Runner/Checkstay/Backstay Question

danstanford

Anarchist
574
132
Lake Ontario
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, we have a small flat top main on a J/88 with a single backstay. If the backstay is not eased prior to a tack the top batten will snag the backstay (even with a flicker) and hang up. Are you suggesting that dropping the traveler prior to the tack will help the main get through? 

 

Parma

Super Anarchist
2,937
377
here
I don't think you can get enough of a whip to clear a larger roached main.  
After talking to Hall I added a 9" titanium extension (and whip) to the existing MH crane in order to help clear both the increased roach and top batten on my "fathead' main: the larger 14" headboard allows the roach to be carried higher up, creates a better, hopefully more efficient, airfoil shape in the main and eliminates that sort-of useless sail area at the top on a typical pinhead main.

I think (maybe possibly perhaps depending) that if you drew a straight line from your existing backstay / runner attachment points on the transom to a point that would clear your roachy main, you might find it doable to add a crane extension to that point and not have to worry about clearing that top batten. YMMV!!!

20180408_104905.jpg

 

fan

Super Anarchist
1,869
103
San Diego
Fan, we have a small flat top main on a J/88 with a single backstay. If the backstay is not eased prior to a tack the top batten will snag the backstay (even with a flicker) and hang up. Are you suggesting that dropping the traveler prior to the tack will help the main get through? 
Yes by dropping thew traveler prior to the tack or jibe you can ensure the batten pops before it tries to pass trough after.  So drop traveler and cleat so it stays high side out of tack wait until battens pop then drop traveler and ease main if needed to get it through.  On a jibe same but just blow sheet so it goes all the way out quickly traveler drop is a 1/2 measure that works on most tacks but not enough fats enough on a jibe. There is no worse situation then an inverted batten pinned on the backstay the if its on a windy jbe you crash (it will still be stuck after crash so this is very bad)and on a tcac you will have to tack back or lower halyard to get it free.  Just my $.02 hope it helps.

 

El Borracho

Sam’s friend
6,337
2,379
Pacific Rim
Build a pin head main and set up a fixed backstay. 
The best idea until the crew reaches pro-level skill. The time saved not screwing around in each tack will make up for the tiny gain from sail area. Having whoever manages the whole backstay issue hiking out on the rail instead of flailing around aft with six lines will be a big help too.

 

Monkey

Super Anarchist
10,498
2,157
Build a pin head main and set up a fixed backstay. 
That’s just not going to happen. It does have an old, much less roachy main that we’ll use to practice with though. And yes, I’ll be adding a fixed backstay, at least for awhile. 
 

It’s a crappy low res picture, but this is the proper main on the boat. 

371018F5-3619-4C07-B274-737A2DC77B9C.jpeg

 

Left Shift

Super Anarchist
10,355
3,160
Seattle
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
I had a 40'er with that exact rig set up (exclusive of permanent topmast stay you show that won't clear the roach.)  It worked fine with both a-sails in lighter air and syms in heavy air.  But you could need an extra crew,   In light air, you are reaching so most of the shroud loads are lateral and the topmast on the flicker is not critical.  In heavier air the main blows through.  

The real advantage of that setup is largely independent rig bend control for the main and headstay tension for the jib sag.

The next step would be a fat head main and two topmast shrouds, TP-52 style.  For that you need fast hands on the topmasts for jibes.   

 

Monkey

Super Anarchist
10,498
2,157
I had a 40'er with that exact rig set up (exclusive of permanent topmast stay you show that won't clear the roach.)  It worked fine with both a-sails in lighter air and syms in heavy air.  But you could need an extra crew,   In light air, you are reaching so most of the shroud loads are lateral and the topmast on the flicker is not critical.  In heavier air the main blows through.  

The real advantage of that setup is largely independent rig bend control for the main and headstay tension for the jib sag.

The next step would be a fat head main and two topmast shrouds, TP-52 style.  For that you need fast hands on the topmasts for jibes.   
Thanks for the info. Despite the complexity, the ability to shift gears with this mast is a big plus to me. I don’t think I’ll ever go with topmast shrouds, but the jumpers have proven to be enough to keep the rig up in heavy air with every masthead kite option on the boat so far. A full flat top main is in discussion, but that’s after we get used to the boat. Obviously the fixed backstay will have to be gone at that point. 

 

Monkey

Super Anarchist
10,498
2,157
Sorry if I missed this but what kind of boat is it?  
It’s mostly a Mount Gay 30. The hull, deck, and rig were built to the rule. Then the current owner bought the parts and built it to his own idea, so it hit the water with a big prod and a little under 3700 pounds. 

 

Left Shift

Super Anarchist
10,355
3,160
Seattle
Thanks for the info. Despite the complexity, the ability to shift gears with this mast is a big plus to me. I don’t think I’ll ever go with topmast shrouds, but the jumpers have proven to be enough to keep the rig up in heavy air with every masthead kite option on the boat so far. A full flat top main is in discussion, but that’s after we get used to the boat. Obviously the fixed backstay will have to be gone at that point. 
Just to add a comment, A full flat-top (or fat head) main really requires split topmast stays to get the benefit of sail shape control the set up offers. A flicker to clear a fat head main would have to be so long and stiff that easing and re-setting it would take more time and have the same risks as the split stays on cascades.  

If the boat is balanced well already, you will be twisting off the fat head most of the time to manage helm, so what you're really getting is vortex control and downwind sail area.  No small thing.

 

Monkey

Super Anarchist
10,498
2,157
Just to add a comment, A full flat-top (or fat head) main really requires split topmast stays to get the benefit of sail shape control the set up offers. A flicker to clear a fat head main would have to be so long and stiff that easing and re-setting it would take more time and have the same risks as the split stays on cascades.  

If the boat is balanced well already, you will be twisting off the fat head most of the time to manage helm, so what you're really getting is vortex control and downwind sail area.  No small thing.
It is currently set up with split topmast backstays, and no permanent backstay. That was the reason for the whole thread!  The backstay would just be a safety net for a little while why I get everyone used to it. 

 

Left Shift

Super Anarchist
10,355
3,160
Seattle
It is currently set up with split topmast backstays, and no permanent backstay. That was the reason for the whole thread!  The backstay would just be a safety net for a little while why I get everyone used to it. 
The first rule of the internet is "Never read the original post before posting."  

 
A

Amati

Guest
You could dispense with the extra top stay and go with the top runners- BUT- make sure you have enough reefs in the main (whether old or new) to:

1- Clear (under) the top runners so you can leave them on and not worry about the roach snagging.  (Clean up your roach so battens etc are not snagging on the runners when they go under the runner. Top runners love to flip in the wrong side of the roach.   Check your blocks etc to make sure that when you release them they release and run forward easily.  Gross/fines can help with this if you are clever.  Martel makes a killer HUGE block that can do both runners.) 

2- clear the lower runners when things get really sporty

concentrate on your foresails.  Cheaper.

 

Monkey

Super Anarchist
10,498
2,157
You could dispense with the extra top stay and go with the top runners- BUT- make sure you have enough reefs in the main (whether old or new) to:

1- Clear (under) the top runners so you can leave them on and not worry about the roach snagging.  (Clean up your roach so battens etc are not snagging on the runners when they go under the runner. Top runners love to flip in the wrong side of the roach.   Check your blocks etc to make sure that when you release them they release and run forward easily.  Gross/fines can help with this if you are clever.  Martel makes a killer HUGE block that can do both runners.) 

2- clear the lower runners when things get really sporty

concentrate on your foresails.  Cheaper.
Dammit, you usually have great advice.  Does anyone read the original post anymore?

 
A

Amati

Guest
Dammit, you usually have great advice.  Does anyone read the original post anymore?
Sorry, start with reefs, work up- you have to work the runners anyway, so why mess with another adjustable backstay?  Go from the known to the relative unknown, even if it means going 4 knots at first.  A runner (jumper) is a runner.  They are the safety net.  The main thing is keeping them from the wrong side of the sail, or snagging the sail.  A free running system that is fast, doesn’t tangle and is reliable is all that matters.  Find Star sailors if you can.  How many are you going to run together?  I go back and forth on that.  If you start from the bottom (reefing), you can figure how each one works.  

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. 

View attachment 449526
And if it snags…..

 
A

Amati

Guest
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.
But the perm is going to be floppy…..?  Held up (out) with a stiff batten?  How many diameters will the mast bend before the perm is taut?  Unless its adjustable, and then it’s effectively another top runner….. I must be missing something….. how much wave action does it take to get a backstay held out by a batten like that oscillating and banging into the mainsail?  One nice thing about a tiller, he can probably handle one of the tails by himself.  It’ll get busy though….

 
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A

Amati

Guest
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
Do you have different battens for different wind strengths?  It’s also possible to use top runners to flick the top batten if it won’t pop by itself.  Sitting down hard on the deck can do it too- I learned that from a Merlin Rocket sailor.  On a big boat it can take synchronized crew… :lol:

 
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European Bloke

Super Anarchist
3,407
825
I don't think that reefs with top mast runners works because the top mast runners are also part on the normal runners and checks. So the runners and checks will still foul the reefed main.

The solution might be too man up and check the insurance.

 
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