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Old 07-08-2016, 02:33   #16
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Re: Leaking hydralic backstay tensioner, removing?

I'll bet it's the ram oil seal that has failed. It's a weak spot. If you see oil dripping on the neck where the ram exits the cylinder that's a clue. Buy a seal kit from Navtec and replace the parts. The kit includes a full set of seals, so it is a complete strip down and rebuild. Should take a few hours for the first time. You may need a pin wrench depending on your model.
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Old 07-08-2016, 03:37   #17
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Re: Leaking hydralic backstay tensioner, removing?

Hi!

Not sure whether to rebuild or remove the tensioner. Which choice is more KISS, please?
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Old 07-08-2016, 11:02   #18
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Re: Leaking hydralic backstay tensioner, removing?

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Hi I had a similar problem an lost all oil from unit, but the unit held together, and supported the now very slack back stay, I used running back stays an a block to the primary winch to support the mast ( an roller furling unit) an then removed the hydrolic unit. I then had a short length of " back stay " with a bottle screw at the base to replace the unit.This way I have ensured that I do not have this problem again, happy to send photos of the new set up.
I think I'm going to keep the tensioner after a rebuild but I can see why you did what you did. Pics would be nice! I might put together a bit of cable with a screw like you have as a spare. It wouldn't be very expensive.

And thanks to barnakiel and polu for their posts! I rebuilt my autopilot cylinder years ago. It was fine for a while and then it started leaking (after 10k nm). So I replaced it in NZ. I
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Old 08-08-2016, 23:20   #19
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Re: Leaking hydralic backstay tensioner, removing?

Make a canvas cover for your tensioner. Keeps dirt, sand and sunlight from damaging your seals.


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Old 09-08-2016, 07:39   #20
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Re: Leaking hydralic backstay tensioner, removing?

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Make a canvas cover for your tensioner. Keeps dirt, sand and sunlight from damaging your seals.


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Good tip! The boat came with a canvas cover on the tensioner. And it is stained from the leaking oil from when I got it. When I get it fixed I'll either clean up the one I have or make a new one with my spiffy Sailrite sewing machine.
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Old 17-10-2016, 10:00   #21
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Re: Leaking hydralic backstay tensioner, removing?

Guys, considering removing the tensioner completely and adding a second wire from aft to masthead.

Not sure what's best practice if I do so, where to bolt second wire at mast top.

I want to achieve more safety as we have kids aboard.

Cheers
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Old 17-10-2016, 10:34   #22
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Re: Leaking hydralic backstay tensioner, removing?

In 1992 on a rough passage to Grenada from the BVI my Navtec hydraulic backstay started shooting oil out the top and the piston was pulling out. Scared the sh__ out of us as we were then in 45-knot winds and 18-20ft seas.

We quickly rigged two 3/4" nylon lines around the backstay above the tensioner and led each thru snatch blocks to the big cockpit winches. That worked well for the next 100 miles until we reached Grenada and could do more efficient repairs.

Took the old Navtec to a dealer in Annapolis who wanted $1,200 to repair it. A new one at the time was about $1,500.

Decided, wisely, to remove the damned thing completely. In many thousands of miles offshore and some 24 years of sailing haven't missed it a bit. I have a strong rig, tall mast, 10mm 1x19 standing rigging.

For my money, unless you're racing I'd dump the tensioner altogether. One less thing to worry about :-)

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Old 17-10-2016, 11:36   #23
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Re: Leaking hydralic backstay tensioner, removing?

There is no need for a second independent backstay. If it breaks, the running backs, mainsail, and topping lift will support the mast well enough to keep it from breaking. You have already started to uncover the problems involved (which one takes the load, the slack one flexes about and fatigues). If you want to get rid the tensioner, make up a short piece of wire with a turnbuckle to replace it, or replace the whole backstay. If you replace the whole backstay, consider SSB insulators in the new one.
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