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Old 12-08-2009, 08:03   #1
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Location: Puteri Harbour Marina, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Boat: Shin Fa 458 Custom Cutter but looks like a Liberty 458
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Running Backstays vs Fixed

I just had my Liberty 458 re-rigged and the rigger added running backstays to my rigging instead of conventional rigging. He claims it will improve the performance of the sailing when I use my forestaysail on my cutter rig.

Now I have extra lines running from the mast that have to be put through blocks(and clutter up the deck when not in use) and then run to the cockpit so they can be adjusted with one of my winches while out sailing. When I tack, the downwind side has to be released(pain in the butt)as the boom would hit it as we tack.

I'm just not sure what I have gained other than another line that has to be tended as we sail.

Anyone have any suggestions or thoughts as to how this rigging change will improve the handling and performance of my boat.

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Old 12-08-2009, 08:15   #2
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Running backs in addition not vs

When you are using the staysail your running backs add support or counter the inner stay. The backstays attachment point is usually well above the inner stay and such the force pulling on the mast from the stays'l can bring the mast out of column. On my Peterson they are left slack when it pipes up I deploy the windward side if Im using the staysl. I think the rigger is right putting them on but Im not familiar with your boat

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Old 12-08-2009, 08:15   #3
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I am not familiar with your rig, but you rigger is absolutely right to add runners, which are intended to stabilize your rig when you use your staysail. Basically, the pressure pulling your mast forward when the staysail is in use has to be offset with a force pulling the mast aft and that is what the runners do.

As for the "clutter", it's not necessary to use winches to tension the runners, a simple tackle arrangement will do. And you can use bungee cords to pull the runners aft and out of the way when they are not in use.

Better to deal with a little "clutter" than to lose your rig.
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Old 12-08-2009, 08:28   #4
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My boat came w/ intermediate backstays as part of the standing rig; they were secured at the deck to a double chainplate (securing the aft lower). A few years ago I replaced the intermediates w/ runners and experienced a significant improvement in windward performance. The angle of the intermediates is generally not sufficient to counter the forward pull of the inner fore stay in the wind strengths where I want to have the stay sail set....Performance + added security of the rig is worth the effort IMHO.

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Old 12-08-2009, 08:47   #5
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Not only will the runners help keep the mast in column, they will also help with the staysail sail shape. The runners will tension the inner forestay which will help when sailing to windward.

We clip our runners to the shrouds when not using them -- this keeps them well out of the way. In light conditions, you probably don't need the runners (talk to your rigger). We only use them when the wind and seas are up, but we've got a very husky mast.
Paul Elliott, S/V VALIS - Pacific Seacraft 44 #16 - Friday Harbor, WA
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Old 12-08-2009, 08:48   #6
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The lowers stabilise the first column. Then from the lower crosstrees to the top the column is not stabilised fore-aft. Thus you need the runners. And especially so if you attach any sail on the inner stay that is any more than 10percent of the column's height from the top.
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:02   #7
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As others have said. Gotta have strings, if you pull it one way you must support the opposite side.

Our rig with runners and checks. The runners support the inner forestay, the checks support the panel from pumping.


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backstays, running backstays

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