An Affordable Fitting so you can Adding a Removable Staysail Stay
There are many reasons to have a staysail stay or babystay, even if your boat is not cutter rigged, even if you don’t need the extra sail power of a staysail. As winds get heavier, a babystay will help ensure your mast stays straight. If your roller furling set up fails, it gives you a stay on which to set a hanked on sail, it will let you set a storm sail inboard where it can be more effective, and if your boat does not heave to with just a heavily reefed mainsail or trysail, the storm sail can be backed to help achieve the balance you need to keep your boat laying properly. But a permanently attached staysail stay can be a hassle. To make it work it’s best you need some type of release mechanism which, in lighter winds, lets you unhook the stay and lash it back near the mast. On both Taleisin and Seraffyn, we used a bronze hy-field lever on our staysail stay, one which we were able to purchase relatively reasonably. But over the years removable stays went out of fashion and prices sky rocketed for these levers. In our book, The Capable Cruiser we showed drawings for making your own release lever or what we labeled a J-hook.
Recently, I came across a short article, written by Alvah Simon about a strong and elegant looking, locally made (New Zealand) lever that is well worth considering. Gerry Jacobs, a keen sailor produces these in quality stainless steel for wire sizes from ¼ to 5/6th inch and with a certified breaking load of 6 tons. The price, with freight to most parts of the world is half that of other, more industrial looking levers. Take a look at www.hooklever.co.nz