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Backstay connection

Guest Uncledog

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Guest Uncledog

New owner of an old boat here. Trying to step the mast for the first time. Backstay seems too short, can't get the front pin in on the mast step deckplate. About 5/8" off.  What is the connection between the back stay and the backstay legs? I just put a plain shackle there. What is the distance between the eyes of the legs and the eye at the bottom of the backstay? Thanks for any advice.


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Hello Uncledog - 

I have an older boat (1983), when I replaced the backstay after I bought the boat the first couple of backstays I got were too short.  APS started asking you to measure your backstay to make sure it would fit.  There is also an option to replace the "solid" backstay with a piece of spectra between the stay and the legs.   

I've never used it, but maybe someone else will chime in.  

Frankly Scarlet

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We never have the bottom of the backstay attached when we put the mast up. The swept-back spreaders and aft placement of the shroud chainplates are usually all you'd need to keep the mast from going too far forward.  Even with the backstay detached we almost always need to use a line tied between the mast ring and bow cleat to pull the mast forward enough to get the forward pin in.  So, try putting the mast up without the legs of the backstay attached and with the shroud turnbuckles eased.  After you get both pins of the mast step installed, the headstay on and the shrouds tensioned, then attach the backstay.  If the backstay is till too short, add some link plates or toggles (westmarine .com) at the bottom of the legs, or attach shackles to the backstay chainplates and use spectra to attach the legs to the shackles. Easy-peasy.

I wouldn't trust any measurements you get from other owners since there were a lot of different manufacturers involved over the years and I am sure there were differences in the measurements.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the good advice. Stepped the mast with backstay unattached. Went right up. Weird not having that connected, but live and learn. Now connected with a soft shackle AND a length of spectra. Adventures in rigging. 

Uncle Dog 

Dragon Fly



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