Inner forestay

Inner forestay

Beitragvon BalladExchangeDB » Freitag 8. Juli 2011, 17:22

Hi Torleiv:

There’re at least a couple of ways to go about installing an inner forestay. If you want the inner forestay to be well clear of—and run parallel to—the main forestay you will have to find the strongest point along the fore-aft axis of the foredeck and then determine the position of the mast attachment. This method will most likely involve installing running backstays. If you go along this route, the ideal location of the deck attachment on the Ballad would be right above the anchor locker bulkhead. This will allow you to run a chain plate to the bulkhead and have a really solid structure. BUT, it also means that you’d have to remove the bow cleat and move it fore or aft (or install side cleats) and, more importantly, get rid of the flimsy bulkhead and laminate in place one made of 18-20mm plywood. I followed a different path which was pre-determined by a mast attachment that I had installed when I’d taken the mast down several years ago. This attachment was high enough up the mast so that no running backstays were required. In order for the inner forestay to run parallel to the main forestay, the deck attachment for the former had to be about 35cm aft of the latter. The stainless-steel plate below deck runs from side to side but isn’t through-bolted to the toe rail. It was loosely based on a similar attachment I’d seen on a Jeanneau on the internet. A year or so later, I welded two tangs on the plate that would allow me to run a rigging screw to a strong point on the inside of the bow. I’m pretty sure it’s strong enough, although I haven’t used it in real anger—just up to force 6. Another thing you’d have to decide is what device you’d use for tightening the forestay. I’ve made a wheel adjuster from a rigging screw inserted into an industrial wheel. A pelican hook is attached to one end and the forestay eye to the other. When tightening, you’d have to hold the upper part steady to prevent it from turning, otherwise you’d also be twisting the wire. Once tight, then you insert a pair of cotter pins to secure it. (It works but it’s a bit of a hassle, so if you can spare the money, buy a proper adjuster made by Wichard, Nemo, etc.) When not in use, the whole contraption is stored below deck, while the forestay is secured with a small block and tackle somewhere on the toe rail. All in all, I’m happy that I’ve installed an inner forestay. It allows you to run two genoas wing-on-wing plus use it for a working jib or storm jib. I’ve attached several photos which will hopefully be helpful. Unfortunately, I can't upload a word document with a drawing which will help you determine the location of the forestay mast attachment if you don’t want to install running backstays. Send an e-mail to and I'll forward it to you.

Moments of Clarity #334
P1010451.JPG (49.81 KiB) 5053-mal betrachtet
Inner-forestay-u-bolt.JPG (43.58 KiB) 5053-mal betrachtet
Inner-forestay-support.JPG (66.27 KiB) 5053-mal betrachtet
Inner-forestay-storage.JPG (44.7 KiB) 5053-mal betrachtet
Inner-forestay-backing-plate.JPG (45.16 KiB) 5053-mal betrachtet
DSCN2505.JPG (26.72 KiB) 5053-mal betrachtet
Bow-tang.JPG (31.86 KiB) 5053-mal betrachtet
DSC02544.JPG (81.58 KiB) 5053-mal betrachtet
Beiträge: 127
Registriert: Freitag 8. Juli 2011, 17:14

Re: Inner forestay

Beitragvon BalladExchangeDB » Freitag 8. Juli 2011, 17:25

ydalir wrote on Apr 13
Hi! Nicholas
Thank you, this was very helpful. I will certainly try to avoid any running backstays, and go for a solution similar to yours.
The forestay support, the rigging screw, is fixed to a strong point in the bow. Did you make a hole in the bow to secure it, or have you laminated some sort of base for the rig screw attachment?

Anyway, I will send you an email, to get your drawing. I have the mast down for the moment, and I would like to make the mast attachment straight away. I will try to find the moeny for a Wichard fitting. Any thoughts on using spectra instead of wire? I know there are some hooks made of webbing or something that would maybe reduce the wear of the rope..?

SY Ydalir

patentnick wrote on Apr 14, edited on Apr 14
Hi Torleiv:

The rigging screw attachment is through-bolted to a tang on the outside of the bow, somewhere along the middle of the edge. I've added a relevant photo to my initial post. As you'll see, this tang has a wire attached to it that ends at the anchor platform. (Initially, my anchor platform was going to be half a metre longer and would also include a gennaker tack fitting at the end, so the wire was going to counteract the upward force of the sail. I decided to go with a shorter platform so the wire now serves no purpose. The gennaker tack fitting is now welded to the inboard side of the anchor roller.) If you don't want to through-bolt the fitting you can laminate it to the inside of the bow. As for using spectra, for me it's a no-no. It may be more convenient to store but you can't really tighten it as much as wire, especially if you're going to use heavy weather sails. There's also much more wear on the rope from the sail hanks, not to mention UV (which is a constant enemy in this part of the world).


jtighe wrote on Apr 14
I contemplated adding an inner for a while, but after looking at the specs for the foretriangle and the turning axis of the boat, decided that the benefit was minimal -- at least compared to the work (and expense) required to add this piece of rigging. The way I see it, the foredeck on the Ballad is short enough that an inner forestay doesn't really save you that much of a venture out there in bad weather (maybe one meter from the actual forestay?), and the sail power isn't moved so much aft that there is any noticable change in turning axis. Furthermore, you're drilling holes and in and seriously stressing the deck (even properly installed backing plates can fail), risking leaks and rig failure, not to mention stubbing your toe on some nastly stuff now protruding in the least convenient of places. Then, there's the running backstays, which are a pain to use, and if you "forget" to move them on a jibe, etc, you break the mast.
Of course, I haven't actually installed the inner, but I've gone over it in my head a thousand times as well as examined and sailed on boats with the set-up. I'm thinking that, for the Ballad -- which is VERY well-designed as is -- there's no real need. NIck's installation is beautiful, and if you really want to do it, I suggest you follow his design or something very similar, but I would try taking the boat out in a gale with your existing storm sails and seeing how the boat responds before you whip out the drill. I think you'll be quite pleased with the Ballad's already excellent handling.

patentnick wrote on Apr 14
I can't argue with Joe's comments regarding the design of the Ballad. It really is a great, beautifully-balanced boat. In all fairness, when I see photos of largely original Ballads, still with hanked-on sails, no furlers, no lines running to the cockpit, no lazyjacks or biminis or stern platforms or anything else to detract from their original beauty, I get a little jealous--especially considering how much I've modified mine. However, I sail mostly alone so most mods have been made taking that into account. Torleiv, I guess that whether you install an inner forestay or not depends on your type of sailing. If you have a large furling genoa, it would be a good idea to have an alternate way to attach a smaller hanked sail, so an inner forestay would make sense. If your genoa is hanked-on, then you can do without it. Joe's right about the length of the foredeck--you won't derive any benefits from having a cutter-style rig with two headsails working in unison with each other. It's also true that any installations on deck have to be made very carefully, using the epoxy plug method, etc. (I spent months repairing delamination which occurred due to improper bedding of deck hardware by the previous owners). However, IF done properly, there's no danger to the deck. I've poked into most nooks and crannies of my Ballad and I can tell you that in most areas it's over-built.


jtighe wrote on Apr 14
As Nick notes, this really depends on the kind of sailor you are. I'm a single-hander. I have hanked-on sails. If you have a furler and are installing an inner so to hoist a storm sail, check out this mechanism: It might work well enough to render the inner forestay unnecessary. My philosophy has always been "the simpler, the better." The more complications and modifications you make to the boat, the more that can go wrong, so unless it's absolutely necessary, I don't have it (I even thought about taking the engine out after it blew up a few years ago, but I rebuilt it -- begrudgingly-- instead). I've completely re-designed and rebuilt the cabin and most other systems on my boat, Littlebit, which you can see in the old archived pictures on this exchange, but I have retainied the original rigging design, mostly because it's already so effective and well-built (try finding other 30-footers with double lowers!). The only modification I've made to the rigging is in switching from furler reefing to slab reefing. That's it. No bimini, no lines led aft, no furling headsails, no electric winches, windlass etc. Of course, I like moving around on deck in a good sea, even at the bow. The way I see it, that's all part of sailing -- simplicity and closeness to the elements. But in the end, Nick's right: it comes down to a matter of style.

crosie wrote on Apr 14, edited on Apr 14
We have added a similar system to Nicholas, with much help from him and his pictures. We were in the process of adding a furler reefing system instead of the hanked on sails on the forestay, but we didn't want to completely lose the purity of the hanked on sails. The Furlex system also came with its own stay, so I had a relatively new forestay going spare, and we could use it as an inner. It was attached near the top by the rigger while installing the furlex, and a ring bolted through to a substantial beam under the deck, only about 30cms from the forestay. This allows us to run up the hanked on sails, so we keep the No 3, No 4, and storm jib/No 5 in the locker. We added a wichard lever at the bottom, which was rather expensive for a bent piece of stainless, but the whole set-up seems very solid.
The advantage that it seemed to give us was the ability to fly a small well set sail rather than a heavily furled genoa, and that it would give us a reasonable sail area and a lot of security if there was a problem with the furlex or the forestay.
The biggest pain is the storage of the inner forestay somewhere out of the way. It is too long in our case to tie to the same place as Nicholas, and it also gets in the way of tacking if it is outside the shrouds. I have bodged up a system to tie the end to the base of the aft lower, and the middle to the forward lower, but you have to make sure that you keep it away from the spreaders, especially when hard on the wind.
In reality we haven't used it, as the sail on the furler is so good, that even with it heavily reefed we are much quicker than we ever were with hanked on sails, and I dont think that we have lost any angle to the wind. If we were going off-shore it would be a good idea to lock it in place with a small sail ready hanked on, but this isnt very practical in the Solent or Chichester harbour, where constant tacking is the order of the day.
Let me know if you want some pictures, and I will take a few this weekend.
Beiträge: 127
Registriert: Freitag 8. Juli 2011, 17:14

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