Runner/Checkstay/Backstay Question

A

Amati

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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.
I’d argue there will be fewer lines to foul the main.  You mean part of the normal runners and checks? (I’m figuring a typo?). If I understand that, it’s why I’ve gone back and forth on how much to connect everything. On Amati, the lower runners get out of the way more quickly- I always thought it’s because they’re shorter, and the blocks swing them down better, so they stay straighter more of the time.  I gravitated for a while to heavier (older style) Harken blocks set high enough so they didn't bonk heads so I didn't need to use bungee cords or other lines to bring the runners/checks forward and hold them down.  Crude but effective.  The top runners have a lot of windage and they blow around an amazing amount with the aero of the main, which causes a lot of the mischief.  I’ve noticed that the problem is not as bad on the present skinnier pinhead main than the big roach main.  I handle the main and the runners myself while on the tiller, and the only time things get fucked up is when the lines get tangled with each other or the shrouds or the sail or the boom or body parts etc etc. (I’ve had a top runner wrapped around my neck!) If you have a cascade so the initial set (pull?)  is 1:1, and things work smoothly, it’s easy and quick to do.  I’ve never had a problem because of my timing pulling the lines (even if I’m getting thrown around in a violent sea) - that’s straightforward cockpit ballet which you can choreograph and practice.  It’s always the lines getting entangled :rolleyes:  on something.  My $.02.  
 

This is great argument for unstayed masts.  In steady lightish winds, runners etc are fun and effective, but when things get sporty…..

 
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A

Amati

Guest
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. 
If the backstay is on and tight enough to keep the mast tip from moving all the time, is the main not going to foul it?  Will the top runners not foul it?

 
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Monkey

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If the backstay is on and tight enough to keep the mast tip from moving all the time, is the main not going to foul it?  Will the top runners not foul it?
In heavy air, the main “should” be able to punch through with the backstay snug. In light air, the flicker would hold it clear. It’s all just one big thought experiment right now. I wouldn’t do anything til spring anyway. I’ve spent enough time with runners that I’m perfectly comfortable (well, mostly) with the current setup. I won’t be driving, I’ll be the runner guy. 
 

Hopefully that old saying about things coming in threes is nonsense. I’ve only been onboard for two dismastings so far…

 
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El Borracho

Sam’s friend
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In heavy air your huge roach will slam the backstay hard enough to destroy your rig. That is why you have running backstays. The designers know this stuff. 
 

That and all the time fussing with the six controls will lose the race anyway.

Just use the runners. Don’t screw up. Same attention to detail as not hitting the rocks or other boats. 

 

Mark K

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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. 

View attachment 449751
A vote for the idea of just reefing the main...which you will only need to do if it's blowing hard enough that screw ups pose a risk to the mast. If it's blowing hard you don't want to be out there trying to teach the basics anyway. Besides, they will learn to put in and shake out reefs.  

 

Monkey

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In heavy air your huge roach will slam the backstay hard enough to destroy your rig. That is why you have running backstays. The designers know this stuff. 
 

That and all the time fussing with the six controls will lose the race anyway.

Just use the runners. Don’t screw up. Same attention to detail as not hitting the rocks or other boats. 
I’m curious what these six controls you keep mentioning are. The checks can be preset and come on with the runners, so don’t get touched in tacks/jibes. Same would go for the backstay if I add it. It would not be for sail trim. The running backs handle that. I was simply wondering if spending about 500 bucks on a safety net might help. It probably won’t, but it doesn’t cost anything to pick people’s brains around here. Ironically, the first time I was onboard for a rig tipping over, was a SC70 that botched the runners and inverted the rig. 

 

Monkey

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A vote for the idea of just reefing the main...which you will only need to do if it's blowing hard enough that screw ups pose a risk to the mast. If it's blowing hard you don't want to be out there trying to teach the basics anyway. Besides, they will learn to put in and shake out reefs.  
That’s certainly not bad advice. The boat gets reefed a lot already, but rarely for windward leewards. It’s when the goofy sails come out on distance races that they regularly reef, it just balances better. Trying to sort out sail combinations is a whole new can of worms, but I’ll figure that out. The silly thing has every possible specialty sail imaginable. 

 
A

Amati

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It’s kind of thread drift, but Steve Rander’s Rage had a mast that was essentially free standing, but IIRR, the shrouds were there for sail control.  It’s nice to have the control runners etc offers, but I’m wondering if part of sail design is moving past it?  (I still think Finn masts are cool though)

 

12 metre

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I’m curious what these six controls you keep mentioning are. The checks can be preset and come on with the runners, so don’t get touched in tacks/jibes. Same would go for the backstay if I add it. It would not be for sail trim. The running backs handle that. I was simply wondering if spending about 500 bucks on a safety net might help. It probably won’t, but it doesn’t cost anything to pick people’s brains around here. Ironically, the first time I was onboard for a rig tipping over, was a SC70 that botched the runners and inverted the rig. 
I will hazard a guess he is referring to 3 sets of aft stays, checks/runners/topmasts.

I think I am missing something here though.  In the photo you provided, it looks like the main is not reefed, but the head is about 2-3 ft below the mast top.  And while the main is roachy, it is much closer to being a pinhead than a flat top.  My boat came with the 3 sets of aft stays I listed above and I am looking to ditch the topmasts in favour of a single backstay.  The main on my boat has much more roach up top and is closer to being a flat top.  Anyways, I believe a 6 ft flicker will allow enough clearance on my boat, and your boat looks to have an additional 2-3 ft of vertical clearance, so I don't see why a 6 ft flicker wouldn't work in your case.

A flicker won't work on a full hoist flat top, but on yours, I'm thinking maybe it will.

And as I mentioned above, Robichaud sells flickers up to 6 ft.

 
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El Borracho

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I’m curious what these six controls you keep mentioning are. 
Traveler (x2) lowered excessively to help the roach thru. Mainsheet played to help the roach. Both those people could have their attention and mass on fast things rather than staring at the sky. runner (x2), another backstay. That is six. Plus you are probably going to run the upper battens a bit loose. That is slow, too.

If slower and safer is okay then perform the tacks and gybes in a paced and deliberate manner. Perhaps with constant coaching. Always control the main and boom...crank it to the center upwind and down. Don't invite clever crash tack situations.

Your SC70 example may not be pertinent. Standing backstay. Probably forgot to release a runner, no? An issue you still have that your backstay idea does not address.

 

Mark K

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That’s certainly not bad advice. The boat gets reefed a lot already, but rarely for windward leewards. It’s when the goofy sails come out on distance races that they regularly reef, it just balances better. Trying to sort out sail combinations is a whole new can of worms, but I’ll figure that out. The silly thing has every possible specialty sail imaginable. 
  Sounds like the first set of lessons are sets, takedowns, mark roundings anyway. You can get the foredeck and middle up to speed with both the runners tight on a reefed main safely, and then progress to doing it full rig. Crawl, walk, run. 

 

Monkey

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A "standing" backstay with a six foot flicker hardly seems like something that would prevent losing the rig when mayhem rules.
The rig is usually tuned with an aft rake. The “standing” backstay would only be there to stop it at vertical. 

 

Monkey

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Just found out that it used to have a backstay/whip that worked just fine, but was ditched because of windage. 

 
A

Amati

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I will hazard a guess he is referring to 3 sets of aft stays, checks/runners/topmasts.

I think I am missing something here though.  In the photo you provided, it looks like the main is not reefed, but the head is about 2-3 ft below the mast top.  And while the main is roachy, it is much closer to being a pinhead than a flat top.  My boat came with the 3 sets of aft stays I listed above and I am looking to ditch the topmasts in favour of a single backstay.  The main on my boat has much more roach up top and is closer to being a flat top.  Anyways, I believe a 6 ft flicker will allow enough clearance on my boat, and your boat looks to have an additional 2-3 ft of vertical clearance, so I don't see why a 6 ft flicker wouldn't work in your case.

Of course it may not work, but I'm thinking it may well.  And as I mentioned above, Robichaud sells flickers up to 6 ft.
I’m going through this in a parallel way with Amati, but for different reasons-  stiff mast concept, top runners, 3/4 jib hound runners, 33 degree swept spreaders, cathedral shrouds.  
 

When I’ve messed with the top runners (for reasons elucidated above :) ), no matter what I have done,

1- getting rid of them,

- getting rid of the top cathedrals or

- keeping the top cathedrals, 

(don’t worry, no foresails set above the jib hound outs with those setups) 

2- turning them into one standing backstay (effectivelyto the middle of the transom.

I ALWAYS lose some pointing ability.  I’m not using the top running backs to tip the masthead to windward, just as support for the cathedrals. Main sail shape is along the lines of a Hobie 16, maybe a bit fatter on top)

next sail, I’m going squarehead, with

-first reef to get the main completely under the top runners (I mean completely), but at the same point as the upper (4/5’s?) flying whatever halyard out.

- second reef at the 3/4 jib hounds.  But as I pointed out above, I’ve never had a problem with the lower runners (I should add, when not connected in any way to the top runners), which why I have separated the controls for the lower runners and the top runners.

I think this will be a way to shift gears from complex to less complex as the wind/ sea state picks up.  (I hope)

so Monkey, since you are the sole God of the Backstays, I’d mess with them & try and figure what line wants to do what when it’s not holding anything up, and when it’s in transition.  It may mean you have to go around and tidy every slack runner line after a tack or jibe.  It may mean some are independent of the others, depending on reefing.  It’s not more complicated than a dinghy with lots of controls.  I’d show a pic of Chris Masa’s IC controls…… and he’s out on a hiking plank….. :lol:

 
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