I sure hope all your turnbuckles have Cotter Pins. Any turnbuckle can loosen if it's not secured with cotter pins, not just your headstay. You don't need to bend the cotter pins into a pretzel. They only need to be opened far enough so that they won't back out. For those that are expected to be adjusted often and you don't want to tape or use a boot, there are various easily removable pin arrangements.
I'm not sure what exactly you are going to do with the staysail stay when it's disconnected. Did your rigger suggest attaching it closer to the mast to act as a baby stay??? The staysail stay and/or baby stay will pull the mast out of column if set up with hard tension the same as the stays and cap shroud
. For some boats and the racing
crowd pulling the mast a little out of column is desired because it effects mainsail
shape. For most cruisers, the mast should be straight with just enough tension on the staysail/baby stay to keep it that way. Probably a trial and error adjustment while under sail. The staysail stay's sag when the staysail is set is controlled by the running backstays
I would sail on passages with the staysail in place and the runners set even if you are only setting sails
on the forestay. It's additional support for the mast and you won't have to hassle getting an overlapping sail through the gap on tacking very often, if ever on that passage. My last sail to Hawaii
, only changed tack once in 15 days.
Correct me if I'm wrong but a Swan 44 is nearing 40 years old. The baby stay probably just died of old age. Rigging
does not have an infinite lifespan. Your rigging
should be inspected regularly and replaced periodically, 10 years or so. Not that stainless rigging won't last longer, just that especially with swage fittings, appearance isn't always an indicator of health
. Rerig with Norseman/StaLok terminals and you'll do away with much of the corrosion
problems with swaged terminals. You can easily do it yourself which I highly reccomend for your own edification.