Sails

Mast lines

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"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 one?"

-- Frank Partridge, Everglades City, Florida

Win Fowler replies: Installing swept-back spreaders and moving the chainplates aft might let you avoid having to use running backstays. But if you want to be sure this is going to work, you should have a naval architect who specializes in sailboat design reconfigure the rig without runners. If you don’t know any architects in your area, your spar maker should be able to give you several recommendations.

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