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 Quick backstay question

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Jacob Posted - 04/05/2023 : 07:55:12
I have a 2006WB, pedestal steering. Does anyone know why the backstay runs down to the port side? It seems like it will be right in the way of accessing the swim ladder. Is there a reason it's not on the starboard side with the outboard? I might look into switching mine to that side. Thanks!
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Voyager Posted - 04/21/2023 : 10:42:38
Steve, I couldnít agree more on the causes of mast failures. Unless the boat undergoes a massive catastrophe (e.g.: a huge breaking wave hitting broadside, hard grounding on a rock in the surf, or a collision with another boat), mast and rigging strength is usually many times stronger than any operating loads you could place them under. Stainless cable is used for suspended loads, which are some of the highest loads you can put them under. The mast column can handle loads that are many more times what they see in typical use. Chainplates are designed to handle huge loads.

The major cause of mast failure (IMHO) is due to owner negligence. A lost cotter pin in a turnbuckle, soft decking or structure anchoring the chainplate, cheezy wood screws drilled into the fiberglass skin of the deck, years of crevice corrosion on stainless components, lack of checking cables, clevice pins, screws, bolts, and other fasteners are some of the culprits, however, as owners and captains of our vessels, itís our responsibility to inspect each and every part of our boats several times throughout the year.

Again, accidents happen, however, we can help prevent them with vigilance. // end of rant //
Steve Milby Posted - 04/21/2023 : 07:58:47
Nothing to worry about. Single backstays on nearly all sailboats with outboard rudders and outboard motors are offset. The motor is mounted on one side and the backstay is on the other. If they were on the same side, the backstay would conflict with the motor's tiller. The tensions on the shrouds are equalized by adjusting them. The most likely reason why the mast came down is because of a fitting that came loose or a cable that failed. I've seen two instances where a turnbuckle simply became unscrewed. In one case, the mast fell, and in the other, it did not. Turnbuckles do loosen occasionally and need to be checked periodically.
Jacob Posted - 04/20/2023 : 12:24:00
Well, I finally have my mast up on the 250. Turns out it's really a non-issue! It's not in the way really at all. Just looking at the attachment point I had thought it would be in the way of the ladder. My boat was dis-masted before I got it, so this is the first time I've been able to see it with the mast up, now that I have a new mast installed.

This leads me to another question though...
Since the backstay is ran to one side, the port side, wouldn't that put a disproportionate amount of stress on the starboard shrouds? The starboard lower shroud is what failed and caused the boat to lose its original mast. Just kinda thinking out loud here... But now it makes me wonder if I should look into installing a split backstay or a second backstay ran to the starboard side, to balance out the rig. Anyone have any thoughts on that?
Steve Milby Posted - 04/16/2023 : 17:01:48
I'm only guessing, but could it be that there are no handholds from the top rung of the ladder to the stern rail. Perhaps it's there to provide something to hold onto as you climb the ladder until you reach the stern rail.
jjfog Posted - 04/16/2023 : 16:35:30
Jacob. My 1997 250 WB has a split backstay, so it attaches to the hull on both the port and starboard sides. Jim

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