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Old 08-01-2014, 08:04   #1
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Location: Belgium
Boat: One-off Baron von Hoevell, 29ft steel classic
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Stay thickness

Hi everybody,

The stays on my 29ft classic steel sailboat are still in great condition, but I measured them out of curiosity the other week. I'm based in northern Europe atm, but planning on making the big roundtrip to the caribbean in a few years. For this trip I'm making all kind of reinforcements and alterations, but I figured this would all be in vain anyways if the mast comes down during the first squall because the stays were only designed for sunny daysailing...

So... It's a sloop rigged boat with one backstay. One forestay (roller genoa), and soon a removable cutterstay as well. Then two sidestays that attach at the top of the mast and two pairs of sidestays that attach at the spreader (only one spreader on the 12m mast).

Right now all stays are the same thickness, 4mm (0,15478 inch). I'm planning on making the removable cutterstay quite a bit thicker, but am wondering if I also have to replace all other stays with thicker ones...
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Old 08-01-2014, 23:37   #2
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Re: Stay thickness

How old is the rig? If your stays are new, they should be ok. Though you certainly won't regret beefing them up a bit. I've never heard anyone complain that their gear is too strong.

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Old 09-01-2014, 00:12   #3
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Re: Stay thickness

See if you can find information about the original design? It will probably give rigging specs and tell you if yours is original. Also, I doubt that there is any advantage to making your removable inner forestay bigger than the original forestay. If you cant find the designers specs, then compare with boats of similar displacement and rig. Best of luck to you. ______Grant.
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Old 09-01-2014, 17:30   #4
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Re: Stay thickness

If the standing rigging (stays) is of unknown age, it probably isn't a bad idea to replace it. As has already been mentioned, if you can find the original design specs, the size as designed should be fine. Personally, if I were heading trans-ocean, I'd be more comfortable with 5 mm (3/16") or even 6 mm (1/4").

Also, not a lot of point in replacing or upgrading stays if you don't alos replace and upgrade the turnbuckles as well. And check your chain-plates too.
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Old 09-01-2014, 17:42   #5
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Re: Stay thickness

The rig is not good enough for wintertime Caribbean. If you are going to replace it, upgrade it, almost the same cost. In USA I'd recommend going all 1/4" with norseman or stayloc type mechanical fittings. Do it yourself, one wire at a time, pin to pin measurements if you are in the water. No sweat. You will know your rig, and you will thank goodness in high winds and waves that you do not have to worry about your rigging wire.
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Old 09-01-2014, 17:43   #6
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Re: Stay thickness

Addendum: Make sure the norseman or stayloc eyes will fit in the smaller and narrower mast fittings for the smaller wire and eyes. Use swaged eyes (done by a rigger) if they will fit, still plenty strong but not "DIY."
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