What is a running backstay on a sailboat?

What is a running backstay on a sailboat?

A running backstay is a removable stay that provides aft support to the mast from either the masthead or the point at which an inner forestay is attached. It originated as a response to the material limits of the period.

When should I tighten my backstay?

When wrinkles extend halfway to the clew, you’re at about maximum bend. If you’re at this point and still need to de-power, it’s time to ease the sheet and drop the traveler. If the backstay is tensioned most of the time and rarely eased all the way in the lulls, then your next move is to go tighter on the rig.

What does a running backstay do?

As the boat tacks they change over. Another function of the running backstay is to adjust the tension of the forestay to suit the sailing angle and sea condition. In general, during a hard beat when the boat sails very close to the wind, the running backstay is tightened to increase the tension of the forestay.

What does a backstay adjuster do?

On a masthead rig, a backstay adjuster allows you to increase headstay tension when sailing, and to release tension when it’s not needed. It will improve furling-system performance, and allows you to bend the mast aft if you have a fractional rig.

Why do we backstay tension?

Tensioning the mainsheet tensions the mainsail leech. The leech acts like a backstay to induce compression and mast bend. To compensate, add luff tension with either the halyard or cunningham. Conversely, when you ease the backstay, you need to remember to ease luff tension and ease the mainsheet or vang.

What is a mast runner?

A masthead rig has the advantage of not needing them. A running backstay runs from each lateral corner of the stern to the mast at the level where the forestay begins in the fractional rig. During beating or reaching, the running backstay in windward side is in tension. The one in the leeward side is lazy.

Are running backstays necessary?

Adding a cutter stay to a masthead rig Running backstays may be necessary if a cutter stay for a storm jib or staysail is fitted. Option 1: The cutter stay is located 3-6% of the height of the foretriangle below the existing forestay.

Do I need running backstays?

The running backstays were there to counter the forward loads from the staysail in heavy winds. If you don’t use the staysail and jibstay, then you don’t need the running backstays. I would suggest that you have the jibstay and runners able to be rigged if you go offshore in case you get hit with heavy conditions.

What is a hydraulic backstay?

Hydraulic backstays have a pressure-release valve (usually a knob that you turn counterclockwise to release pressure) or, in some cases, an additional quick-release button that allows you to instantly decrease backstay tension.

Where does the running backstay go on a boat?

Running backstays support the headstay in a fractionally rigged boat. A masthead rig has the advantage of not needing them. A running backstay runs from each lateral corner of the stern to the mast at the level where the forestay begins in the fractional rig. Together with other rigging, it supports the mast.

What are the different types of running backstays?

Running Backstays 1 A block and tackle runner pulled forward. A popular running-backstay solution is a wire stay attached to a block and tackle with a 4-to-1 purchase and a cam cleat. 2 Highfield lever. 3 An aft-facing hook to capture the lazy stay. 4 Prusik knot 5 Bronze shackle

When did running backstays become the rig du jour?

Running backstays, or runners, were then generally found only on cutter-rigged vessels. But through the 1960s and 1970s, the sloop became the rig du jour, and running backstays fell from favor.

Are there running backstays on a freedom yacht?

With the introduction of Freedom Yachts’ freestanding mast and Hunter’s B&R rig, the trend veered toward eliminating backstays, running or not, altogether. Where are we today? Are running backstays now simply anachronisms that add unnecessary weight, windage, and clutter?

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