14641Re: gaff rig running backstays
- Apr 2, 2007Hi Chris,
> with the freestanding mast would it be an idearig
> to have running backstays for when you are sailing down wind.
> There tends to be a lot of pressure put on the mast with a gaff
> when sailing down wind.I sail a 23'-6" Bolger Light Schooner with a gaff cat schooner rig.
> Has any one any ideas from actual sailing experience.
The sails are identical at 103 ft**2 each. Although I enjoy running
her wing-and-wing ("read'n both pages"), I don't do this in much
wind to avoid the possibility of an unplanned jibe, which could be
dangerous and destructive. Perhaps more practice with jibing would
ease my mind, but I'd be concerned that with a running backstay, the
chance for damage to the rig would be greater if she suddenly jibed
with the backstay set up. Certainly you would be at more risk of
taking a swim in this situation, since the backstay might prevent
the boom from going where it wants to and thus cause a knockdown.
In any case, all the driving force of the sail is shared between the
mast and the sheet regardless of the point of sail. Beating and
reaching, some of this force heels the boat, but then crew and hull
weight is countering the heel, so there's still considerable bending
force on the mast on those points of sail as well. If your mast is
designed to be unstayed, I would leave it that way and possibly beef
it up before adding a backstay, unless I planned to use it only for
keeping a jib luff tight when sailing upwind.
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