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GH31 Inner Forestay

Posted: Wed September 22nd, 2010, 12:49 pm
by john walpole
Have recently bought Ceilidhe II (GH114) and have a question about the standing rigging. She is rigged with a furling genoa (mast head to stem head) but there is also an inner forestay running from the mast head just below the furler down to a position on the foredeck. This impedes the genoa when tacking and the previous owner told me he used to take the inner forestay out to a guard rail when sailing because of this problem. Your thoughts on this would be appreciated. Many thanks.

Re: GH31 Inner Forestay

Posted: Thu September 30th, 2010, 5:34 pm
by vince
Hi, I have recently bought an eventide with the same sort of cutter rig. Now I have no experience of these but I do know there should be a sail on the inner stay and if there were, whether it was furled in or out, I'm sure the sheets would slide round easily enough. Securing it to a guard rail seems stupid to me, surely every time you tack it would have to be moved to the other side? I suggest you try it out first with a staysail in place and if still a problem remove the stay or secure it to the foot of the mast so it's well out of the way, and just use the genoa. I seem to remember reading somewhere that a staysail is only really effective on a broad reach anyway so unless you're racing.....?

Re: GH31 Inner Forestay

Posted: Fri October 15th, 2010, 5:08 pm
by john walpole
Thanks Vince I will try the staysail & report the results in due course. In my ignorance I assumed that the inner forestay would be attached some way below the masthead if it was intended to carry a sail. Any other GH31's out there similarly rigged???

Re: GH31 Inner Forestay

Posted: Wed December 8th, 2010, 12:02 pm
by Fiddler's Green
Hello John,
If the extra stay is to the mast head and has an easy release on the deck I bet it was rigged for twin headsail down wind sailing. It could also have been fitted for the flying of a storm Jib in adverse conditions. When not in use it would have been pulled back to the mast and secured.

I have a cutter rigged Eventide and have an inner forestay.

It is fixed to the mast 3/4 the way up and has a pair of shrouds fitted at the same height to offset the pull of the forestay. The forestay and shrouds in a cutter rig are important to correctly rig the mast they are used to apply the 3" of pre-bend the mast needs when static.

I have a staysail rigged on the inner forestay, self tacking on a boom.

The inner stay is about 3' distant from the topmast forestay, which is mounted on the end of the bowsprit. The genoa will tack through this gap well, only in light air will it snag, normally on the bowline of the sheets, but it is so easy to saunter up and give it a slight push through. anything above a F2 and you do not need to do this, it just works.

I have written an article on masts and rigging on the 'Owners tips' page.

hope this helps

Re: GH31 Inner Forestay

Posted: Thu December 9th, 2010, 11:31 pm
by Tusk
When I purchased my GH31 new in 1980 twin forestays was an optional extra that I included in my order. But this arrangment comes with a short bowsprit that pushes the outer forestay ourboard about 1ft in front of the normal forestay and provides also for stowage of twin anchors. The purpose of the extra forestay was mainly as extra insurance in case the proper forestay failed. This actually happend to me about half way through a crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, and almost certainly saved us losing the mast in what would have been very difficult circumstances. My sails are hank-on sails and normally I only use the inner forestay, so the outer forestay is no problem and does not interfer with the foresail in any way. I would never disconnect the second forestay when at sea. I do sometimes use the outer forestay to put up an extra Genoa for downwind work, spreading them wing to wing using two spinnaker poles. Also sometimes, when on a long passage and it is unlikely that I will need to tack, I will change forsails by hanking on a new sail to the outer, then lowering the inner and raising the new jib on the outer, it makes things easier and quicker but I would have to take it down if conditions changed so much that I had to tack, but usually the other jib will still be hanked on and tied to the rail ready for quickly hoisting on the inner. In future I may fit genoa furling gear, in which case I would expect to install the furler on the inner forestay and install a lever tensioner so that I can use the outer forestay for my storm jib. Looking at the photo of John Walpoles boat it looks like the outer forestay is where the proper forestay is supposed to be, and the inner forestay will be too far inboard to properly set a normal jib or genoa. If the twin forestays are required it would be better to bite the bullet and install a short bowsprit so that the extra forestay can be installed ahead of the proper forestay. If you dont want to do that there is not much point in having the inside forestay at all especially if it is always disconnected when sailing. It just could be useful to keep it for twin headsail downwind sailing so long as you are willing to have the extra hassel of disconnecting and reconnecting the second forestay. Twin headsails wing to wing should normally only be used when you have plenty of searoom because they do restrict your manoeuvring ability, so it will depend on what kind of sailing is being done as to whether to keep the forestay arrangment as it is or change it. Hope this makes sense and will be of some help.