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CriticalPath

Running Backstays Bungee Set-up

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The fractional rig on our Aloha 30 has dimensions similar to the J/30 with less spreader sweep.  Minimizing forestay sag in breezy conditions was an issue so we added running backstays as a tuning device - they aren’t needed to keep the mast standing.  The runners are dyneema leading to an old-school 4:1 purchase using fiddle blocks.  The tail leads to the windward primary winch but we haven’t found that necessary – man-power seems enough to set the rig.

The lower runner blocks are shackled to the toe rail at the transom corners, and I’ve been storing them forward at the shroud chainplates when not in use.  I’d prefer a permanent setup so they’re always rigged and ready to go but need a way to keep the leeward runner clear when maneuvering.  The boom on the Aloha reaches within 6” of the backstay so there isn’t much space for clearance when jibing.

I’m thinking of a bungee system to pull the slack runner up and away from the boom end.  I know there are lots of setups in use with bungee cord running from the upper block to the backstay split, but then what?  There’ll be some trial and error to finesse the final setup in the Spring, but it’d be nice if the starting point is something workable without reinventing the wheel.  It’s snowy wintertime in Toronto so not like I can walk the docks to get ideas.

Possible set-ups:

Bungee cord from one upper runner block up through a small block at the backstay split then down to the upper runner block on the other side of the boat.  This seems elegantly simple but will it be effective?

Something like above but with additional bungee purchase?

Or should I run each bungee individually, from the runner up to the backstay split, then down to the backstay chainplate?  This’d provide enough length and easy access to adjust the stretch easily.

Oh yeah, one more question – what’s the best way to do terminations on the bungees?  Knots in shock cord can be unreliable…

Cheers!

 

A30Lines 01.jpg

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Bungee goes from one block then through a micro block attached to the backstay above any split of tensioner equipment then back to the other check stay block on the other side.     Bungee needs to be long enough to be able to have both blocks snugged but also needs to lift blocks away from the boom.  If it does one but not the other, make it longer and move the micro block further up.    

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Pull them to the front.

 

2/3 of the way up the runner, splice the bungee through the starboard runner dyneema and terminate with hog ring.  Run the bungee around the front of the mast to the same level and splice it through the port runner, terminate with hog ring.  

 

When one runner is pulled tight the bungee pulls the other runner forward to the rig and out of the way of the boom.  May have to adjust height on backstays to dial it in.

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We have a micro double block about 10' up the backstay.  Bungies run from a ring around the port checkstay, to the doubleblock, around a floating single block, back up to the double block, and to a ring on starboard checkstay.

The floating block is connect with 3mm line to a cleat on deck.

If you pull the 3mm line taut the floating blocks are pulled tight to the backstay and it keeps the checkstays out of the driver's way and away from the boom.  That's how we sail when going upwind.  Release the line and the bungie extends and allows the slack checkstay to get out behind the boom without messing up mainsail shape.

You can see it in this photo, the starboard checkstay is in use and taut.

RQ_DSC_0316%20(1)-X2.jpg

In this photo you can see it going downwind.  It looks like we forgot to release the line, but the bungie stretches anyway:

9565-X3-X2.jpg

It should work for running backstays just as well as it works for checkstays.  I've seen similar setups on other boats.

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agree with Kack. however, do always check when you manoeuvre. We raced a swan 53 with running backstays, the floater had to run the blocks forward and check they were on the correct side of the mainsheet and mast when going downwind. Look also how dragons and mR class boats have it.

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Sheet bend works for tying a line to bungee.  Take a couple extra half hitches back to the line and tape so it doesn't work out.

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Simplest is to lead a small block through each runner (i.e. the block is free to move up and down the runner), attach  light line to it, which leads forward through another block on the deck (e.g. stanchion base) and back to a cleat at the cockpit.

Release the runner, pull on the light line and the runner is pulled forward to the deck-mounted block. Vice versa for your new windward runner.

Bungee cords last about a year in our climate and break at the most inconvenient time....

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14 hours ago, Alex W said:

We have a micro double block about 10' up the backstay.  Bungies run from a ring around the port checkstay, to the doubleblock, around a floating single block, back up to the double block, and to a ring on starboard checkstay.

The floating block is connect with 3mm line to a cleat on deck.

If you pull the 3mm line taut the floating blocks are pulled tight to the backstay and it keeps the checkstays out of the driver's way and away from the boom.  That's how we sail when going upwind.  Release the line and the bungie extends and allows the slack checkstay to get out behind the boom without messing up mainsail shape.

You can see it in this photo, the starboard checkstay is in use and taut.

RQ_DSC_0316%20(1)-X2.jpg

In this photo you can see it going downwind.  It looks like we forgot to release the line, but the bungie stretches anyway:

9565-X3-X2.jpg

It should work for running backstays just as well as it works for checkstays.  I've seen similar setups on other boats.

We use the same setup on the backstay but attach the end of the bungee to a becket on the top block of the running backstay block system.  The top block is the floating one on the slack backstay and there is just enough tension in the system to float the block above anyone's head.  We use runners and checks, and the checks attach to the same becket.  

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Thanks all, a few more questions/comments:

2Savage:  You've described my original idea but it's been suggested by a few folks around the bar that system works well for runners that terminate near the centerline, but not so much from the aft corners.

Kack and JMOD:  I've seen lotsa bungee systems led forward around the mast on bigger boats, but why isn't it popular on smaller boats?  And JMOD's comments that they needed a floater to keep it clear kinda defeats the purpose.  Much of my racing's doublehanded so we're looking for something that'll tend itself with minimal attention or likelihood of snafus.  Another conundrum with leading the runner forward is I'll need a mile of runner tail at 4:1 purchase!

Alex & Dash:  I like this setup, especially being able to control the tension at deck level.  Alex, is there a benefit to terminating at a floating ring rather than a fixed point at the upper block like Dash does?

Fleetwood:  Thanks but I'm looking for something more permanent i.e. ready for use without having to rig it up each time. 

Kenny:  I'm not worried about fastening shock cord to line.  My question should've been is there a best practice for terminating or tying a loop in the end of a piece of shock cord i.e. to a becket?

Cheers!

 

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3 hours ago, CriticalPath said:

Alex & Dash:  I like this setup, especially being able to control the tension at deck level.  Alex, is there a benefit to terminating at a floating ring rather than a fixed point at the upper block like Dash does?

Floating rings make it a lot quicker to de-rig so that I can put the checkstays away at the mast when we don't need them.  I don't use them here when cruising or doublehanding unless conditions demand them.  The original setup for the boat had a fixed point and derigging the checkstays was a lot more work.

The floating rings on my bungies are plastic and I just tied a bowline with a stopper in the tail and then some e-tape around all of it.  It's been fine for the last year.

The Antrim setup seems clever, I'd want to try it on a boat first to see if it seems like all of that extra line would get in the way or not. 

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4 hours ago, o30_oldschool said:

http://www.antrim27.org/content/maintenance.html

Look at the running backstay deployment system.

Hiya old school, the A27' system looks slick but it'd leave over 60' of runner tail lying along the side deck when not deployed plus the double length of bungee cord all the time.  I think that'd create too much clutter for my cruiser/racer application.

 

1 hour ago, Alex W said:

Floating rings make it a lot quicker to de-rig so that I can put the checkstays away at the mast when we don't need them.  I don't use them here when cruising or doublehanding unless conditions demand them.  The original setup for the boat had a fixed point and derigging the checkstays was a lot more work.

The floating rings on my bungies are plastic and I just tied a bowline with a stopper in the tail and then some e-tape around all of it.  It's been fine for the last year.

The Antrim setup seems clever, I'd want to try it on a boat first to see if it seems like all of that extra line would get in the way or not. 

Thanks for the explanation Alex.  So when de-rigging you pull the checks out of the floating rings and move them up to the mast?  That' wouldn't be a benefit to me since it'd take a ridiculously large ring to fit over the fiddle blocks in my setup.

 

Alex's system with Dash's setup looks like the current front-runner...

 

Cheers!

 

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Yes. My check stays run to the secondary winches instead of to a block and tackle, so all that I'm parking at the mast is some rope. 

For your scenario you could run them to a shackle that connects to your block and tackle.  That snap shackle is easy to pass through a ring and it would make them easy to put away when they aren't needed.  I don't know if they are always needed on your boat or not. 

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8 hours ago, CriticalPath said:

Thanks all, a few more questions/comments:

2Savage:  You've described my original idea but it's been suggested by a few folks around the bar that system works well for runners that terminate near the centerline, but not so much from the aft corners.

Kack and JMOD:  I've seen lotsa bungee systems led forward around the mast on bigger boats, but why isn't it popular on smaller boats?  And JMOD's comments that they needed a floater to keep it clear kinda defeats the purpose.  Much of my racing's doublehanded so we're looking for something that'll tend itself with minimal attention or likelihood of snafus.  Another conundrum with leading the runner forward is I'll need a mile of runner tail at 4:1 purchase!

Alex & Dash:  I like this setup, especially being able to control the tension at deck level.  Alex, is there a benefit to terminating at a floating ring rather than a fixed point at the upper block like Dash does?

Fleetwood:  Thanks but I'm looking for something more permanent i.e. ready for use without having to rig it up each time. 

Kenny:  I'm not worried about fastening shock cord to line.  My question should've been is there a best practice for terminating or tying a loop in the end of a piece of shock cord i.e. to a becket?

Cheers!

 

Both boats I’ve used it on are 30 ft.  Worked great

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11 hours ago, CriticalPath said:

Fleetwood:  Thanks but I'm looking for something more permanent i.e. ready for use without having to rig it up each time.

Ours is permanent.

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This is how run mine. I need to keep the multi-purchase system up in the air along with the parts of the checkstay that could hook anything. 

16F95D0D-0812-43E3-A587-AF2CCFC55FA0.jpeg

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You can always make a course and fine tune separate. This wat you can have a 2:1 coars and add a 4:1 fine tune. It Will save you lots of line. Btw on the Dragon there is also bungee in front of the mast

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23 hours ago, JMOD said:

You can always make a course and fine tune separate. This wat you can have a 2:1 coars and add a 4:1 fine tune. It Will save you lots of line. Btw on the Dragon there is also bungee in front of the mast

I could be worth considering the multi-purchase option.  A quick disconnect for the coarse tune could make this workable.  Thanks!

 

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