Running Backstay Advice

  • April 30, 2012 3:59 PM
    Message # 907099

    I have no experience with running backstays and I was wondering under what conditions they are needed on a standard WS 32 rig. 


    I understand the basics here where they are used to take the load from the forestay since it does not connect to the top of the mast.  The stock mast on my 32 appears to be pretty heavy and I have sailed in some wind conditions around Puget Sound where I felt the need to strike the jib and sail under forestaysail and single reefed main (the boat is new to me and I am still learning sail trim on it).  I did not put the runners up and when I sight the mast there is no indication of movement, bending, or pumping and I would say that the forestay did not appear to fall off much.  I do have roller reefing on the forestaysail so it is kind of hard to tell show much sag I actually  have.


    Anyway, it seems to me that the runners are kind of a ‘belt and suspenders’ offshore tool when things get really out of hand but I am wondering if I am taking a risk not deploying them when the wind pipes up a bit.  I mainly choose not to because in Puget Sound you are constantly tacking/beating/reaching/running/jibing during the day and it seemed like a lot of extra work.



    Mike Green

  • April 30, 2012 5:17 PM
    Reply # 907147 on 907099
    Mike, I use mine when the staysail is up, only the windward runner needs to be rigged although I tension both of mine when its blowing +25 and I'm reaching or on the wind.
    The top attachment point is where the staysail stay connects to the mast.
    If its blowing less than about 12k and the ocean is flat I don't rig them.
  • May 01, 2012 10:17 AM
    Reply # 907680 on 907099
    Deleted user
    I agree with Gary:
    25Kts is about where I set them up (The load is not so much the issue on smooth water and steady wind for me, it is the puffs and the motion of the 5'+ which adds allot to the load on the staysail stay (and the need for the runners).  I have buds fiddle blocks, and it is no big deal to move them from amidship to the tangs (15 to 30 sec+/-)

    Hope this helps

    Last modified: May 01, 2012 10:19 AM | Deleted user
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