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Mast lines

by Win Fowler, Posted July 16, 2008
"I’m building a 42-foot cutter that I hope to launch this year, and my present sailplan is a fractional rig with running backstays. I plan to use a carbon-fiber mast, but I want to do away with the runners. Can a rigger redesign the standing rigging—particularly the chainplate locations—or will I have to redo the whole sailplan? And if that’s what’s required, where should I go to get a new

Steady helm

by Win Fowler, Posted June 26, 2008
"My Grampian sloop is fairly heavy, but it performs well in a breeze. However, my arm gets tired holding the tiller to keep the boat sailing in a straight line. Would moving the foot of the mast forward or aft help correct this problem?"   -- Harry Newiger, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada Win Fowler replies: Several things could be causing this problem—it’s

Spar spares

by Win Fowler, Posted May 19, 2008
"Many experts recommend that cruisers carry extra shrouds and stays. To save space, I’m thinking about carrying Spectra line as a backup. Does the idea have any merit?"   -- Kim Barr , San Francisco, California Win Fowler replies: In theory, Spectra or Dyneema line—both are high-modulus polyethylene—will work fine as standing rigging in terms of breaking
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