Stus-List Backstay length and tension

robert robertabbott at
Thu May 11 16:59:24 EDT 2017


When my two back stay turn buckles are tensioned to where I like them, 
no adjuster pulled on, there is approx. 2" showing on each one on the 
inside of the turn buckle.....I thread both sides of each turn buckle 

When attaching to the back rail when stepping the mast, both are 
loosened off approx. 1 1/2 inches of the 2" and they can be pinned no 

I take my adjuster off the back stay each Fall and put it back on the is not put back on until I have the two back stay(s) on 
and tensioned so the adjuster has no part in getting the back stay pinned.

I don't have a halyard attached to the back rail or anywhere.....I don't 
use a halyard.....never have.....with the mast in the mast step, blocked 
at the base, the mast shimed in the collar, the forestay on, the shrouds 
tensioned, my mast isn't going anywhere.  A halyard is always added 
protection but I will never use one.

Trusting this helps.

Rob Abbott
C&C32 - 84
Halifax, N.S.

On 2017-05-11 10:50 AM, David Knecht wrote:
> They said was that there were only a few threads engaged on the 
> turnbuckle and they were leaving it to me to tighten it further.  I 
> thought Josh’s idea to take tension off the backstay with the halyard 
> makes a lot of sense.  I will take a look at that today.  I know the 
> backstay adjuster was mostly loose as I had pushed it up with a pole 
> this spring when I was playing with shroud adjustment.
> 1.  How much tension should there be with the adjuster up as far as it 
> will go without a pole pushing it.  Should there actually be slack to 
> put the pins back in with the turnbuckles loose but attached without 
> taking tension off with the halyard as Josh suggested?
> 2.  I am presuming that it is safe to work on the rig with the 
> backstay detached (meaning the mast is still well supported by the 
> deck, forestay and shrouds)?
> Thanks- Dave
> Aries
> 1990 C&C 34+
> New London, CT
>> On May 11, 2017, at 8:23 AM, robert <robertabbott at 
>> <mailto:robertabbott at>> wrote:
>> David:
>> My boat has the same setup for a backstay.....split with an 
>> adjuster.....I unstep and step my mast, however, I have no problem 
>> attaching the split backstay which I am the one usually doing it.
>> I leave the turn buckle(s) attached and simply remove the split ring 
>> and pin in the Fall and in the Spring, one at a time put the pin(s) 
>> in......and when I do this, the forestay is always attached first for 
>> obvious reasons.....the length of the forestay is 'set'......when the 
>> backstay is attached, the turn buckles are tightened.
>> I can see where it would be difficult if the backstay turn buckles 
>> were removed......then it becomes a two person job to attach 
>> really need one person pulling back and down on the 
>> backstay and the second threading the turn can be done 
>> with one person but a lot simpler with two.
>> Just curious, when the backstay is attached and tightened, how much 
>> 'thread' is showing inside the turnbuckle?   Just wondering if your 
>> forestay is too tight.
>> Rob Abbott
>> C&C 32 - 84
>> Halifax, N.S.
>> On 2017-05-10 11:34 PM, David Knecht via CnC-List wrote:
>>> My boat has a split backstay with an adjuster that is pulled down 
>>> with block and tackle to pinch the split and increase tension (Is 
>>> there a nautical name I should know?).  My boat was splashed today 
>>> and the yard crew complained for the second year about the 
>>> difficulty reattaching the backstay.  I don’t think previous yards 
>>> even disconnected it, but something about their sling and lift 
>>> system means they have to come in with the sling from the rear with 
>>> no backstay.  I am pretty sure the mast has a slight backward rake, 
>>> so I can’t see why the length of the backstay would be a problem, 
>>> but apparently even with the turnbuckles and adjuster loosened, they 
>>> can barely get it reattached.  I can’t come up with a reason why 
>>> they would have such a problem and if it means that something is not 
>>> right with the rig.  I will check the rake again tomorrow now that 
>>> the boat is floating and level, but it has always had some amount of 
>>> rake as measured by a weight hanging from the main halyard.  Any 
>>> thoughts on something I might be missing or is it normal for that 
>>> kind of backstay to have limited adjustability?  Thanks- Dave
>>> Aries
>>> 1990 C&C 34+
>>> New London, CT
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