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Old 17-01-2009, 12:54   #1
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Running Backstay on Cutter Rig

question I have 42 Maple Leaf cutter rig, roller boom no running back stay If I use the stay sail on off shore do I have to have a running back stay I heard I can lower Main to same height as cutter wire and achieve same support to mast from main sail. is this a problem in crusing not racing. My feelings when I would set up the staysale it would be because of storm and I am not sure if this is when the mast would fail any advice
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Old 17-01-2009, 13:31   #2
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Sergy,

My cutter had no running backstays, and I've never had a problem with pumping or mast deflection in winds up to 50+ kts. I have a mast-furling main (Charleston Spar).

drawing attached so you can see the staysail arrangement...
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Old 17-01-2009, 16:16   #3
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Thank you Hud
There is nothing like experience. When I bought the boat it did not have running back stays and the owner had been to Mexico from Canada (Vancouver) no problem.
I love this sight a wealth of knowledge and real life experiences
Thanks again
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Old 17-01-2009, 18:01   #4
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To run or not to run...

Hi Sergy,

I reckon that it depends a lot on the specific mast design, and how important keeping the inner forestay taught is to you. Masts vary considerably in their fore and aft stiffness... our old boat had a "telephone pole" mast... old Proctor single spreader spar, and we got away without runners with the inner stay running quite high up the mast. But then we found that it pumped a bit when deeply reefed, and put a set of light runners in. Helped a lot!

That mast eventually fell down one unpleasant day, and the replacement spar, while much better aerodynamically had the inner stay at the upper spreaders, and was not quite so stiff. If we wanted to keep the staysail luff straight (which is nice if you are going to weather in heavy conditions) we really needed the runners.

So, a bit of experimentation might beinorder for you: take the boat out in some strongish winds, harden up to windward and have a look at the sag in the stay. It will likely not be a pretty sight without runners!

Good luck with it

Cheers

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Gladstone Qld Oz
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Old 17-01-2009, 18:42   #5
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Thanks for your reply Jim I appreciate all the advice I can get.
One of my problems with the roller boom is that I have a small triangle sail instead of a track up the mast to fill in the gap between the main and the mast (Old Hood Roller boom system)Rope into track feed.
I hear running back stays in the plural sense is there 2 I presently have 2 ” back stays but they both go to the top of the mast. If you have to use can a person use low stretch rope one on each side of the mast do you have to use shelves? Sorry for my ignorance
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Old 17-01-2009, 19:53   #6
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You could always consider changing to a Solent stay, this is where the inner forestay goes almost to the top of the mast allowing the existing backstays to take the load. approx 12 to 15 inches below the attachment point of the outer forestay.
You could use Spectra or perhaps dyneema as non metal running backstays using 2 sheave blocks with jam cleats as per a main sheet setup. You would have to attach some tangs or some other mounting method to the mast at the inner forestay height and pad eyes on deck if you wanted to use the standard runner set up.
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Old 18-01-2009, 04:02   #7
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My cutter has no running backstays.
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Old 18-01-2009, 08:04   #8
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It really depends on panel stiffness whether or not they are needed but runners are cheap insurance, not a big deal to install and use.
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Old 18-01-2009, 10:06   #9
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I agree with Joli. It all depends on how stiff your mast extrusion is. Running backstays are not much trouble. For most cruising boats they are just insurance against mast pumping and they allow you to maintain tension on the inner forestay when it's not supported any other way. If I had a cutter rig and I thought I could get by without runners I would have them anyway just for a belt and suspenders approach. You tack, you get the sails sheeted in correctly, you settle the boat down on the new tack and when you have a moment you put on some runner tension.
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Old 18-01-2009, 11:00   #10
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Ya gotta have two

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sergy View Post
I hear running back stays in the plural sense is there 2 I presently have 2 back stays but they both go to the top of the mast. If you have to use can a person use low stretch rope one on each side of the mast do you have to use shelves? Sorry for my ignorance
Sergy,
Yep, tworunners are required. You can only set the one on the windward side of the mainsail, so if you need to tack or gybe, you release the runner in use, bring the main across and then set up the one on the new windward side.

And yes, you can use low-stretch line instead of wire.
And yes, some mechanical advantage will be required to get enough tension in them. Many cruising boats in your size range use a two or three part tackle, or lead the tails to a winch, or both. On our semi-bendy fractional rig we have a 3:1 tackle leading to Barient 27 secondary winches, through Lewmar clutches, and it seems to be adequate.

As usual,Bob PErry's advice above about the belt and suspenders approach is a good guide line.

Again, good luck with it.

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Gladstone Qld Oz
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Old 18-01-2009, 18:24   #11
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I appreciate all the advise and forgive my ignorance I have considered this problem and thought is it possible to put up 2 spectra sheets in a blow do I climb the mast and hook these 2 back stays or do I have them hanging down the mast the whole time it seems like lots of rigging hanging around
Also if I have running back stays running each side will they not interfere with the Main sail if I am running the mainsail resting on the running back stays.
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Old 18-01-2009, 18:37   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sergy View Post
I appreciate all the advise and forgive my ignorance I have considered this problem and thought is it possible to put up 2 spectra sheets in a blow do I climb the mast and hook these 2 back stays or do I have them hanging down the mast the whole time it seems like lots of rigging hanging around
Also if I have running back stays running each side will they not interfere with the Main sail if I am running the mainsail resting on the running back stays.
Sergy,
Normal practice is to lead the runners down near the shrouds when not in use. If they were fixed in place they would indeed interfere with the main... that's why they are running stays. This means that they are slacked way off on the leeward side of the main so that they do not interfere...that's the whole point!

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II
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Old 18-01-2009, 18:44   #13
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[quote=Jim Cate;245345]Sergy,
Yep, tworunners are required. You can only set the one on the windward side of the mainsail, so if you need to tack or gybe, you release the runner in use, bring the main across and then set up the one on the new windward side.
Sorry Jim I should of paid more attention to detail only one runner in service at the time
It still seems like a lot of rigging hanging around that is not being used 1:3 blocks 50 feet of sheet going up to the leeward side of the mast. Also if the pumping of the mast is forward and we are supporting only on one side (the wind ward side) would that not still allow the mast to move forward windward side or are we actually only needing to oppose the desired movement of the mast toward leeward forward direction so only one running back stay at a time is needed.
I have to get my thoughts away from coastal as I am used to tacking almost every 30 min and rigging and unrigging stays from side to side seem like a bit much But as Bob referred to Tacking then hooking up Back stay for insurance, off shore you may not need to tack for days so this extra work might look small in comparison Thanks again for your advice
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Old 18-01-2009, 18:52   #14
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The running backstays are attached permanently to tangs positioned on either side of the mast at the same distance from the top of the mast as the staysail stay. When not in use they are fixed to tangs at the foot of the (usually) aft shrouds with enough tension that they don't swing around. If you need to use a running backstay the bottom of the one on the windward side is unclipped and moved to another tang back towards the stern where it is attached and tensioned. Usually there is a tackle for tensioning and either a jam cleat to hold the tail in place or the tail is run to a small winch. As you tack from side to side you switch running backstays so that only the one on the windward side is in action and the lee-side stay is just clipped out of the way. Hope this helps.
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Old 18-01-2009, 19:07   #15
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Yes this helps thanks Bloodhound
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