Westsail Owners Alliance - Thread: "Split Backstay"
Westsail Westsail Owners Affiliation
 Important information about this site! 

Thread: "Split Backstay"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012


Text Strings  

Full Phrase  


All Words  

Any Word  


Message Text

Text & Author  


Split Backstay

Joseph and Monica Lynch

I've read, somewhere, that by adding chainplates to the stern, athwartships and aft of the sampson posts, I can add a split backstay and eliminate my boomkin. I am nearing the point of replacing or eliminating my boomkin. I estimate that this will require me to cut about 8-12 inches from my boom, and maybe an inch or so from the leach of my main. I would prefer to remove it alltogether and install a SS sternpulpit. Are you aware of this conversion? Do you consider this a viable alternative to the boomkin?

Aaron Norlund

What is the problem with boomkins on W32s? I'd imagine if you want to get rid of it, it causes some problem. Seeing as I'm in the market for at a W28 or 32, I'd like to hear your thoughts on it!

Thanks for your help,

Aaron N.

Rich Morpurgo

The wooden ones have been known to fail, either by rot or undersized and corroded boomkin stay tangs (is that what they are called).

A solid wood boomkin should be fine, especially with Bud's stainless crosspiece.

If course I have a HUGE stainless steel box contraption that must weigh a ton.

Bud can tell you more.....

Joseph and Monica Lynch

I'm worried primarily about unseen rot in the boomkin. It is fairly well loaded and even a little failure will be catastrophic. The second reason I want to go without is to clean up the area around the lazzurette. I have installed a topping lift and moved my traveler to the front of the cockpit and am about to remove the boom gallows as soon as I find a stern pulpit. I am starting to lean toward simply replacing the wooden boomkin with Bud's stainless boomkin/stern pulpit. the primary consideration is economic.

Aaron Norlund

Thanks for the info.

I seem to be reading a lot of people using travelers aboard W32s. Is this because of dodgers or for some performance gain?

I've sailed aboard one 32 and it had a triple purchase block on the boom and another on deck amidships, with singles on the port and starboard taffrail and one continuous sheet, trimable from either side. Having spent a great deal of time aboard tallships, this is the system I've used most and have never seen a negative side other than occasionally needing a preventer/vang to keep the belly from burping in swell on a beam to broad reach.

Thanks for the continuing education,
Aaron N.

Bud Taplin

The wood boomkin is certainly prone to rot, and must be carefully checked quite often. That is the reason I designed a stainless steel boomkin, and it is the only one I sell. I have also made a kit to attach split backstays to the hull, however it does require cutting down the main boom, and moving the boom gallows forward. Another alternative is to use a ridgid boom vang, and eliminate the head knocking boom gallows from the aft deck. This is a plus as far as I am concerned.

A mainsheet attachment on the boomkin gives the most power and ease of trimming the mainsail, but it is necessary to use a vang to keep the proper shape in the mainsail. A traveler across the bridgdeck is the best location for power and trim, however it does interfere with a dodger, and can make exiting from below difficult. A traveler across the cabintop will work, but requires a good purchase on the car to move it port to starboard to properly trim the mainsail. It also puts a strain on the midpoint of the boom, and you have to be careful to not put a permanent bend in the boom.

Three different locations, each with plus and minus. Take your choice.

Joseph and Monica Lynch

Papillon was originally rigged with a 4:1 boom-end mainsheet mounted on a bronze bar across the lazzurette and tiller. There are no control lines for the sliding bonze fitting that attached the fiddle block/cam cleat to the bronze cross-piece and with every tack and jibe the boom would go crashing across the cockpit. I've installed a Harken Mid-Range traveller with a 75mm 6:1 mainsheet. This will make it so that I am no longer the only one aboard that is strong enough to trim the main when the wind is blowing more than 10k.

Safety being the biggest issue, the next concern is this configuration did not permit me to get any closer than 45 or 50 degrees apparrent. The traveller permits me to pull the car up higher and I am able to beat at 30 degrees. You'll hear that Westsails do not go to weather well, but she's been just over 7 knots sog in 15 knots true wind at 35 degrees apparrent. With some practice and an eye on sail shape, She will get up and go in the right conditions. Adjusting the genoa cars for a good leach/foot shape and getting the staysail tack in the right place dramatically improved the balance just a slight weather-helm.

Better sail shape was the third goal. Papillon is a flush deck and I do not have a dodger, so that was not a consideration when I installed the traveller. I am not prepared for offshore sailing yet, so a dodger is a distant upgrade. I am going for a headsail roller furler next.

Joseph and Monica Lynch

Bud, I was planning to rely on the topping lift and vang and eliminate the gallows anyway. I did install a traveller on the bridgedeck, I used a 1.8 meter track to permit moving the car clear of the conpanionway. It is a minor toe stubber, but the low profile track is not too much to tolerate. Will you provide me with information about the split backstay kit that you carry? JPLynchRN@comcast.net
Thank you

  Forum Archive Home    Back to Previous Page   Show Posts w/ Images   Windbag Newsletter 
This site is provided as service to Westsail Owners by Jack Webb on Westsail 32, Hull #438, at http://HighSeasDrifter.net,
This site is provided as service to Westsail Owners by  Jack Webb (s/v Drifter, Westsail 32, Hull #438)