Latest News: Forums Technical Forestay tensioning

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  • #21471

    Hi all,

    We have a Mk 4 cruiser and I was thinking about putting small block on the bottom of the forestay, another with becket on the bow plate with a line feeding around them and back to the cockpit (to come out on the port foredeck return, mirroring the genoa fuller on the other side). The thinking is to allow one person (me) to raise and secure the mast from the cockpit, and also to tension and detention the forestay without tying and untying the line on the front.

    Does anyone have pictures of such a system and/or experience using it?

    For clarity, we raise and lower the mast infrequently at the moment (though hoping to do a Broads trip next year), but when we do my partner struggles to assist due to Rheumatoid Arthritis. We do put the genoa up and down every time we use the boat so adjusting the stay to remove slack and avoid it getting wound into the furler would be the main benefit.



    Dave Barker

    Hi James,

    The system you describe sounds fine, but you might not need anything quite so sophisticated. If you’re reasonably fit you will probably be able to manage the mast with just a forestay tail led back to a cleat at the edge of the foredeck. A block or fairlead of some sort at the bow will guide the tail back, but you won’t necessarily need any further blocks – the mast isn’t really that heavy. But try it first – and if you prefer a 2:1 setup then go for it!

    The advantage (as you say) is the ease of adjustment to compensate for rig tensioning/untensioning.

    Perhaps controversially we tend to sail without a forestay at all on the Broads. We’re never more than a few tens of metres from the shore and/or other boats and for me the convenience of not having both a forestay and genoa halyard to deal with at low bridges outweighs the very slight risk of halyard breakage or similar gear failure.


    Thanks Dave, I will look at a single block and return line and see what I can do. Thanks!


    If you search the forum for “forestay” you will find many threads on the subject. This is just one of them

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