Originally Posted by lucdekeyser
Maybe I should rephrase my question: my boat is moored in the bay. A hurricane will pass by. I have tied down the boat as good as can be. Can I worry less with unstayed masts?
yes it should be fine,
a stayless rig, whether or not it is round or an aero profile, either will, or can be rotated to a point known as zero lift
. The only effect on the rig is drag around the spars. It is therefore in balance, is steady and more consistent.
Having a larger profile than an alloy mast
might seem to some to make it a higher contributor. But experience has it, that wire and rod rigging
has drag effects beyond its size. Its that 'bigger is better' thing all over again
A free standing rig will transmit its forces through the comparatively massive mast step, and it will resist the gust forces better by deflecting/bending its tops.
A rig with stays will produce more drag, and unless the spar section is round it will produce an amount of lift
(As most do) which will contribute to a driving force. So it has a contribution of lift and drag vectors which will have some different perhaps indeterminate effects. In any event it will feature more drag which means more forces to deal with, often with seemingly more minor components.
Inconveniently a stayed rig also has more points of failure, stainless fittings with hairline cracks, poorly swaged multi-core wire, corrosion
and casting defects, chainplate problems, all have a contribution.
A rig with stays is designed to stay tight and rigid and is permanently stressed all the time, and a lot of the forces will be distributed through the hardware
, so the integrity of the whole is an important feature in keeping the rig aloft where it belongs.
The thing will sing like a steel
guitar at a country and western convention in a hurricane.
If there is a problem and some component fails, the rig is at risk from coming down. That doesnt mean certain failure, but it does mean the rig is compromised and at risk. If something else fails due to the now added loads on it, due to its 'in tension design' there is no question about it you are in trouble.
In either type, I would be surprised if they could be blown to failure without a sail up, but in any event the free standing rig is going to be more reliable and in the better situation as it will produce less force to dislodge your ground tackle or securing warps.