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Old 18-01-2009, 19:15   #16
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advice from someone who considers runners to be evil...

...truly evil. Other than for performance reasons (mostly in terms of eliminating forestay sag), the only reason you would need runners is to prevent the mast from pumping. If you don't experience mast pumping in a stiff breeze, you're better off without them.

lazy runners can injure crew, and runners can cause rig failure in a crash jibe. on some rigs they may be a necessary evil, but if you can live without them, do so.
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Old 19-01-2009, 07:12   #17
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If you are sailing in a condition where a "crash jibe" is iminent then I would suggest that you should not need to have the runners on at all. Off the wind a little forestay sag could be beneficial. It's upwind where runners come in handy.

It is very easy to rig a ring over the backstay with a long length of bungy chord tied to the ring then down thru a bullet block at the chainplates and back to the stern pulpit. This bungy chord is stretched tight when the backstay is on and when you release the backstay it snugs it down to the deck so you would not even know it is there.

Runners give you more control over your rig. They are simple, They are nothing to be afraid of.
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Old 19-01-2009, 12:38   #18
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Thanks everyone this is quite an education
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Old 19-01-2009, 13:23   #19
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google on "Koch block"

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob perry View Post
Runners give you more control over your rig. They are simple, They are nothing to be afraid of.
Bill Koch, who successfully defended the America's Cup in 1992, was knocked silly by a running backstay block during the defense. (Nice to have a back-up helmsman named Buddy Melges to take over at that point.) Ever since then, in the racing community, such blocks have been called "Koch blocks."

More control over your rig? Yes. Simple? Yes. Nothing to be afraid of? I suspect that Bill Koch would agree with my original statement that runners are evil. A necessary evil, certainly, if your mast pumps without them, but otherwise I don't see where they're something to be desired on a cruising boat.
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Old 19-01-2009, 14:17   #20
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Bash:
We are not talking about multiple part runners with "Koch blocks". We are talking about a cruising boat with single part runners and no blocks at head level.

I have sailed with and without runners for 48 years and I have yet to see an accident caused by a runner. I specify runners on any boat I design that has a staysail. I have seen plenty of on board accidents caused by spin poles but I'm not in favor of sailing without one.

We are not talking about a Starboat here or a meter class boat that require the runners to keep the rig in the boat. We are talking about cruising boats with usually stout sticks and at the most, double spreaders. As I have said before here, the need for runners will be determined by the stiffness of the mast extrusion. The early
V-40's with single spreaders did not have runners. Eventually we added runners as an option. Francis Stokes did a very stromy TransAt race without runners and said later that he would have liked to have had runners.

How hard is it, once the tack is completed, to reach over, wrap the runner around the weather lazy primary and give it a yank? We are not talking about grinding the runner in, just applying tension. It's easy. And, the runner makes a convenient hand hold when you are climbing out of the weather side of the cockpit.

It's a sailing style thing. You don't like runners. I like them. I like Uni and Bagpipe music too. I like the little teaks that can add to a boat's performance. For instance I have gross tune and fine tune mainsheet tackle on my own boat. You would probably think it's silly. I'm a tweaker. Runners provide for me that optional additional tweak.

A well known east coast designer once said "The enjoyment you get out of sailing is proportionate to the number of strings you have to pull."

It's a sailing style thing.
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Old 19-01-2009, 14:22   #21
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Maybe we should also do away with booms, clew rings, sheets, mainsail blocks, or any other bit that might shake and whack you upside the head? Our runner/check blocks are 10 foot off the deck so really pose no threat, anyone can set them high enough to be a non factor.

If you have a rig with inline spreaders and you care about protecting it when deeply reefed then runners and an intermediate headstay is the only sure way to bring sail down and in. Unless of course the spar is a major telephone pole.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bashful View Post
Bill Koch, who successfully defended the America's Cup in 1992, was knocked silly by a running backstay block during the defense. (Nice to have a back-up helmsman named Buddy Melges to take over at that point.) Ever since then, in the racing community, such blocks have been called "Koch blocks."

More control over your rig? Yes. Simple? Yes. Nothing to be afraid of? I suspect that Bill Koch would agree with my original statement that runners are evil. A necessary evil, certainly, if your mast pumps without them, but otherwise I don't see where they're something to be desired on a cruising boat.
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Old 19-01-2009, 17:50   #22
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Highfield levers

I've been noodling running backstays, and I'm wondering what the setup is for highfield levers. These were simple purchase levers that allowed running backstays to be tensioned/released with a single quick pull. What I'm trying to figure out is a way use a bungee system to stow the running backstays automagically, and a single lever to put them back into play, without some 6 foot long monstrosity to get enough throw on the line.


Anyone have enough practical experience to say if I'm wasting my time trying to figure this one out?
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Old 19-01-2009, 21:08   #23
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pirate it's funny, but...

...my first sordid affair with a keelboat--and the only dalliance I've ever had with a cutter--was with a Baba 35 "Flying Dutchman," designed by our very own Bob P. That was back in the early '80s, many many boats ago, but I don't seem to remember it having had runners. (Much to the designer's credit.)
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Old 19-01-2009, 21:18   #24
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I am fitting runners to my cutter rigged catamaran. It originally had fixed "intermediate backstays" that led just aft of the upper shrouds. Very hard to get any actual inner forestay tension with them, they chafe the main when it is let out, and add a lot of compression.

My advice is not to use the typical 4:1 tackle with a cam cleat that you often see on cruising boats. You can't get very much tension on them. Use a windward winch. I like all Spectra runners instead of the old wire types. Much easier on your noggin, lighter and easy to replace if required.
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Old 20-01-2009, 09:10   #25
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Bash:
I'm sorry to dissapoint you but the original sail plan for the Flying Dutchman 35 aka Baba 35 , 9-30-79, clearly shows an "optional running backstay". I can draw the feature on the plans but I cannot insure that every owner buys it. I'm sure that most brokers, in their wisdom, while trying to sell a boat would play down the need for runners.

I stand by my statement that running backs are a good addition to any boat that flies a staysail. They are just one more avaialable tweak to get everything perfect.
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Old 20-01-2009, 20:11   #26
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[quote=bob perry;245549]If you are sailing in a condition where a "crash jibe" is iminent then I would suggest that you should not need to have the runners on at all. Off the wind a little forestay sag could be beneficial. It's upwind where runners come in handy.

Thanks for the information Bob
Please correct me if I am wrong but to be clear are you saying you do not need running backstays if you are running with the wind and you should use them if you are close hauled or reaching into the wind
If this is so what is is the difference I can only guess it has something to do with the stopping motion of the boat when pushing into a wave with the wind on the nose??? Forgive me for my Ignorance but I am always ready to learn
Thanks again
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Old 20-01-2009, 21:32   #27
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Bob, feel free to correct me, but the main reason is sail shape. Upwind, you want a tight staysail stay and halyard. The running backstay definitely helps here, even with a sturdy mast.

Downwind, some sag is usually a good thing, so the runner can be left off. The staysail stay will bend the mast forward some, but this isn't usually a problem unless the mast is extremely bendy.
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Old 21-01-2009, 07:46   #28
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Paul is right. Upwind you want to pull the rig aft to reduce luff sag. Of course upwind you will also have higher AWS's so the loads are greater. Downwind it is customary to let everything sag forward to get the center of pressure forward for better handling. Where upwind you want your sails relativelty flat, downwind you would like them baggier, depending of course on the AWA.

Just to be sure you understand my position. Once again, if a boat has a stout mast section it can probably get by with no runners. But runners are a nice tweak and may in survival situations save the day. If you are reduced to just a staysail and no main at all runners can be very helpful offsetting the load on that inner forestay.
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Old 21-01-2009, 10:39   #29
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I don't doubt it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob perry View Post
Bash:
I'm sorry to dissapoint you but the original sail plan for the Flying Dutchman 35 aka Baba 35 , 9-30-79, clearly shows an "optional running backstay".
Although I don't remember having had the option of purchasing runners, I remember clearly that we commissioned that boat during an, ahem, "underfunded" moment of our sailing career at a time when we understood the term "optional" to be an adjective applying to needless luxury. It took some effort for the dealer to convince me that I really needed winches on the boat.

It was a fabulous boat, by the way. Best part is that every boat since that cutter has seemed to point exceptionally well. I suppose the argument could be made that this is because I never installed the runners?
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Old 24-01-2009, 21:19   #30
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I have a cutter and do have running backstays. If I'm sailing under stays'l alone, I'm probably double reefed and in 30+ kts, and in open water, that's 6-10ft seas. To prevent work hardening of my stays'l stay, mast pumping, and keep the luff tight, I attach my running backstays whenever sailing in high wind with only my stays'l up.

Cheap insurance.

Best,
Aaron N.
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