Backstay adjustment can improve the sailing performace of a yacht.
Tightening the backstay creates extra tension on the forestay and pulls the mast aft which improves pointing ability upwind.
Loosening the backstay should allow the mast to move forward while still supported - this reduces weather helm and eases the stress on the mast and rigging when downwind sailing.
There are three common methods to achieve backstay adjustment: Hydraulic Ram Operated Tension, Rope Purchase System (running backstays), Manual Thread Winding
All of these can be applied directly to the rig or as part of a split backstay arrangement which can immediately double the power of adjustment and halve the rate for finer tuning
Wichard Backstay Adjusters are tensioned and released by:
- winding on a wheel
- pumping a handle (lever)
- pumping a handle (lever) with a ratchet to ensure no accidental release during tensioning