Heavy duty forestay and shroud adjusters?

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Heavy duty forestay and shroud adjusters?

Postby kwilliams » Sat Mar 15, 2008 6:58 pm

I've been working to set my rig to the tension recommended on the North Sails website. They mention that National Champ Dave Keran sets his rig very tight at 200-210 at the forestay and 300-320 at the shouds. What kind of adjusters is he using? I'm using StaMasters and getting major metal filings and severe reluctance at considerabley less tension than Dave is running.

The adjusters need to be beefy with hex or flats to support a wrench. Does anyone have any heavy duty adjuster suggestions?
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Postby nmelby » Sun Mar 16, 2008 10:40 pm

I've had similar problems when cranking on my stamasters too... I've found that 2 wrenches, one on the body of the stamaster and one on the nut prevents bending the stamaster itself- and for the metal filings, I've had good luck putting some spray silicone on them when I make adjustments. It doesn't make it stop completely, but it makes for a considerable improvement and lessens binding.

Overall, I like the stamasters and think they are a good solution.. but I like the concept with these ball-bearing adjusters too: http://www.apsltd.com/Tree/d300000/e297254.asp

I'd be curious to see if anyone has used them, or something like them.
Maelstrom- DS 4836
DS Fleet 132
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Postby Phill » Sat Mar 22, 2008 3:11 pm

The StaMasters you have are more than 'beefy' enough.

Very high rig tension may or may not be the fastest setup for your Day Sailer when racing. I am very competitive with Dave (4 NAC's each) and use a much looser set up.

If you want the tighter set up, Dave does not get the tension by forcing the turnbuckles or adjusters tighter. He sets up the shrouds where he wants them for the mast rake, and then uses the jib halyard and the trailer winch to pull the rig tight. When the jib halyard takes the tension of the rig to tighter than he wants, he then attaches the forestay to the bow plate. The adjuster is already set where he needs it. If he wants it tighter, he relieves the tension with the jib hayard/winch, adjusts the forestay fitting and then reattaches the forestay, releases the winch/halyard and remeasures the tension with the Loos guage. The adjuster is never adjusted under tension.

There are many traps when copying our set ups that need to be kept in mind when setting up a DS. Rig tension is important, but needs to be customized to each teams specifics. Crew weight, Mast brand, Sailmaker, Spreader lengths, Spreader angles (fixed or swinging), sailing style and mainsheet systems(mid-boom or Vang-sheeting), can all change what will be fastest for you.
Dave has an old Proctor E section. Heavier and stiffer than my bendier Ballanger mast. His high tension is to get more pre-bend than I need. He uses North Sails, I use Jotz. My sails are more forgiving of different tensions and mast types. My first major wins were with an old stock untapered Alspar factory mast (keel stepped) with free swinging spreaders. My mast is also about 3" shorter than the maximum allowed, so measurements from my boat may cause your boat to have a bad case of the slows.

For adjusters on my boat I have the Johnson lifeline adjusters on 3/32" shrouds and forestay. And I use the original jack screw at the bottom of the mast to tension it each day. (Dave and I both loosen our rigs each day after sailing). I dont use any kind of guage, just tighten and 'twing' the shroud to get a 'note' that seems good for the days conditions. If you go my profile and click on "Personel Gallery" you can find a picture of that adjuster.

Loos Guages can also confuse. I was recently crewing on a Thistle, and when studying the Thistle website for tuning tips for my skipper, I found that when tension numbers are given, they also state if the Loos guage is the older or new version of the same model. Apparantly Loos changed the design and the numbers are very different from the old to the new. I dont know which Dave uses. I dont even have a guage and have never used one.

I am not trying to confuse or discourage anyone. Its very difficult to exacty copy anyones set up in the DS. We have too many variables, boat vintage/manufacturer, mast type and size, CB pivot placement, and crew sizes, for the numbers on one boat to be anymore than a starting point for another.

Hope this helps. Sail and tweak and sail somemore. Thats half the fun in our class. Lots of room for individualizing our boats. Somehow, we still end up with a large variety of boat-mast-sail types at the front of the fleet.

Most important HAVE FUN. We did last summer, didnt we Nate? :D
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Sta-Master and shroud diameters

Postby Thomas P. Bews » Fri Apr 04, 2008 9:20 pm

For those using Sta-Master shroud adjusters-what size or which model # are you using? How are they attached to the stays. The other question is simple-what is the standard shroud diameter (size) used for cruising and racing? I am doing some work on the boat (finally) and want to get rid of the non-adjustable tang style attachments for the side stays. I want to use the original shrouds as they are in good shape. In fact I have no idea how to remove them if the need arises. This proctor mast is from the mid 70's and does not have the stay "hooks" that a more modern Proctor mast has.

Thomas P. Bews
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standard daimeter is 1/8" 1x19 ss 316 wire

Postby Roger » Fri Apr 04, 2008 11:41 pm

The originals were 3/32" but they were prone to breakage, so a lot of owners consequently moved up to the 1/8" size. Breaking strength on 1/8" is 2100#.
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Postby Phill » Sat Apr 05, 2008 10:37 pm

Been racing with 3/32" shrouds and forestay for over 18 years, in all kinds of conditions, Many races in the 20's and occasionally, like last summer, in the low 30's. The shrouds on my boat last summer were about 8 years old. Most of the failures that I have observed, have been caused by lost/broken/cracked fasteners, or incorrectly rigged fasteners at the ends of the wire. I cant recall any rig failure that was wire related.

1/8" is good too.
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Postby MrPlywood » Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:28 pm

While searching for info on rig tension I found this old thread. After reading this part of Phill's response: "I use Jotz [sails]. My sails are more forgiving of different tensions and mast types. My first major wins were with an old stock untapered Alspar factory mast (keel stepped) with free swinging spreaders." I PM'd him for some more info since that setup mirrors my own, including having no turnbuckles.

Here's part of his response (with his permission) - I thought it might be helpful to others:

I had the same non-adjustable shrouds and forestay on my straing mast.
I only used the screw jack to adjust the rig tension.
Because I had a slot in my keel box where the mast step/jack could be slid forward and back, if I needed more bend I would:
Luff and release the vang,
Climb under cuddy and loosen the jack until I could slide the mast butt aft and move the shims to pull the step back about 1/2 to 3/4". More mast butt back = more mast bend for flattening in higher winds.
Re-tighten the jack so that the shrouds would sound like a bass guitar string. Pretty low note, but musical sounding.

When sailing I find the best tension allows the leeward shround to just appear slack when just needing to start hiking. No hiking needed, both shrounds willl stay taut, but the leeward one will still be less tight if
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