Etchell mast & inline spreaders

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by neris, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. neris
    Joined: Oct 2012
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    neris Junior Member

    Im looking at changing the rig on an ior mini tonner which has runners, checks, jumpers and inline spreaders. I have been thinking of going for swept back and loosing all the strings. Someone suggested changing to an Etchells rig as sail area is the same. The Etchell rig has in line spreaders and no runners. I was always led to believe that inline spreaders needed runners etc to support the mast. Can some one give me an idea or theory behind the etchell mast staying up without the control strings
  2. sharpii2
    Joined: May 2004
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    Location: Michigan, USA

    sharpii2 Senior Member

    Does your boat have a back stay?

    That's the only alternative I know of to either swept back spreaders or running back stays.

    The Etchells 22 has a back stay.
  3. CT 249
    Joined: Dec 2004
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    Location: Sydney Australia

    CT 249 Senior Member

    I use a deck-stepped Etchells mast on a small, light (2000kg) half tonner. The mast has been through various designs and now has a single set of aft-swept spreaders and a short overlap.

    The short overlap rig is fantastic to sail, although the small jib seems to hurt acceleration.

    Etchells normally support the mast at the deck with adjustable chocks. Very few of them lost masts when I was sailing them, as the basic section is reasonably tough. The backstay gives enough support to keep the mast in one piece, although the Etchells has a small jib and therefore is not putting enormous loads on the spar.

    Shangai Belle is, I think, a Quarter Tonner with an Etchells rig. I'd have thought the basic section, which is the same as a J/24 one I think, is a bit heavy for a QT.

    Check out the Sonata One Design in England or the Santana 20 in USA. Both are strong mini-tonner ODs with fractional rigs with no runners. Sonatas have notorious headstay sag but just cut the headsail to suit. The version of the Santana sold down here in Australia had in-line spreaders, a deck stepped mast and an untapered stick with 15/16 headstay. Forestay tension was reasonable but I am trying to remember when I had one in the '80s! Those classes could give some interesting comparisons.
  4. sean9c
    Joined: Jan 2011
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    Location: Anacortes,WA

    sean9c Senior Member

    The Etchells mast is a tree, way to big for a MT, a friend used one in his Whiting QT and it was way to heavy for that.
    No magic in keeping a frac rig up with inline spreaders and no runners. You just have to make the topmast stiff enough that the backstay tension makes headstay tension without excessive bend.
    For what it's worth the setup you have now gives you the most controllability. You've separated the headstay tension function and the mast bend function.

  5. neris
    Joined: Oct 2012
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    Location: planet me

    neris Junior Member

    Thanks for all info and suggestions so far. I should have added in my first post that one of my reasons for a rig change is to lower my IRC rating. As mini tonners go mine is at the top of the size range at 7 meters and upwind sail area is 30sq/m. An etchell is 32sq/m but has a non over lapping jib aswell which is points reducer in IRC along with loosing the runners, checks & jumpers.
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