Hints and Tips



SO32 Adjustable Backstay

One of the major assets of both the SO and SF 32's is the 9/10ths fractional rig with quite a high degree of pre-bend for a production mast.


The 9/10th rig is a great combination giving improved tuning options over standard masthead configurations whilst maintaining almost direct tension on the head stay for windward sailing.


The SO32 like most SO's comes with a fixed split backstay bridle, but this is very easy to convert to an 8:1 adjustable backstay giving improved windward performance.

Firstly I removed the two backstay wires running from the transom to the toggle at the bottom of the main wire running from the masthead. At this point I fitted a Wichard 75mm wire block and ran a new 6mm wire from the starboard transom fitting up through the block and approx halfway down to the port transom. At the end of the 6mm wire I fitted a 50mm Wichard wire block through which I ran a 5mm wire from the port transom fitting and again approx half way back down. At the end of the 5mm wire I fitted a 50mm Rutgerson fiddle block that matches perfectly the colour of the standard Sparcraft blocks on the mast. At the port transom fitting I used a standard rigging plate that allows a single point connection one end and a double connotation at the other. This is perfect for attaching the dead end of the 5mm wire and a Rutgerson 50mm fiddle block with jam cleat.


6mm Spectra rope completes the set-up of well functioning 8:1 adjustable backstay.

Note: Whist the rig has swept spreaders and is at no risk of falling down with no backstay tension it is important to have tension when sailing with a spinnaker or gennaker downwind.


Happy sailing


Stephen Stones - "H2Eau" - Auckland, New Zealand