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Thread: Forestay Snapped

  1. #1
    Darren is offline Enough to be safely dange
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    Default Forestay Snapped

    So as the title suggest this weekend my forestay snapped on me. Fortunately only my forestay was damaged. Mast is still standing tall and my brand new 2nd time out Jib is rip free. Hopefully she's also not stretched to hell. So now for some back story. I redid my standing rigging on my Islander 30-2 a few years ago and was told to go with 1/4" instead of what was on there (one size smaller than 1/4" don't remember). So I bought a bunch of 316L 1/4" cable, Turn buckles, and Hi-Mods fittings. I replaced everything without issue and did the forestay last. The furler intimated me and I wanted to watch at least 40 hrs of how to change the cable with different accents, and terminology. So after all that I decided to have one side I think the drum side pressed on because the Hi-Mod wouldn't fit in the drum or the extra long tread extender wasn't available don't remember it was a few year before covid now that I think about it. I was able to slide my new thicker 1/4" cable up the foil by removing a strands to make fishing the cable easier. I've been sailing on and off for about 3 years without issue until I finally decided to properly tension my rig this weekend.

    So after watching a marathon of youtube and googling I found a method of tensioning I liked. Saturday I went up to the boat and backed off the shrouds the upper shrouds to very loose and the lowers to limp. Then I tentioned my back stay to 1210 according to my Loos Model B gauge. I had to cut my back stay shorter twice (a total of 3.5" removed) to get my back stay tension to what loos suggested for 1/4" stay tension (1,250). Then I did a lengthy back and forth of tensioning and measuring stay length to get the shrouds good. I unfurled the jib in the slip to stretch everything out for about an hour as I cleaned up and then went home. The next day I took out Dory for a sail. While I was bobbing around oyster point cooking to death and waiting for the wind I noticed my back stay was super slack so I tightened up the turnbuckle and it needed a lot more than the turn buckle could give. So I took down the sails and setup my temp backstay and cut another 2.5" off my back stay, put everything back together and retensioned my back stay to 1,210 pounds. The wind never really came up so I went back to the marina. SFO had some wind about 10 knots or so and Coyote Point had a touch more.During my limited sail down wind I didn't notice anything off, but when I was pointing down the channel of Coyote Point I noticed all kinds of craziness my drum was going up and down left and right, my foil was behind my ledging edge. Once I got behind the jetty and going down the fairway I rolled up the jib dropped the main and got into my slip. That's when I saw my forestay had snapped. I took my sail off without getting it wet, and tossed it down below and called it a day.

    So my question to the community is how do I replace my forestay?
    Do I go with an undersized forestay that will go threw my foil really easily, and keep my back stay at 1/4"
    Do I get a new furlier (which I really don't want to do) so I can run a 1/4 forestay
    If I do get a new furlier any options on Alado Furlers? I've read some good things about them

    Thanks for the read and reply
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  2. #2
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Darren View Post
    So as the title suggest this weekend my forestay snapped on me.
    So my question to the community is how do I replace my forestay?
    Do I go with an undersized forestay that will go threw my foil really easily, and keep my back stay at 1/4"
    Do I get a new furlier (which I really don't want to do) so I can run a 1/4 forestay
    If I do get a new furlier any options on Alado Furlers? I've read some good things about them
    There are so many things wrong and unknown with this post, including removing a strand of wire rope rigging as well asking the public what to do, I am appalled. But happy for you the wind was light and the mast is still standing. Would suggest bringing a professional into play before you spend many more hours and $ trying to make the whole thing work safely. ~sleddog
    Last edited by sleddog; 07-11-2022 at 10:45 AM.

  3. #3
    Darren is offline Enough to be safely dange
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    Only the first few inches maybe foot had the missing strand to install the cable. The tapered part was cut off so all the strands were present for the full length of the forestay. To be more clear I'm really asking is has this happened to anyone else, or is anyone running a thicker backstay than forestay, and if anyone has heard of that brand of furler. It's got good reviews on cruising forums and one the reviews was from the gay area.

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    Help us understand. You were tensioning and ultimately shortening the backstay twice with the shrouds "very loose to limp?" Yikes. Then you cut the backstay off again because it was super slack, likely because the headstay had failed at the upper end and the tension was on the jib luff and failed dinghy shackle on the jib halyard. Double yikes. The headstay failed not because the wire size was too small, though 7/32 or 1/4 would have been better. Tell me I'm wrong. But it looks like the headstay failed because of oblique stressing due to lack of a toggle system that provides play both side to side and fore and aft. Without this toggling at both the top and bottom, the headstay will ultimately fail no matter what diameter wire rope you select. A roller furler recommendation from a gay forum? What pray tell does that mean? As far as I know, sexual preference has nothing to do with roller furling.
    Last edited by sleddog; 07-11-2022 at 04:28 PM.

  5. #5
    Darren is offline Enough to be safely dange
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    Bay not gay, my bad. I can see how bad that looks. Trust me I don't care who your going to bed with unless it's my wife or daughter. As for a toggle up top I'd think so everything else was toggles upper and lowers. I'll have to check my phone when it comes back from being repaired. I don't have install pictures on my laptop. The lower definitely has a toggle, and the original rigging had an eye up top.

    Thanks for the reply
    Last edited by Darren; 07-11-2022 at 08:29 PM.

  6. #6
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    This is a TEST. Earlier today I wrote a long repsonse, but it hasn't made an appearance here. Pat Broderick

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    Okay, another try. Hi-MOD Compression Fittings, like all compression fittings, are engineered for specific wire types and sizes. Each strand must "cascade" around the cone properly before the body is slid down around it. If not, a strand might get caught in the cone slot or there might be gaps in the "spread." Everything depends on compressing the wire's end evenly with that compression creating the friction that makes the "compression" fitting work. Each manufacturer specifies which compression fitting works with what wire. To deviate is a recipe for disaster.

    By stripping out a strand (or more) you compromised the whole idea. It's lucky the compression fitting failed in the S. Bay in mild wind. If it had failed in the Central Bay with 25 knots or more there could have been dire consequences: broken spars, destroyed sails, or human harm.

    Furler manufacturers specify wire size for each model. Again it's a system and "adjusting" wire size by stripping out strand(s) compromises the integrity of that system, creating a danger to the the integrity of the rigging.

    Years ago when Jimmy Leech was selling Neil Pryde sails and Selden filters in Sausalito we spent a fully day installing a furler and new sail on my Newport 30 (similar to your boat). Jim had sold furlers to others, but they had been installed by professionals. As a favor he agreed to help me do it myself. At day's end we both agreed that the next time we'd call the pros! The system worked until I sold the boat, so we got it right, but never again!

    My strong suggestion to prevent further failures is to carefully read the instructions for both the fuller and compression fittings. And follow them to the letter. Consulting a rigger about proper wire size for the forestay would be a good idea. If the recommendation is to go up a wire size, that means a new furling system, not "adjusting" wire size to fit a smaller furling system.

    I don't know what to say about the backstay. If you've shortened it by 6" it's probably too short once the forestay is installed correctly. My strong suggestion is to not try splicing that length back in. A new backstay sounds in the offing.

    Good Luck! Pat Broderick

  8. #8
    Darren is offline Enough to be safely dange
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    The cable didn't have any missing strands, and each landing in the star of the cone had a strand. I just removed a strand to make it easier to slide it up the foil and cut out the section that had missing strand. I'm pretty sure the The cable was a little long in the beginning but yeah the last bit I'm pretty sure was from the forestay breaking. After looking closer at the picture I think sledgedog is right about not having a toggle up top. I'll find out more this weekend.

  9. #9
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    Thoughts on the Alado Furler - the idea of capturing the halyard tension and imposing that on the foil as compression is not new, it also doesn't work well. There's no ability to adjust halyard tension under way, and you can't get sufficient tension on the halyard in the first place. So that's not helpful. The person at Alado that wrote the bit on "halyard sheaves" doesn't understand how sails work - halyard tension is critical to controlling draft in the headsail. They wrote: "As there are no hanks, high halyard tension is not required" and that's entirely false. Hanks or luff tape isn't relevant, it's sail shape that's relevant and halyard tension is part of setting that shape.

    Polypropylene is a particularly poor bearing surface. Much better to use Delrin or HMPE.

    I'd stop right there and skip the Alado Furler - there are far better choices, two I like are Schaefer and Harken.

    Regarding standing rigging dimensions - look at the geometry of the standing rigging; the backstay has a wider angle to the masthead than the headstay, so you do not need a backstay stronger than the headstay, in fact you usually can do the reverse.

    As regards the overall approach, your note does not suggeset to me a lot of knowlege about rigging. Watching youtube vides is hardly an authoritative way to learn. At the very least get a rigger on the boat and walk through with them what your goal is, and hire them to specify what they believe would work for you.

    As an example: You don't ever remove lateral support from the spar when setting headstay/backstay tension - that's asking for the mast to come down right there at the dock. As Skip mentioned, you always toggle the headstay (at both ends) to handle lateral loads, otherwise the wire rigging will fail.

    You don't mention specifically *why* you were suggested to up-size the standing rigging. Once you decide to do that you then need to size everything else to match. This includes clevis pin diameters, roller furler bearing diameters, tang sizing, etc. You typically can't just increase wire diameter without also up-sizing other fittings to match. So yes - if the new 1/4" wire won't fit through the furler you replace the furler with one that fits the new wire size.

    I don't know if any of the above is helpful, I'm trying hard to not be overly critical, but your note leads me to believe you do not understand the problems you're solving when engineering, building, and installing standing rigging.

    And why did you decide 1250 pounds was a good backstay tension? Normally you'd get the shrouds tensioned to where sailing upwind in 10-12 knots of wind the leeward shrouds do not go slack (basic rig tuning), then go back to the dock and determine max backstay load before the hull bends. To do that, run a fine wire (steel fishing leader works) from the headstay aft across the mast to the backstay, tape the ends in place so they can't move, place a pencil mark on the mast where the wire touches it. Add backstay until the wire droops and moves away from your pencil mark (even a tiny bit) - that exactly marks the point at which there's no value to increasing backstay as all you're doing is bending the hull and you're no longer adding tension to the headstay. There's no way Loos would know that load value on *your* boat.

    - rob/beetle
    Last edited by tiger beetle; 08-01-2022 at 09:08 PM.

  10. #10
    Darren is offline Enough to be safely dange
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    I've been really busy with work and kids volleyball stuff. But I figured out what happened. One of the foils came loose. This allowed the foil to slide up and grab the compression fitting. Over time the act of rolling and unrolling the sail backed off the compression fitting. I was going to replace the piece that holds the foils together but it also looks like harken doesn't sell mk1 parts anymore so I'm now saving up for a new furler.

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