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Backstay tension advice

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P&H View Drop Down
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    Posted: 20 August 2017 at 11:28
Hi all

Looking for some advice on getting the right tension on the backstay of our 385 which has the selden blocks/purchase system with wire and rope.  Reading the Selden mast tuning document it describes that you should know where the 20% point is and mark it or put a stopper knot on the rope.  Interested if anyone knows a way to measure/guess this.  Accepted that you tune the backstay to get the sail shape you want but the Selden guidance is very particular about not ever letting the tension off the backstay and being able to set 20% for normal use.

Any ideas gratefully recieved
Phil
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 415 Singapore Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 August 2017 at 09:59
Hi, your post made me read the Selden tuning manual again! We have a stopper in the back stay rope to keep minimum tension on the stay when we are not using the boat. I am really not sure how you would ever achieve 20% on the back stay with the current adjusting pulley system. In light airs we sail with minimal tension in the back stay and crank it up as the wind / sail shape dictates, but I know we have never achieved the 20% minimum that the manual suggests.
All the best
Paul
Paul - Night Train - 415 #136
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Matt View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 August 2017 at 12:21
You'll need a tension gauge. We use the Loos PT3 guage. On the 445 (I think it's same set up as 415) the lower part of the backstay is split with 8mm 19x1 wire while the main part is 10mm 19x1 so it's necessary to do a bit of maths to take account of the different breaking strengths and also allowing for the 2:1 purchase of the lower backstay. Without the Loos gauge or similar tool you will struggle. Selden talks about using a slide rule method but I find the Loos easier to deal with.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote S&J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 August 2017 at 10:47
My understanding from the Selden guide is that "The backstay must not be allowed to completely slacken at any time" while sailing.
I normally take most tension out when we are moored up.  Am I wrong to do this?  I guess it does leave the cap shrouds under more tension...
Like Paul, (Night Train) I judge the tension by feel and simply apply more as the wind increases.
H385 #351 Ningaloo now cruising the Baltic
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Mr Bluesky View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mr Bluesky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 September 2017 at 18:19
Selden / Hanse must realise owners have to guess as there is no standard means to measure the tension?! Since reading this post I have put a stop knot where I feel it should be to keep the back stay under tension, I may loose a small amount of performance down wind in light air, but would rather that than damage rig. My neighbour in Brixham has followed same advice on his Oceanus 41 (Z Spars mast) as it got him thinking about the consequences of a loose back stay. I wonder if this should be mentioned in Yachting Monthly or similar, as I imagine we aren't the only ones that are unaware of the risk.
Mr Bluesky
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Mr Bluesky View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mr Bluesky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 October 2017 at 17:20
Just had a Selden rigger onboard to tune my standing rigging, so I asked him what his opinion was regarding the advice about backstay tension. He said the backstay on a Hanse was to bend mast only, and had no impact on the security of the mast. So it is ok to slack right off when sailing down wind. It is just his opinion, but he did sound knowledgeable and so I'll take it as good advice.
Mr Bluesky
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samuel View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote samuel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 October 2017 at 13:13
When racing down wind I let the back stay go  slack unless it is windy.
I have a 32:1 dynema set up  & crank it on as much as I think I need to get required mast bend for upwind etc
Upper stays are set to 24-26%  when rig is at rest, 50mm pre bend
Daydream Believer- Hanse 311- No GBR9917T- Bradwell Essex
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