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Rigging help !!

Started by KSouter, 31 Mar 2022, 10:45

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Morning all, I am new to National 12 ownership, (indeed any dinghy ownership for quite a while) and I am about to start sailing my new National 12, Ill Wind on the Northeast coast
I put the mast up for the first time last weekend and noticed that I have a forestay and a Jib halyard, I have watched a couple of vids and noticed that there is no forestay shown, the Jib acts as a forestay while under sail, is this correct?

If this is the case, why is there a forestay at all, can't you just use the Jib Halyard as the stay while the boat is ashore ?

Any help would be much appreciated from this novice Nat 12 owner.

Kind regards


Yeah, I think just having a halyard is the usual way, and it's certainly what I do.  I guess either the previous owner was a very trad sailor or (just possibly) he sometimes sailed the boat without a jib (I've never tried that, but I guess it would be possible).  Dave


Thanks Dave, this just confirms what I was thinking, guess I will just need to be careful while hoisting the Jib that the mast doesn't fall back.


Just a minor point. If your mast is deck stepped you will require a forestay or something to stop the mast falling down when you lower the jib. I believe this is a requirement in the rules. Not normally a problem with a hog stepped mast which your boat probably is.
All smoke and Mirrors. N2153, 2969, 3411


Yes the Class rules do require that both the mainsail and jib can be lowered, by the crew from within the boat, without endangering the stability of the mast or its security in the boat.
When the rule came in some people retained the forestay but made sure that it was slack enough so it did not support the mast at all whilst racing.
It was retained as a safety requirement and either sagged six inches from the luff of the jib and caught the telltales from time to time! or it was fitted with a length of shockcord to tidy up the slack ).

In older boats where the mast slot had a pivoting gate, these would need to be fixed to comply with rules. Boats then were usually built with closed mast slot as your boat is.

To keep the mast foot inside the boat a pin is required through the mast step and the heal of the mast  ( normally a split pin or bolt ). This requirement is required particularly when a boat capsizes and there has been a jib halyard or shroud failure.

Some boats like mine have a mast strut rather than a mast ram or chocks, to control mast bend which also serves as a forestay substitute.

Hope all these post are helpful..

Kevan Bloor Certification Officer

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