Preventing excessive upward curvature in fore stays

Jan 1, 2018

Ramsey, Minnesota, USA
Hi Everyone!

One of the challenges in rigging has always been preventing stays from being pulled out of a straight line from tension of back stays and tack lines. If the builder isn't careful, the forestays can be pulled into a curve by the cumulative tension of lines and blocks attached to them. The question becomes, how much deflection from a straight line is acceptable? My guess the answer is, as straight as possible while maintaining the shape of crow's feet for back stays and tension of the tack lines. Higher tension of the stays helps keep them straighter, but too much tension will pull the masts out of alignment. The trick is to balance the tensions between the stays and those lines that are trying to pull them out of a straight line. Since many kits use line thicknesses which are too large for scale, using thinner line, even thread for the thinnest lines on smaller models, for tack and back stay lines can reduce the amount of deflection which the fore stays experience, while keeping tacks and crow's feet nice and taut.

Deflection of forestays is rather extreme in this drawing from 1629.

Scratch Build of La Couronne by Karl Faendrich. Note how carefully he maintained the stays in a straight line.

Some deflection of the main mast forestays is evident here in my model of La Courounne.
1343 Progress So Far 53.jpg
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Staff member
Forum Moderator
Jul 15, 2013

Yorkshire England
Hi Kurt

At some point in my modelling life,I remember someone saying to mark the forward spiders web of rigging onto a board and insert pins in the board.This forward section of rigging is then mocked up off the model and painted with dilute PVA bar the ends that tie of to the stay.When dry, this can then be fitted to the model as a complete section on the model and the small lines appear taught without putting undue tension on the main stay.
In theory this should give arrow straight lines but have yet to try it for myself

Kind Regards