History of standing rigging

In this article we will deal with the tuning of standing rigging on a typical sailboat.

Historically, the most traditional rig type is the masthead one. That is with the forestay and backstay attached to the masthead as fixed standing rigging that create traction in the opposite direction.

The spreaders, in this case, are in line, perpendicular to the fore and aft axis of the boat. With a masthead rigged boat, the backstay can be used to increase forestay tension in high winds.

At the same time, by vertical compression of the mast, tensioning the backstay causes a bending of the mast that flattens the main. The backstay is both an element of the standing rigging but can also be tuned.

Tensioning the backstay, the central part of the mast advances forward creating a slight “C” shape of the mast seen from the side. This curvature lets you bring the “fat” of the mainsail forward flattening the sail.

Therefore, with a strong breeze, tension the backstay to reduce the forestay sag and to flatten the mainsail. Both operations improve upwind performance.

For the full article, see: https://globalsolochallenge.com/standing-rigging-tune/

– Marco Nannini

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