Date: Sat May 29, 1999 12:57 pm
Read in the May 1st, "99" issue of Practical Sailor, the Inner Forestay installation you performed as part of your refit. I am considering doing the same thing on my boat. Would greatly appreciate any write up you have done about the installation (e.g., mast/deck fittings, attachment points, stoage configuration, etc.)

Date: Sat May 29, 1999 6:12 pm
I have not done any write up as yet except for reacting to Dan Spurr's thoughts on the subject. You have first to decide whether you want a cutter, ie, parallel forestays with the attendant pain of flying backstays, or just an inner no.2 forestay, to back up no.1 forestay and on which you can hank on working jib and storm jib once you have rolled the Genoa on no1 forestay. You can then avoid the flying backstays, if you tie no.2 high enough on the mast, say going in a straight line for the aftmost point of the mast crown where its pulling force meets the triatic (to mizzen) and Y backstay.

In any case, I don't think our Seawind II ketches can move the mast far enough to allow a proper balanced cutter rigging forward (speaking sail balance, now), if you want to keep a mizzen. And talk about expense, besides flying backstays' inconvenience and risk on a jybe.

Stay size is the same as no.1 forestay, as I could not convince the Yard that we could make it the next size up as it may be more loaded than the no.1 in a blow, given the smaller angle.

Fittings were custom made of 316 SS, desinged and ordered by the Yard (Paul Munzinger at Brewer's Post Road BoatYard in Mamaroneck NY) after discussion of the concepts:

- the top had a large sheave leading into the mast for an inner halyard (my only inner halyard, there is room at the top but the inner forestay can't lead you there), and two jaws extending each side, for heavy rivetting. I'll try to find the picture I took when the mast was down or make a drawing if time.

- the bottom is a heavy 316 SS flat bar, bolted on the stem over 12", then curving vertically through a rectangular hole cut in the mahogany bowsprit platform, then curving again over to align with the no.2 forestay. On top of the platform, that bar is welded to a small vertical flange which bear two holes behind one another (to tie the two jibs), itself welded to a flat plate which is bolted through to platform and deck.

To tie the inner forestay down, I bought the very simple and sturdy pelican hook called Sliphaak in Belgium as recommended by Oberhausen in P.S. but the Yard changed the ring to a higher size and added a toggle. Again a picture or drawing should be made if time.

To stow the forestay, I just unhook the sliphook by lifting the ring, detach it and rehook it to a stanchion base behind the first chain plate on stbd. To prevent noise and chafing on the spreader, I just put a small plastic tube tapered-taped over 6 inches of the forestay in the way of the spreader.

Date: Wed Jun 16, 1999 6:23 pm

Here are the pertinent measurements for the nner forestay on Spirit, built and originally rigged as a cutter (119C/1979). The measurements are a bit rough--not necessarily precise to the inch, but within an inch one way or the other:

Mast length = 39'7" (I've been told that this is 2' over-sized, for light air on the Chesapeake, home waters for the original owner.)

Inner forestay and intermediate stay toggles = 26'4" from base of mast (what is important here is the fraction, 26/39.)

Inner forestay chain-plate = 4' aft of forward end of bowsprit/ 12'3" forward of center of mast step. (Note that deck fitting for inner forestay attachment is stayed in the chain locker, a light length of wire rope fitted with a turnbuckle runs from the underside of the deck fitting down to the stem, where a fitting is glassed in, preventing the deck from flexing when the inner forestay is tensioned.)\

Intermediate stay chainplates = 2'5" aft of center of mast step. On Spirit, this = 6" aft of the aft lower stay chainplates, and in line with them and the others. (Again, Spirit does not have running backstays: the standing masthead backstay and the two aft-swept standing intermediates seem to do the job, even in heavy weather.)

Hoping that this might be useful to folks thinking about inner forestays.

By the way, if anyone is interested I have the original Metalmast clubfoot boom and gooseneck that was fitted when Spirit was built. I didn't care for this self-tending stays'l feature, but maybe someone else would like to try it (double-headed ketch, anyone?) and I'd be delighted to sell the gear for a nominal price.

Date: Mon Jul 12, 1999 9:54 pm

Solution has an inner forestay with NO running backs (an additional set of fixed backstays were added) which was designed by Tom Gilmer. This design was commissioned and installed by the original owner (Milt Baker) and flys a small sail which is used when the wind speed exceeds about 30 knots or so. It is strictly a high-wind rig, the genoa is used for lighter air. I can attest to its functionality, having beat 95 miles into eight foot seas in 35 knots from Key West to Fort Myers recently. If you are interested in this I can copy the correspondance between Milt and Gilmer and mail it to you. Let me know.

Date: Tue Jun 13, 2000 5:15 pm

I have a question concerning adding a removable inner forestay to my rig. I understand that it has been done before but wanted to know where on the mast the fitting is mounted. I have a fitting on my deck at the very end of the wood for the bow sprit. The fitting goes throught the wood and fiberglass and is reinforced with a stainless backing plate. Any information that can be passed on about this subject would be greatly appreciated.

Date: Fri Jun 16, 2000 9:26 am

I did this recently, and just sailed offshore a week to Nassau, so have some feedback.

I attached mine about 18 inches down from the masthead using a bail bolted thru the mast. Thus, no runners needed. On deck I put a stainless "U" bolt through the bowsprit and deck just aft of where the bowsprit comes over the hull. Thus, the hull-deck joint there supports the upward thrust with no deck pulling-up.

There's not a lot of room between the stays, though! Both sails are hanked on, and when down they make big packages in their bags. Tacking the genoa is impossible w/o pulling it down first.

But, handling the inner jib in bouncy weather is very easy. Also, w/o roller furling, it's easy to change sail sizes (drop the genoa, pull up the inner jib). And, the inner forestay is backup for a headstay failure.

Date: Sat Jun 17, 2000 10:19 am

'Spirit' (119C) was built (1969) as a cutter, and I think that the original cutter sailplan, presumably designed by Gillmer) would be a good starting point for retrofitting an inner forestay. I can measure the height of the stay's mast attachment next week (Spirit's still on stands, five hours away) and put it on line. It is, however, below 18" from the mast-head--much closer to the spreaders. The deck fitting (which accepts a heavy pelican hook) is as described: at the aft end of the bowsprit, very securely mounted.

I took off the stays'l clubfoot boom (a pain in the shins and uses up the entire foredeck), mounted tracks foreward on the cabin top, installed secondary winches in the cockpit. We can manage the (4) stays'l and jib sheets happily from there. Boat tacks ok with both fores'ls set. The stays'l is hanedk-on, genny on a roller.

On the cutter rig (only?), the spreaders are swept aft and intermediate stays run from the point of the inner stay attatchment on the mast, across the ends of the swept spreaders, to chainplates aft of the aft lowers. In theory, this makes running backstays unecessary, and so far so good. We've done considerable passage-making (including 50 kn gusts under stays'l and double reefed main) without a problem: the stays'l is a joy in heavy weather (we have a single line of reef points and cringles in ours).

Date: Wed Jun 21, 2000 3:45 pm

I have set the top fitting of the movable inner forestay on a line between the aft most point on the mast head and the lower fitting which draws on the stem through the bowsprit platform, thus avoiding the need for backstays despite the spreaders being flat across. This served well through 65kts winds and 12m swells last July on the way to Azores from NY, and the hanked-on working jib, not recut for the genoa furler by the previous owner (I bought the boat in 1997), is serving well. I also hank a 10 oz, 80 sqft storm jib which served only once, as the storm abated as soon as we mustered the courage to send it up, after 24 hours of 1h on/1h off a hard helm.

I have not used the two jibs together on a tack, but very successfully as twin sails on two poles for downwind runs (+ or - 30-40 deg.) in the trades or elsewhere, with the mizzen staysail added in winds on the quarter, but attaching the tack to the lee aft chainplate so as to minimize masking of the lee jib (generally the Genoa for better efficiency). My experience with telescopic poles is mixed, they contract on compression or freeze, so I prefer my "Tenerife" solid pole (where bought, for the trades run) to the original "Telescopic" (the poles' nicknames).

Date: Tue Jun 27, 2000 11:09 am

A typo, Paula: Spirit was built in 1979, commissioned in '80--not in '69. More grievously, having not sailed Spirit since last October, I mixed her up with my last boat, an Albin Cumulus 28' sloop. It was the Albin, not Spirit, that had swept spreaders! :-( On Spirit, the aft shrouds run from about half way between the spreaders and the masthead (where the inner forestay attaches), down and aft to the aft-most (extra) chainplates--missing the ends of the spreaders by some distance. The rig performs well, as I wrote (though those intermediate backstays are going to need baggywrinkle well before I hit the trades). I hate to think anyone out there spent the weekend figuring out how to sweep the spreaders back! Mea culpa.

It's interesting to read about re-rigging SW IIs à la Shannon 'scutters,' as double masthead ketches. The advantages of this rig running downwind are impressive, Bert, and in fact setting both fores'ls at once, on Spirit, is only worthwhile on a choppy close reach. Still, Jorunn and I are happy with our more traditional cutter rig, though I'm now determined to ship a second whisker pole and gear for our scrappy little stays'l. The questions raised make me want to check out the difference in J dimensions for SW II ketches and cutters. Practical Sailor, I think, said that the cutters' masts were stepped a foot or two aft of where the ketches' are, and this would be possible, given the configuration of supporting structures below. Does anyone have hard numbers on these mast step locations? It comes to mind because if there is a significant difference it would, of course, affect the most efficient inner forestay attachment point on the mast. (And I should also remind people that Spirit's mast is 2' higher than the standard SW cutter's--ordered, by the Royals, for light winds in the Chesapeake.)

Date: Fri Jun 22, 2001 6:18 pm

Inside Flying Forestay: I noticed after a violent and drenching thunderstorm that my genoa suncover was showing a couple of tears,probably from age (I learned that dacron lasts only 3 years, especially with tropical exposure as I had, compared to much more resistant sunbrella). It was simple to set the inside forestay which is parked on a stanchion base by the starboard top stay, with the old hanked on working jib. To better balance the boat and help the windvane, I took a reef in the mizzen.

Date: Fri Jun 22, 2001 6:18 pm

Inside Flying Forestay: I noticed after a violent and drenching thunderstorm that my genoa suncover was showing a couple of tears,probably from age (I learned that dacron lasts only 3 years, especially with tropical exposure as I had, compared to much more resistant sunbrella). It was simple to set the inside forestay which is parked on a stanchion base by the starboard top stay, with the old hanked on working jib. To better balance the boat and help the windvane, I took a reef in the mizzen.