Stus-List Backstay length and tension

David Knecht davidaknecht at gmail.com
Fri May 12 08:04:57 EDT 2017


Dear listers- Thanks for all the advice and observations.  I actually worked on it for a few hours yesterday afternoon and now I really don’t know what is going on.  I checked the mast with no backstay on and it still showed a few inches of rake.  The forestay had a significant arc to it and felt very loose.  I had previously taken most of the tension off the shrouds.  I tried to pull one side of the split backstay and could not pull it far enough to pin it.  I don’t know how you could possibly do this with the adjuster attached as there is no way to get it out of the way and near a neutral position until both backstays are attached- so I took it off.  Then I let off the mainsheet and vang, attached the halyard to the end of the boom and cranked the boom down with the winch.  I looked at the forestay and it was still very slack.  I loosened the shrouds more, but no change.  I still could not pull it down enough to attach one side, let alone both.  So I rigged a mini block and tackle between the U bolt and the turnbuckle and was able to pull it down enough and hold it while I got the pin in.  With another person there leaning on the wire, I might have been able to do it without the block and tackle, but since the boat is in the water, it is hard to get in position to pull on the wire and put the pin in at the same time.  I ran out of time to try the other side, but it seems like something is not right with the rig if it is this hard.  I have not changed anything related to this since I bought the boat, so I find this very confusing.  I doubt C&C designed it to be this hard and there would be no reason to since you could just make the backstay longer.  One other thing for those who have other C&C designs.  Unlike my previous 34, there are no deck level wood blocks to adjust mast rake, nor any adjustment on the mast foot.  The mast goes through a hole in the deck that is the size of the mast, so no rake adjustment there.  
Anyway, I decided to contact a local rigger I have worked with to see if he can help figure out what is going on.  I will report back when we have it sorted out.  Thanks- Dave

> On May 11, 2017, at 4:59 PM, robert <robertabbott at eastlink.ca> wrote:
> 
> David:
> 
> 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 equally.
> 
> 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 problem.
> 
> I take my adjuster off the back stay each Fall and put it back on the Spring.....it 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
> AZURA
> 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
>> 
>> <pastedGraphic.tiff>
>> 
>>> On May 11, 2017, at 8:23 AM, robert <robertabbott at eastlink.ca <mailto:robertabbott at eastlink.ca>> 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 them.....you really need one person pulling back and down on the backstay and the second threading the turn buckle....it 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
>>> AZURA
>>> 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
>>>> 
>>>> <pastedGraphic.tiff>
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
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>>>> 
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>>> 
>> 
> 
> 

Aries
1990 C&C 34+
New London, CT



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