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Old 05-02-2016, 07:05   #1
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Backstay adjuster on a masthead rig

Got one? Use it? When and why?
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Old 07-02-2016, 02:31   #2
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Re: Backstay adjuster on a masthead rig

Yup. Yup. Forestay sag.


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Old 07-02-2016, 03:59   #3
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Re: Backstay adjuster on a masthead rig

Yep use it all the time, different points of sail (upwind vs downwind), wind strength.....
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Old 07-02-2016, 13:44   #4
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Re: Backstay adjuster on a masthead rig

Would yall say it's necessary? Or just 'nice to have'?

Also, hydraulic or block/line driven, screw type? How big of boat can you use block driven before you need to do use the other types?

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Old 07-02-2016, 14:05   #5
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Re: Backstay adjuster on a masthead rig

Nice to have for me -we are resolute cruisers but on a passage it's nice to play - this winter I am having the out haul (currently at the mast) and reef 1 (single line to the cockpit) swapped over so I can more readily adjust the out haul, which I do more often than I reef. And it probably does induce some small degree of mast bend, though I am not serious enough to have bothered measuring.

We have a winch handle operated screw backstay adjuster which is easy in any conditions I have tried it (60m2 Genoa, 44ft boat, c. 14 tons in cruising trim).

Happy sailing.

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Old 07-02-2016, 14:14   #6
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Re: Backstay adjuster on a masthead rig

I guess the reason for my post is that most info I've seen said that backstay adjustment is more applicable for fractional rigs where you can induce a belly into the mast and that masthead configurations basically do little more than tension the forestay and if overused hog the boat


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Old 07-02-2016, 14:15   #7
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Re: Backstay adjuster on a masthead rig

had them twice on big heavy built boats. I found little improvement in forestay sag. Evidently I was bending the boat.... rather than tightening the forestay! Probably 8-10" of sag in strong winds.
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Old 07-02-2016, 14:40   #8
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Re: Backstay adjuster on a masthead rig

Peters wet - I think that is probably right. My boat came with one. Not sure if I would pay to have one installed - maybe as part of a rerig. Though I do notice a significant effect on the forestay. Quite a lot of the sail controls seem mainly to be to keep blokes occupied - certainly whenever I have crew who fancy a bit of tweaking they seem to make the boat slower.

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Old 07-02-2016, 14:56   #9
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Re: Backstay adjuster on a masthead rig

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nooka View Post
Yup. Yup. Forestay sag.

Agree. Our masts are telephone poles, too. It works. We have a Garhauer.
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Old 07-02-2016, 14:57   #10
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Re: Backstay adjuster on a masthead rig

Have one, can't say it was worth the expense. If you are an avid racer in a competitive fleet, the ability to play with mainsail fleet might be worth it. For a cruiser, setting and forgetting stay tension is the norm. You can easily set up enough tension using the turnbuckles to take excessive sag out of the headstay.
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Old 07-02-2016, 15:23   #11
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Re: Backstay adjuster on a masthead rig

We have a screw type backstay adjuster, operated with a winch handle, that was standard issue on our mast head rig (42' yacht). Tightening the rig will definitely take the leeward sag out of the headstay in strong winds, flattening the jib. To some extent that will bend the middle of the mast forward somewhat, also flattening the main, but it is the jib that is most effected and makes the most difference going to weather. Running off, we slacken the backstay, allowing the jib to "belly out" somewhat, giving the sail more power. In heavy winds, we also want the headstay quite tight when furling the sail although we free the jib halyard a few inches to take the strain off the furling gear. By doing so, I can furl the jib, even in heavy weather, by hand rather than needing a winch.

On a fractional rig, 7/8ths etc, the backstay adjuster has more to do with the shape of the main than the jib. However, on a Catalina 30 (depending upon the year) with forward and aft lower shrouds, the effect of the backstay adjuster is limited in this respect as the lowers "lock" the mid-level of the mast in place. (Aside from the fact that I've never seen a fractionally rigged Cat 30.)

FWIW we had a backsay adjuster on our Cal 2-29 when we had that boat (1976 to 2001) and have on our current yacht (Bene First 42). Used to advantage, they can make a significant difference in the performance of the yacht. (Half a knot doesn't sound like much but over a 24 hour run can give one a 12 mile advantage).

Again, FWIW...
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