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Old 04-02-2015, 23:26   #1
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Intermediate Stays

When I bought my M/S 20 odd years ago I had an inner forestay and running backstays fitted.When I finally admitted to myself that I wasn't rounding the Horn any time soon (and having my main ripped in half by someone watching me at the bow instead of the wind) I gave the set up to a fellow deep sea dreamer.Incidently the same helmsman who tore the main.!Anyhow it's been in his shed ever since and as my retirement is nearly here I'm giving some thought to putting the inner forestay back on with its highfield lever but instead of the dreaded runners , I want to put permanent stays to support the inner head stay .Is there a set distance back from the mast for these to be affective?I realise it will mean flat off downhill running will be affected but I tend to go downwind in training run style anyway.My reason for this set up is to allow me to set up a blade when the wind gets up , instead of the furler half rolled in Etc.


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Old 05-02-2015, 00:38   #2
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Re: Intermediate Stays

Don't know what boat you have, but assuming you have something smaller than a 45 footer then I don't see how you would do that in a permanent set-up. The stays need to support the solent stay and so have to attach to the mast fairly near to it (thus several yards below the top of the mast) to prevent a momentum building up that could damage the mast. This means that your main sail's head will be above these "intermediate" stays as you call them. This will seriously affect your ability to sail more than 90 degrees to the wind. It does not just affect dead downwind, because for the stays to be an effective counter-measure to the forestay, they will need a similar angle to the mast as that forestay, which means that they will need to be set back from the mast quite a few yards.

Secondly, you can't run the inner forestay all the time as it will interfere with your regular genoa. If you don't have the inner forestay up permanently, then you can't have permanent stays pulling back on the mast (or rather: you would need to slacken them everytime - then what is the difference with running stays?).

There is a reason why runners are there. It is the most convenient way of dealing with this.

Thirdly, a permanent set of "intermediate stays" would complicate the trimming of your mast in most situations. I much prefer the runners so that I can depower using my backstay and then set the runners for support of the mast. With wind increasing (or decreasing) you want flexibility and you want to be looking after your mast.

Personally I don't understand your comment "dreaded running stays". You don't need your inner forestay very often at all, in most cruising situations. So you don't set your runners very often. Then, most cruisers don't tack very often.

In 3000 miles last summer, including 40 kts on the Bay of Biscay, I can count the number of times that I set my running stays on 1 hand.

It's a 2 minute job. Big deal.


Onno
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Old 05-02-2015, 01:47   #3
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Re: Intermediate Stays

Yes thanks for that.To be honest the slackening off of the intermediate stays when the inner front stay is released hadn't seemed much of a problem as my mast could be used as a power pole if needed.I mostly sail by myself (33ft) with a tiller,so I have my hands full when tacking etc so the runners are an extra thing to handle and the slack one used to bash against the windows etc until I could secure it.As you point out it can all be secured till needed and that won't be that often coastal sailing (NZ).My main ambition as I said is to give me a stay to rig a smaller sail to in heavy weather as I don't like a half rolled genoa and I don't particularly fancy going out on the bowsprit to change the sail on the furler.My other thought was having a head sail on the furler which while wasn't a genoa still gave me enough go as a cruiser,and didn't set like the wife's shopping bag when partially furled.My thing is to get the whole set up as easy to handle as possible in my dotage and still sail ok .


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Old 05-02-2015, 02:25   #4
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Re: Intermediate Stays

I don't think you can get away from running backstays to support an inner forestay.
We had a setup like that on our last boat DIVA and it really wasn't much of a problem to deploy...in fact when we were offshore and expecting it might get rough (which it invariably does if you are near NZ), we would have both running backstays deployed but a little slack until we decided to roll up the genoa and put out the staysail...then it's just a matter of tightening the runner on the windward side and then tightening the staysail sheet on the leeward side...not so difficult...and if you have to tack...let the sheet loose first then the runner as you go through the tack, then tighten the new runner first and then tighten the sheet.
Its the mast you're trying to protect.
I doubt there's any real way you can do this with permanent stays

We have a similar setup on Elyse which is a ketch, and it's always tempting to just keep furling in the genoa...which sort of works except as you say despite foam and rope luffs it will eventually look like a shopping bag
BUT the other real issue is that furling the genoa is moving the centre of effort forward which will produce more weather helm.
So when you reef the main, you should seriously consider dousing the genoa and hoisting (or unfurling) the staysail....to keep the centre of effort near the centre of the boat to take load off the helm.

Elyse, our new boat being a ketch is taking some time to learn how to balance all this as we have genoa, staysail, main and mizzen.....but the principles are the same...keep the centre of effort near the centre of the keel to maintain steerage...
If it gets really bad we put away the mizzen and sail with reefed main and staysail to keep it in the middle.

Has that muddied the waters even more ?

Hope not

Cheers
Alan
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Old 05-02-2015, 02:58   #5
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Re: Intermediate Stays

No not muddied at all.Both answers have convinced me to drop the permanent idea and learn to handle the runners better.It also struck me that when I used to have trouble with them I didn't have self tailing winches,which have made a big difference with every thing nowadays.When I finish up with work soon I intend to spend a few $ (quite a few if the wife doesn't find out)to make the old girl everything she can be.Putting on wheel steering,pilot etc will make everything less fraught and hopefully cut down on the wild oaths etc which tend to accompany my seafaring adventures😄You've been to nz I see so know the weather.I work on a mid size tanker and at present we are anchored off Nelson ,as it's to rough to get into New Plymouth and it's the height of summer.Any way thanks for your help.Dave.


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Old 05-02-2015, 03:17   #6
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Re: Intermediate Stays

Cheers Dave,
I learnt to sail in NZ when I was very young, so I know very well what the weather can be like.
You can look at my DIVA website and you will see that she didn't (still doesn't) have self-tailing winches... in fact go though that website and you'll read what happened with us in all conditions !
We sailed Diva to and from NZ and the South Pacific islands, with and without, crew for 3 years without any major issues (well not what I considered major) ...bad weather, yes, but we handled it.
DIVA was an overpowered IOR Admirals Cup boat, a bit tender and a bit too fast for cruising...but we handled it...

I'm sure you will too.....just remember to think a lot before you change anything and when you add something, think, OK, so what will I do if that breaks?...and have a solution....

Cheers
Alan

BTW..contact me anytime if you want to discuss anything ... s.v.elyse@hotmail.com


How's the weather in Nelson ? It's getting a bit blowy up here !
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Old 05-02-2015, 23:04   #7
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Re: Intermediate Stays

Just got into NP after a rolling day,and I wouldn't like to be out there in anything smaller.You certainly don't see many yachts between Nelson and New Plymouth that's for sure!Had a look at Diva ,very nice.Dave


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Old 07-02-2015, 13:28   #8
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Re: Intermediate Stays

Mine have a couple of permanent stays on both sides working in the lower AFT chainplate, 2 lowers and 1 upper, about 3 ft from the upper chainplate , they work as expected , to prevent mast pumping at the inner staysail área. So far i dont see any problem if you have a couple of lowers stays with the aft chainplate designed to accommodate a extra stay... Cheers.
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Old 07-02-2015, 13:47   #9
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Re: Intermediate Stays

I guess it depends how your rig is constructed.
On a two spreader main mast, the forward and aft lowers generally come from the lower spreader to the chain plates. The inner forestay is attached at or near the upper spreader.

On a single spreader mast it is likely to be the same construction with the inner forestay attachment somewhere between the spreader and the mast head.

The issue is that if you have a sail on that inner forestay there is no aft support at that point hence you you need running backstays to counter the forward pull of the inner forestay at the top spreader.

Whatever the rig configuration there needs to be aft support at the same height on the mast as the inner forestay attachment to prevent mast pumping and possible mast collapse.
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