longitudinal rigging

Longitudinal rigging on a sailboat refers to the collection of stays and systems that support and control the mast’s fore-and-aft (longitudinal) movement and stability.

Forestays on the front of the mast and often used to fly sails from. More than one multiple forestay can be used at the same time. These stays may be removable.

To counteract the forces of these sails, backstays are used. These stays can either be fixed (1) or running. (a pair)

Checkstays can be used to control mastbend.

Longitudinal rigging consists of:

Forestay: The forestay is a fixed synthetic stay that runs from the top of the mast to the bow of the boat, supporting the mast forward. It helps counterbalance the force generated by the mainsail.

Inner fore stay (IFS): The inner forestay is used to support a smaller headsail, such as a storm jib or a staysail. By attaching the inner forestay further aft on the boat and tensioning it properly, it allows to use a smaller, more manageable sail.

Backstay (fixed): The backstay runs from the top of the mast to the stern of the yacht. It helps support the mast backward and is adjustable to control mast bend and tension.

Running Backstays: Instead of a fixed backstay two running backstays can be used. Running backstays are adjustable stays that attach to the mast near or at the top of the rig and lead aft to winches.

Checkstays: Checkstays are similar to running backstays but are used to control mast bend and tension in specific sailing conditions, particularly when sailing upwind or in heavy weather.

By adjusting the tension and position of these longitudinal rigging components, sailors can fine-tune the shape of the sails, control the balance of the boat, and optimize performance in different weather conditions.