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Old 08-06-2014, 22:25   #16
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Washington State
Boat: Colvin, Saugeen Witch (Aluminum), 34'
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Re: Removable Cutter Stay vs Solent Stay

This post will have limited applicability as my rig is vastly different than most.

I fly this nylon drifter (blue) either down low on the wire forestay or (in combination with the working jib) up high at the masthead (see pic).

There is no outer forestay. I just hank (bronze) the drifter to the fall of an Amsteel halyard. I belay (with no mechanical advantage) the halyard while the mainsail is luffing. There is no backstay so when the mainsail fills, the peak halyard (the one that lifts the aft end of the gaff) bends the mast a touch and keeps the outer forestay reasonably tight. Works fine for light air.

This drifter is only 180 sq. feet. I suppose I larger sail would be unmanageable using this "hanked to the fall of a halyard" technique.

My sail maker says that the bronze hanks work fine on synthetic stays as long as the hanks are never used on wire as the wire will roughen the surface of the hank. I am breaking the rule and will replace the Amsteel halyard (about $120) as needed.



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Old 30-06-2014, 02:36   #17
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Re: Removable Cutter Stay vs Solent Stay

One "trick" which I forgot to mention, is that you can "paint" the spectra with Maxi-Jacket. Or the new & improved version of Maxi-Jacket.
They're coatings developed to be put onto the high tech cores of stripped down racing boat halyards, to increase their wear/chafe resistance. So I figure they'd be just fine on an improvised textile headstay like we're discussing.
In addition, there are a couple of other coatings out there designed to improve the performance of various highly loaded lines on yachts. Do a bit of reading on rope manufacturers websites, & rigging suppliers like or & you'll find'em.

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