Runner/Checkstay/Backstay Question

Monkey

Super Anarchist
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So here's a perfectly stupid question.  I'm looking at adding a semi-fixed backstay to serve as a set of training wheels for the first year while the crew and I get used to a new boat.  The rig is double inline spreaders with a set of jumpers, fractional rig, masthead A-sails, and a very roachy main (slightly more than in the drawing).  It currently has no fixed backstay, just the running backs and checks.  If I were to add a regular backstay with a whip (drawn in red) that was just loose enough to let the main swing through, would it help at all during a jibe if someone screwed up and was late getting the runners/checks on, or would the rig just invert and fall over anyway?  

Ignore any windage or weight aloft issues, this would just be a safety net while we get everyone used to the boat.

RR6.PNG

 

European Bloke

Super Anarchist
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I don't think so. Depends how loose it needs to be the get the main through.

Put a reef in and leave the standing backstay on.

 

slug zitski

Super Anarchist
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So here's a perfectly stupid question.  I'm looking at adding a semi-fixed backstay to serve as a set of training wheels for the first year while the crew and I get used to a new boat.  The rig is double inline spreaders with a set of jumpers, fractional rig, masthead A-sails, and a very roachy main (slightly more than in the drawing).  It currently has no fixed backstay, just the running backs and checks.  If I were to add a regular backstay with a whip (drawn in red) that was just loose enough to let the main swing through, would it help at all during a jibe if someone screwed up and was late getting the runners/checks on, or would the rig just invert and fall over anyway?  

Ignore any windage or weight aloft issues, this would just be a safety net while we get everyone used to the boat.

View attachment 449494
The shipyard is full of older masts with damaged , overloaded mastheads caused by modern code sails

beware 

 

SailRacer

Super Anarchist
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If the boat has no perm backstay (due to swept back spreaders), what good would one do?

By the time it tightens downwind, the rig will be gone anyway.  Just say'an.

Sail Safe!

 

Monkey

Super Anarchist
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If the boat has no perm backstay (due to swept back spreaders), what good would one do?

By the time it tightens downwind, the rig will be gone anyway.  Just say'an.

Sail Safe!
It currently has no permanent backstay and doesn’t have swept spreaders. 
 

I was just curious if a fairly cheap solution would provide any safety net, but you pretty much confirmed my thought. 

 

Rod Spearin

Member
178
5
Detroit
I don't think you can get enough of a whip to clear a larger roached main.  You would really need two backstays and then you introduce the complication of having someone manage the runners and someone else manage the backstays -- too much crew in the back!.

If the rig can't support the masthead kites, then it probably isn't worth the trip unless you're looking for an excuse to buy a new rig.  We have a similar setup on our NM 43 with 3 in-line spreaders.  We just can't go masthead as the section is too small.

 

El Borracho

Sam’s friend
6,263
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Pacific Rim
Masthead kites with no backstay or anything to support the masthead? Sounds crazy. Your backstay with flicker idea only adds crew work. It won't work anyway. Use fractional kites for training. Have a spare rig in the yard. Helmets for everyone. Get better crew and training. Only use the masthead kites in calm conditions. 

A proper vang, strong boom, properly used in coordination with mainsheet and traveller, might provide enough support to prevent rig destruction on small boats.

 

fan

Super Anarchist
1,858
99
San Diego
Having raced with an oversized ORR main I have some experience.  If you do not drop the traveler and pin the main sheet to pop the battens on tacks and jibes before it goes through you are screwed.  If it inverts you will have to lower the main halyard same in light air not inverted or it will not go through.  In breeze it should go though so long as you  do what I sad so the batten pop first.  In mid to high teens if you do not do main correctly and they invert on the back stay you are screwed.  The whip will help but your main is not like a fat head so I think it may work again solng as you disciplined about battens popping first.  Just my $.02

 

fan

Super Anarchist
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San Diego
Masthead kites with no backstay or anything to support the masthead? Sounds crazy. Your backstay with flicker idea only adds crew work. It won't work anyway. Use fractional kites for training. Have a spare rig in the yard. Helmets for everyone. Get better crew and training. Only use the masthead kites in calm conditions. 

A proper vang, strong boom, properly used in coordination with mainsheet and traveller, might provide enough support to prevent rig destruction on small boats.
He has masthead runners he is worried about what happens of the crew doesn't get them on in time.  He is looking for a belt and suspoenders set up with mast head runner and a perm backstay just in case.

 

El Borracho

Sam’s friend
6,263
2,334
Pacific Rim
He has masthead runners he is worried about what happens of the crew doesn't get them on in time.  He is looking for a belt and suspoenders set up with mast head runner and a perm backstay just in case.
Ahh, okay. (Though I don't read it that way.) So even more pointless: Adding complexity. My little roachy fractional racer had what amounted to a running masthead backstay due to the fact that fully easing the backstay allowed the mast to fully invert with masthead kites. Pretty scary to see, so we didn't look at it.

Crew training, expert coaching from the helm, and access to a spare mast.

 

P_Wop

Super Anarchist
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Bay Area, CA
My $0.02, I'd put up two masthead backstays, and attach them to the runner/checkstay tackle. 

The runner man just has to get this on smartly, but the A-sail will be somewhat unloaded in a gybe anyway so this shouldn't be an issue while the main comes across. 

As above, proper main trimming to pop the battens in the gybe is vital.

 

Monkey

Super Anarchist
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My $0.02, I'd put up two masthead backstays, and attach them to the runner/checkstay tackle. 

The runner man just has to get this on smartly, but the A-sail will be somewhat unloaded in a gybe anyway so this shouldn't be an issue while the main comes across. 

As above, proper main trimming to pop the battens in the gybe is vital.
That’s exactly how it’s already set up. Current owner has run it this way for years. Yes, he lost a mast early on, but he’s refined the setup since and been trouble free since. 
 

I wasn’t looking to improve on his setup. I was just curious about training wheels while I learn the boat. I’ll probably add the backstay and use one of the old non-roachy mains while we settle in with the boat. I wouldn’t actively trim the fixed backstay, just keep it snug enough to support the masthead while we practice. 

BE0CC511-F58F-46F8-BA08-58D720D83B1D.jpeg

 

Monkey

Super Anarchist
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Ahh, okay. (Though I don't read it that way.) So even more pointless: Adding complexity. My little roachy fractional racer had what amounted to a running masthead backstay due to the fact that fully easing the backstay allowed the mast to fully invert with masthead kites. Pretty scary to see, so we didn't look at it.

Crew training, expert coaching from the helm, and access to a spare mast.
Sorry if I phrased it poorly, but Fan was spot on. The backstay wouldn’t add complexity because it wouldn’t be very actively trimmed. It would only come in to play as an “oh shit” device. It was purely a curiosity on my part because I’ve sailed on most rig combinations, just not this one. 
 

I currently plan to be the guy working the runners/main anyway, but I’m just spitballing ideas for at least a hope of a safety net. I plan to follow in the footsteps of the other batshit crazy sporty in our fleet and build about half the crew out of youth sailing instructors and their more advanced students. The kids love the crazy boats and are great sailors, but often lack the experience in big boat quirks. 

 

TJSoCal

Super Anarchist
I think if it were me I'd address the issue by assigning a good crew member to be primarily responsible for runners, and not give that crew member any other responsibilities until you were sure that the runners were getting set reliably.

Adding a "sort of permanent" backstay seems like it will just cause more problems and not provide very good insurance.

 

Monkey

Super Anarchist
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I think if it were me I'd address the issue by assigning a good crew member to be primarily responsible for runners, and not give that crew member any other responsibilities until you were sure that the runners were getting set reliably.

Adding a "sort of permanent" backstay seems like it will just cause more problems and not provide very good insurance.
That’s the current plan. I was basically just thinking out loud. It would have been temporary anyway. 

 

Jeff F

New member
48
23
Great Lakes
I have the same rig with a permanent backstay with a big whip at the top.  The original class main has a huge roach.  Mostly I've sailed solo with a smaller main, but the few times I've had the big main up it hasn't been too onerous clearing the backstay.  Mine's light dyneema on maybe a  8:1 tackle.

I'd be pretty nervous gybing in heavy air without one, or inverting the mast.    Removing it never occurred to me.

 

12 metre

Super Anarchist
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English Bay
I don't think you can get enough of a whip to clear a larger roached main.  You would really need two backstays and then you introduce the complication of having someone manage the runners and someone else manage the backstays -- too much crew in the back!.
Robichaud sells backstay flickers up to 6 ft in length: https://www.rbsbattens.com/battens/rbs-powdercoated-epoxy-backstay-flicker/

If that isn't long enough, then twin topmast runners would be the likeliest solution.  I was going to mention either jumpers or upper diamonds to support the topmast laterally as well, but it looks like the boat already has a form of jumpers.

 
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Monkey

Super Anarchist
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I have the same rig with a permanent backstay with a big whip at the top.  The original class main has a huge roach.  Mostly I've sailed solo with a smaller main, but the few times I've had the big main up it hasn't been too onerous clearing the backstay.  Mine's light dyneema on maybe a  8:1 tackle.

I'd be pretty nervous gybing in heavy air without one, or inverting the mast.    Removing it never occurred to me.
Good to know!  Much appreciated. 

 
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