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Old 28-06-2011, 22:17   #1
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Running Backstays Needed on Pocket Cruiser

Hello all, trying to get the forums thoughts on this hot topic that I have going on with our large rebuild we are doing to our caliber 28. Currently we are adding two individual backstays vs the single original that was standard for this masthead sloop. Because of this boat having a baby stay standard I have had riggers look at it and said because of that they say the mast will most likely flex and "pop" they then mentioned that runningbacks would solve this. Sadly I have only sailed the boat once before we dismantled her and don't really know if that is an issue. These boats are quite rare but the ones that have been cruised I have not seen runningbacks installed. Being tight on cash and time if I will see little to no improvement I will pass but if it is necessary I will do it. I have had another rigger look at it and said it was not necessary and to just add the second backstay for security and go cruising!
Any thoughts are great!

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Old 28-06-2011, 22:48   #2
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Whichever rigger said the babystay will cause the mast to flex can be dismissed. That is not what a properly adjusted baby stay does.

Is it a fractional sloop? Or does the headsail go to the masthead?

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Old 29-06-2011, 00:19   #3
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Re: Runningbacks needed on pocket cruiser

twin backstay can place more strain on the foot of the mast whilst not having as good an effect on preventing the forestay from sagging when close hauled. It will also put more weight up the mast. I had twin backstay rig on my last boat and this was needed by the design due to the location of the deck fittings. I would much prefer a single backstay. If the change is due to a concern about strength / increase the size of the wire / or change to dyneema.

running backstays are fitted purely to fractional rigs in order to balance the pull from the forestay when close hauled. They are fine on a well crewed yacht, but a pain in the @@@@@ when short handed as they need to be released and made up as you tack.

A lot of boats have a set of baby shrouds set up against the baby stay and fitted to the deck astern of the mast in order to add stability / but that would have been part of the mast design.
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Old 29-06-2011, 00:45   #4
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I'm not going to agree with Talbot's post. Double backstays do not increase mast compression or weight aloft if trimmed the same as a single. Presumably the tension in each stay will be half of that in a single stay. Though I'm not sure why anyone would use double backstays unless there's some structural issue at the transom.

Nor are running backstays purely for fractional rigs. They support many tall bendy masthead rigs as well. They only slightly increase the workload for shorthanded sailors. They are a huge plus in a rough sea as the rig can be kept completely stable. No wobbling.

I simply release the runner before a tack or gybe. Make sure the new runner hasn't somehow got itself in the wrong side if the boom. And then take up the runner after the maneuver. In light conditions they can be ignored. Only very twitchy and fully loaded racing rigs will be lost to runner errors. The advantages are many.
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backstays, cruiser, pocket cruiser, running backstays

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