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 Catalina/Capri 25/250 Sailor's Forums
 Catalina 250 Specific Forum
 Forestay length
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NCBrew
Captain

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USA
325 Posts

Initially Posted - 11/24/2020 :  08:21:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am in the process of installing a new headsail and I found out the forestay is too short. I do not know how to lengthen the forestay so I can use my backstay. I want to be able to bend the mast to the rear. The forestay is too short. Can anyone tell me how to lengthen the forestay.

NCbrew

1998 Catalina 250K WK
Ravaging
Albemarle Sound,NC

I spent most of my money on boats and beer, the rest I just wasted.


HappyNow
1st Mate

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USA
92 Posts

Response Posted - 11/24/2020 :  09:36:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There is a discussion on this topic about adding a toggle to the forestay in the archives on 11/4/19. I put forestay extension in the search area and it came right up.

Michael Levin
Sailin' on Sunshine
C250 #402 WK
Lake Tahoe
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TakeFive
Master Marine Consultant

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2244 Posts

Response Posted - 11/24/2020 :  09:38:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
How does a different headsail affect the forestay length? If the new sail does not fit your forestay, you need to adjust the sail, not the forestay.

Rick S., Swarthmore, PA
PO of Take Five, 1998 Catalina 250WK #348 (relocated to Baltimore's Inner Harbor)
New owner of 2001 Catalina 34MkII #1535 Breakin' Away (at Rock Hall Landing Marina)
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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USA
5482 Posts

Response Posted - 11/24/2020 :  11:58:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We don't always have the correct answers, but we usually know the right questions to ask.

How do you know your forestay is too short? Have you measured it? The owner's manual says the forestay length should be 29' - 7 3/4".

Do you really want to bend your mast, or just tilt it aft? The C250 has a masthead rig, and most people don't bend them. I think a few will adjust them with a little pre-bend, but most don't even do that.

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore
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HappyNow
1st Mate

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USA
92 Posts

Response Posted - 11/24/2020 :  12:17:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There are also some discussions about how to get prebend in the mast if that’s what you are trying to do with the backstay. I had to use the trailer winch and the mast raising harness to pull the mast forward below the spreaders, then tighten the backstay.
You can also do that by tightening the upper stays first, then the backstay, then the forestay but that didn’t work for me.

Michael Levin
Sailin' on Sunshine
C250 #402 WK
Lake Tahoe
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TakeFive
Master Marine Consultant

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2244 Posts

Response Posted - 11/24/2020 :  13:15:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Be very careful. Because there are no forward lowers, you don't have the "normal knobs to turn" to increase prebend. As the instruction manual says, tensioning the uppers will get a little prebend (an inch or so) due to the compression on the swept-back spreaders. But overdo this and you'll damage the rig with excessive tension in the uppers and stress on the chainplates.

IIRC, the boat was designed for about 4" rake. My boat came with 12" rake and suffered excessive weather helm until I adjusted it back.

This is not a racing boat, and IMO it not designed to "push the envelope" with extreme adjustments in the rig. I strongly suggest you stick to the original specs for rig dimensions.

If your new headsail is too long to fit on the standard forestay, lengthening the forestay is not going to fix the problem. Would you lengthen the furler foil also?

Rick S., Swarthmore, PA
PO of Take Five, 1998 Catalina 250WK #348 (relocated to Baltimore's Inner Harbor)
New owner of 2001 Catalina 34MkII #1535 Breakin' Away (at Rock Hall Landing Marina)

Edited by - TakeFive on 11/24/2020 13:16:59
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redeye
Master Marine Consultant

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3411 Posts

Response Posted - 12/13/2020 :  20:58:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Not that I would recommend anyone do what I have done on my catalina 25.. I need to order a new forestay... maybe this post will push this to the top of the todo list. This many shackles is not a good idea and I visually inspect them every time I go out. I've also subsequently learned the cotter rings are considered useless, and I have in my lifetime found two fittings where the cotter rings were missing. apparently they grab on cloth, get bent and "ping" spring off.
I've never seen a cotter pin "missing"

Now.. for lack of doing the proper thing I've done this ... because my headsail was too long.

BTW shackles are expensive... be sure to hang an umbrella below you before adding shackles.

and damned if that cotter ring on the bottom shackle doesn't look like its about to come out on this picture from three months ago. now I won't be able to sleep. I'll be going out to the boat tomorrow. Don't ya just love photography.



Ray in Atlanta, Ga.
"Lee Key" '84 Catalina 25 SR/FK
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