probably won't arrive in time. The one part I would consider ordering is this one:
https://www.westmarine.com/buy/ronst...-hound--545707

but it's 304 not 316, and again, I don't think it'd arrive in time (including the time needed to get it through customs).
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Old 22-12-2017, 16:40   #7
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Re: Installing T-ball backplate on anchor?

That ronstan fitting is for small dinghies maybe 18' max.

If you already have a bolt at masthead for shrouds check this out. A longer bolt maybe needed but 1 3/8" will take load on that boat. May already be oversized at 1/2.

Simple to make with some stainless stock.
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