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Old 06-08-2016, 12:46   #1
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Rigging Question

In my new to me 34ft cutter rig boat I have twin backstays to the masthead and running backstays (whatever they are good for).
One of twin backstays is equipped as Radio Antenna with insulators - I am not using the antenna (maybe someday).

I am planning to construct a Bimini and the two backstays will intersect the top material.

I don't race the boat, it's just for cruising around the coast - I have never felt it was necessary to tension the backstays, but that could be due to my inexperience.

My concern is - maybe some day I would like to tension the backstays. I see that the easiest way to do this would be to pull the stays towards each other - but maybe this would cause tension in the fabric of the bimini as the wires were pulled towards each other. Another option would be to have twin hydraulic tensioners.

my options as I see it:
1) don't worry about it.

2) put a single backstay in - cavet: no rigging guy in my area and I am reluctant to go up mast due to my weight.

3)put twin hydraulic tensioners on the backstays.

All opinions are welcome -i'm still building my sailboat knowledge base.
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Old 06-08-2016, 13:01   #2
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Re: Rigging Question

If you have running backstays, there is no reason to tighten the split backstay unless you are tuning the rig. The running back stays or sometimes called jumpers are a huge benefit to you if you are out in 30 knots or more. You want to have a Reefed main and staysail only in high winds. Without the running backstay you would throw the mast out of column and most likely have too much weather helm. Keep what you have. It sounds like the perfect setup.
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Old 06-08-2016, 13:02   #3
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Re: Rigging Question

4, put a block on the back stay on the part coming down from the mast. Run the split part of the back stay up through the block and back down. Now you only need 1 hydraulic back stay adjuster.


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Old 06-08-2016, 13:05   #4
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Re: Rigging Question

Don't bother with it, besides twins originating at the masthead are not meant to be tensioned by pulling them together.

You'll make more gains in performance by having good sails and trimming them properly than an adjustable backstay will make in the average cruising boat.

Now that I've said that someone will come and point out how forestay sag kills performance to weather......


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Old 06-08-2016, 13:05   #5
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Re: Rigging Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by HBWT View Post
If you have running backstays, there is no reason to tighten the split backstay unless you are tuning the rig. The running back stays or sometimes called jumpers are a huge benefit to you if you are out in 30 knots or more. You want to have a Reefed main and staysail only in high winds. Without the running backstay you would throw the mast out of column and most likely have too much weather helm. Keep what you have. It sounds like the perfect setup.

It's a cutter rig, so the running backs probably go the staysail stay, to oppose the force of the staysail.


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Old 06-08-2016, 13:12   #6
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Re: Rigging Question

Loose backstays mean a loose forestay, or a lot of load on your after shrouds. From your description, these are fixed backstays that clear the end of your boom. Running backstays used to be used when booms were longer and only the upwind stay could be tensioned while the downwind stay was run forward. Why do these backstays not have turnbuckles, or are they fixed length with the tension coming from the forestay? Second question - you are cutter rigged. Could the running backstays be there to support the staysail, while the fixed backstays support the jib?
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Old 06-08-2016, 13:22   #7
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Re: Rigging Question

You could go hydraulic but these are cheaper and do the same job. Look at the items on page 2.
http://www.nemoindustrie.com/imgdb/p...tralli_web.pdf
Similar products are also made by Selden and Harken.

Think about trashing the twin backstays and getting a rigger to make a new one including an antenna. You don't have to use it. Split the system into a bridle about 8-10ft above the deck and terminate each side at your existing hull fittings. Shackle a wire block to the bottom of the single backstay and pass 7x19 wire through it to each side of the hull. That way you only need to pay for one adjuster.
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Old 06-08-2016, 13:50   #8
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Re: Rigging Question

Don't bother tensioning the backstays on your cruiser. With twins you will have less stretch than many anyway. I once spend a bunch of money on a hydraulic adjuster, only to find it didn't change the headstay/furler sag much anyway.
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Old 06-08-2016, 13:54   #9
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Re: Rigging Question

tkeithlu, thank you for your comment.

Both backstays have turnbuckles . The running backstays have a block with 4:1 purchase.
the running backstays are positioned on the mast to the height of the inner stay.

This is not the original configuration of the boat as per manufacturer - The PO had changed the rig to cutter and the running back stays and the twin backstays.
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Old 06-08-2016, 14:13   #10
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Re: Rigging Question

The running backs are there to counteract the staysail stay in heavy wind. You don't need them much of the time.
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Old 06-08-2016, 23:35   #11
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Re: Rigging Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Training Wheels View Post
It's a cutter rig, so the running backs probably go the staysail stay, to oppose the force of the staysail.
Right, exactly what I said.
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