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Old 07-07-2015, 12:43   #1
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Hunter, No Backstay..... Then Why Don't?

Hunter uses the B&R rig which doesn't use a Backstay. Our Hunter 450 seemed to do just fine without one, in fact... I didn't even realize that it didn't have a Backstay until I read about it on this forum months after we bought it. The two large metal rods coming off the mast were actually a great help in climbing up to the boom. The only draw back was the spreaders which were angled back and restricted letting out the main sail all the way, which can easily be overcome by flying a spinnaker or poling out the jib.

Today I find myself surrounded here in the anchorage by six Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 469 charter boats. I guess a local charter company is using the anchorage as a parking lot, because all of them have been here for four days unoccupied.... I hope they're not counting on me to be boat sitting them. But anyway... I couldn't help but notice how the spreaders on the Sun Odysseys are angled back just as much as on our Hunter, but the Jeanneau company continues to use the Backstay.

My question: Why do sailboats with spreaders angled back at a significant angle need a Backstay at all? If they're going to angle them back, why not use the B&R rig that's so successful on the Hunters? I get the fact that racers like to tweak and tension the Backstay, but these appear to be boats used for cruising and charter.
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Old 07-07-2015, 13:02   #2
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Re: Hunter, No Backstay..... Then Why Don't?

I have a Hunter 42 Passage. It has the B&R Rig AND a backstay. Granted the mast will stand just fine with no load, and I have removed the backstay to get into a travel lift for haul out. But I am not sure the rig would take high loads without a backstay. You have my curiosity now, I will have to look at smaller Hunters to see if they have backstays!
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Old 07-07-2015, 13:02   #3
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Re: Hunter, No Backstay..... Then Why Don't?

You already said it. While the the spreaders are swept back for support and to allow a lighter mast, it isn't a B&R rig with diagonals to put rack into the mast. Also it is pretty proven here on CF that many sailors just don't believe the no backstay will stay up, so unless the rig is using a longer boom and fuller roach sail there is still clearance for the backstay so they just use one. There probably is also some cost savings in doing the backstay instead of a true B&R rig.
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Old 07-07-2015, 13:09   #4
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Re: Hunter, No Backstay..... Then Why Don't?

Thanks Sailorboy. Seems to me too that if other designs are going to use swept back spreaders, why not go all the way and get the increased efficiency of a main with more material up top.
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Old 07-07-2015, 14:32   #5
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Re: Hunter, No Backstay..... Then Why Don't?

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Thanks Sailorboy. Seems to me too that if other designs are going to use swept back spreaders, why not go all the way and get the increased efficiency of a main with more material up top.
Would mean a total redesign of the boat as the center of moment would move aft. So the keel would change location meaning a whole new hull design needing new molds, the deck need reconfiguring meaning more new molds, and probably the interior layout to allow all of this. Meanwhile nothing much probably needs to be changed to go to swept back spreaders to get a lighter mast for alight weight.

I'm not a NA so am just guessing kind of.
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Old 07-07-2015, 15:44   #6
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Re: Hunter, No Backstay..... Then Why Don't?

You'll be happy to know that the Jeanneau 349 does not have a backstay.
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Old 07-07-2015, 15:53   #7
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Re: Hunter, No Backstay..... Then Why Don't?

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Originally Posted by hoppy View Post
You'll be happy to know that the Jeanneau 349 does not have a backstay.
Phew!
Thank goodness for that!!

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Old 07-07-2015, 16:29   #8
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Re: Hunter, No Backstay..... Then Why Don't?

I'm not sure about this, but I believe that the B&R rig spreaders are rather longer than other swept back spreader rigs. This interferes with sheeting angle for any overlapping headsails. This isn't a big problem if the main is big enough to provide adequate power.

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