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overdraft

Melges 24 Fixed Forestay Conversion

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I'm contemplating going to a fixed forestay on my older M24... the conversion kit from Melges is $575, which with shipping and border nonsense and paying in Canadian Dollarettes is going to cost me like $700. So if I bite the bulled and do it, does anyone know what I get? Cuz I'd be pissed if for all that I got a t-ball plate and some pop rivets and a forestay with a t-ball at one end and a turnbuckle at the other... I can buy that locally for like $250... Is there more to it than that?

 

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From my sailmaker:

 

I'm not a fan of the fixed forestay. I'm not sure anybody has really been successful with it. The Melges, like a 470, seams to like more rake as the wind builds. The old forestay "naturally" stretches and adds rake as the wind build. Some pros found that the had to keep easing the forestay as the wind came up and never really settled in to a good setting so they went back to the old system. That being said, I have seen the fixed forestay go fine and I think at the club level and small OD regattas, it would be fine with the expectation that your sails last longer.

 

I hate leaving my club jib rolled up week after week but this was enough to keep me away.

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thanks for the input ctown!

I may still go with fixed because it would be easier to deal with and I'm not likely to do anything beyond club and local OD regattas anyway... I take my jib off after every Wednesday and would love to simplify that process by having a zipper luff and a hoistable swivel.

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Yeah, I'm inclined to agree with you - its an annoying system. Also, I'm reading those comments as "it can be just as fast, but you will need to be move active with easing off your fore-stay adjustment as wind comes up"

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dan, ya, that's what I figured... unless there was some zenda magic component that I was unaware of it seemed like all you needed was a t-ball plate, the forestay and a hoistable swivel... is that what you got? or is there other stuff on the shopping list...

 

ctown, half the time I'm not even sure I know how to set the mainsheet nevermind adjusting mast rake on the fly... so ya. I'm not totally put off by it being a slightly less competitive solution. I'm assuming here it's an adjustment that's part of the last 1% of speed, not the first 99...

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We did the conversion and find it much, much softer on the boat... the natural tendency for the old forestay to stretch isn't natural at all - it required 20 plus turns on the caps to stretch it. The trick with the stay however is to dial in the rake before hand and they are correct in that it is not as easy to adjust on the water once set. Therefore we always run more rake than less because if you are caught with less it makes the boat feel crabby and is slow. Courtesy of boys in Traverse City, one of which runs the fastest fix stay I have seen, we run only 3 head stay settings. We have settled in on one rake setting from 5 to 15 and then have a light and heavier adjustment based off that. We still adjust caps etc but no where near as much - think of it as fine tuning within that primary rake setting. One aspect no one mentions is we can adjust the jib halyard on the fly which is real nice when the conditions go variable.

 

Do yourself a favour and buy the kit from Melges - they will appreciate the support. The kit is complete including the dynema and instructions - one stop shopping.

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We only use the jib cunningham to lock the jib's position on the stay relative to the boat. In other words it is only used to set the sail height at the start of the day (specifically the clue height relative to the jib sheet lead) and we never change this setting. On our boat this has the bottom of jib set to the top of the lower locking pin Velcro cover. This allows us to get very specific (repeatability) regarding jib sheet lead positions on our tuning guide. In this configuration we have our max power jib lead set at one hole forward of the third bolt which occurs as soon as every one is on the rail.

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