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Old 27-11-2013, 13:38   #1
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Running backstays / PS37 cutter

Hi all: I'm dying without sailing since April. Really seriously in withdrawal. Considering buying new (old) boat, and there is a Pacific Seacraft (Crealock) 37 cutter I might be interested in. My sole experience with a boat with running backstays was a lightning-shortened, ill-fated delivery of a Cheoy Lee 44 that you can read about in one of my other posts if you're interested. The backstays on that boat were a bummer, they overlapped the boom (not sure if this was the original design). Anyway, having only sailed small daysailors for most of my life, and a Hunter 36 for the last 8 years, I have little experience for how running backstays are used, whether they are necessary all the time, and when, especially as it relates to this boat. My concern is that I am frequently single-handed (even when I have someone aboard...), and the last thing I need is another system to deal with.

Thanks for your input. Pete
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Old 27-11-2013, 14:44   #2
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Re: Running backstays / PS37 cutter

I'm not familiar with the PS37 specifically, but I think on most cutter-rigged boats you would only use the running backstays when the staysail is set, to counteract the pull of the staysail stay on the mast. Also maybe in a knock-down, drag-out storm to stabilize the mast.
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Old 27-11-2013, 14:47   #3
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Re: Running backstays / PS37 cutter

The PSC37 cutter has a strong mast and rigging, and the running backstays are only needed when you are using the staysail in rough conditions. They will interfere with the boom and main, so you need to release the leeward runner when sailing off the wind.

You will probably want to use the runners, even in lighter air, when using the staysail. The runners help with the staysail luff tension and thus the sail shape.
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Old 27-11-2013, 14:57   #4
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Re: Running backstays / PS37 cutter

As mentioned, only really necessary in really rough weather and when using the staysail. My two cutters with adjustable 4 part running backs never had them moved aft in any weather I encountered. They just lived just aft of the aft lower chainplate on a plate of their own the entire time of ownership and up to 40 knots of wind.
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Old 27-11-2013, 15:17   #5
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Re: Running backstays / PS37 cutter

FWIW,

On our boat (fractional Solent rig) the runners do not interfere with the boom, and I think this is a critical safety factor. This means that should one have an accidental gybe with a runner set the sail may hit the runner, but the boom will not, and thus a busted batten is the worst likely result. Further, once one has a reef in the main, even the sail clears the runner, so we can leave both of them set for really good support with no extra effort.

I wonder how the Crealock is set up?

Jim
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Old 27-11-2013, 15:28   #6
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Re: Running backstays / PS37 cutter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
FWIW,

On our boat (fractional Solent rig) the runners do not interfere with the boom, and I think this is a critical safety factor. This means that should one have an accidental gybe with a runner set the sail may hit the runner, but the boom will not, and thus a busted batten is the worst likely result. Further, once one has a reef in the main, even the sail clears the runner, so we can leave both of them set for really good support with no extra effort.

I wonder how the Crealock is set up?

Jim
With the Crealock, the boom will can hit the runner.
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Old 27-11-2013, 15:35   #7
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Re: Running backstays / PS37 cutter

Not familiar with the PS37, but on our Rafiki-37 we tend to set the running backs once the wind pipes up to between 15-20 knots, or if the seas are really lumpy (assuming we're using the staysail). They don't interfere with anything other than a deep run, which is something we avoid anyway. I've never noticed ours to be in the way.

Not hard to set or deal with, although they are one more thing to manage.
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Old 27-11-2013, 15:38   #8
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Re: Running backstays / PS37 cutter

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With the Crealock, the boom will can hit the runner.
Thanks for the answer, Paul.

Would it be possible to move the chain plates for the runners aft far enough to change that?

Having the boom/runner collision possibility would discourage me from using them!

Jim
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Old 27-11-2013, 15:59   #9
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Re: Running backstays / PS37 cutter

The mast on the Pacific Seacraft is a tree trunk. As noted above, runners are really only needed when using the staysail only in extreme situations. I have looked up the mast when using just the staysail in 30 knots and could see any movement. I think most PS owners never use their runners.
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Old 27-11-2013, 16:02   #10
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Re: Running backstays / PS37 cutter

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Having the boom/runner collision possibility would discourage me from using them!

Jim
Exactly what I was concerned about, given my Cheoy Lee experience. This is a pretty big downside when you sail single, especially of the only time they're really needed is when the going is tough. On the other hand, if they're hardly ever needed at all I guess it's no big deal. Great input so far, thank you. Pete
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Old 27-11-2013, 16:13   #11
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We have running backstays on our PSC 34 cutter (very similar boat). They do interfere with the boom. They can be a pain to navigate around when moving forward.

That said, the staysail and double reefed main are very well balanced in 20kts plus.We cannot achieve the same balance with the roller furled jib. Seems to be a good heavy weather setup.

A singlehander can easily release/tension the runners if they have a tiller. They are within (long) arm's reach.
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Old 27-11-2013, 16:17   #12
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Re: Running backstays / PS37 cutter

ours are 3-part and lead to port & stbd winches. The boom would take them out on a jibe. You only need the windward RB and only when the seas are lumpy and the wind is high. They help stabilize mast pumping in heavy conditions. We have ours set up with large snap shackles at the deck so we can stow them out of the way in peaceful conditions and when they would interfere with the mizzen staysail. In use, the are lead well aft. We also have RBs on the mizzen mast.
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Old 27-11-2013, 16:22   #13
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Re: Running backstays / PS37 cutter

Thread discussing PS37 running back stays. The PS is a fine vessel, sails extremely well, comfortable in sloppy seas, very well built.
Cheers,
Erika
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Old 27-11-2013, 16:38   #14
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Re: Running backstays / PS37 cutter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocean Girl View Post
Thread discussing PS37 running back stays. The PS is a fine vessel, sails extremely well, comfortable in sloppy seas, very well built.
Cheers,
Erika
That's the reputation that attracted me to it! pete
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Old 27-11-2013, 16:53   #15
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Re: Running backstays / PS37 cutter

Our Crealock 37 was set up with an inner forestay. We used the runners when we were using the staysail, and also used them when we were off the wind without the staysail. The runners stopped any pumping of the mast. As far as the runners interfering with the boom, you usually won't use the Staysail when well off the wind, so the runners are released and brought forward to the chainplate of the uppers that were fitted with an "O" ring just for the storage of the runners. The runners were attached to a sliding padeye at the after most point of the genoa track. If we were anchored and it was really blowing, we would set up the runners to take any pumping out of the mast. With the inner forestay and the runners, you have an extremely strong rig. In my opinion, based on 12 years of ownership and probably 8- 10,000 miles of ocean sailing, it was the most pleasant sailing boat I have ever sailed. In a seaway it would take care of us, with a comfortable motion. Using a monitor windvane, it was like a big model pond boat that would just sail, very easy to balance out with the staysail. When we would just day sail or be local sailing, we would disconnect the inner forestay to make it much easier to tack. They were very well constructed, and to the best of my knowledge, there have been very few, if any, structural problems. I miss that boat.
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