anyone installed a backstay tensioner on a C34? We're considering
it, and I'd like to hear some informed opinions.
Please Note: Forestay and backstay too short
There is a problem with the rigging on our C34 MKII. The turnbuckle
on the furler has about three threads showing on each end and the
forestay is tight. The backstay has three shackles in series on each
side and the turnbuckles are barely engaged. Our hull number is
Trident, 1996, email@example.com,
Yup, I installed one. It consisted of one of those tensioner
plate assemblies, the kind with 5 sheaves between two stainless
steel plates. The split backstay rides on the inside of the upper 4
sheaves, and the lowest (fifth) sheave is used for the tensioning
tackle. The tensioning tackle was a 3:1 block/tackle arrangement,
pulling on a 6 x 19 wire rope attached via nicropressed sleeves and
thimbles. To provide for attachments points at the bottom end of the
block and tackle, and for the far end of the wire rope, I replaced
the clevis pins at the bottoms of the backstay with large D
shackles, whose pins were equal to the diameter of the original
clevis pins. Well, they weren't precisely 'equal', I had to slightly
drill out the backstay fittings to clear the pins, but only a little
bit. The block/tackle and far end of the wire rope attached to the D
shackles with snap shackles, so I could pull the whole thing off
quickly in case I needed an emergency block & tackle somewhere.
It worked well, although it took a few shots of silicone spray on
the sheaves to keep it from squeaking loudly when adjusted (Norm
The back stay tensioner mentioned by Norm Bernstein is better
suited for the 1991 and later C-34s. Catalina made the split
in the back stay much higher when they introduced the walk through
transom. On the earlier C-34s (without the walk through
transom) the tensioner plate assembly with the five sheaves tends
to pull the lower split back stay together creating a head bumping
hazard when using the boarding ladder.
A number of us with the lower back stay split made our own using
three wire blocks, 7 x 19 wire rope and a 4:1 block/tackle with a
cam cleat. This keeps the adjuster assembly as high as
possible when not in use. We attached tangs drilled out on
one end to fit the clevis pins already securing the bottom of the
back stay. There was sufficient depth to accept the tangs
with washers and cotter rings. The block/tackle on one
end and the wire rope easily attached to the tangs with quick
links (Ron Hill, C34 National Association Technical Editor).
What are the recommended tensionings for the backstay adjuster?
According to a May, 1990 article in Mainsheet, you should
consider the following tensionings:
||Trim at spreader
Important: The opinions expressed here are those of
the individual contributors to this page, and not those of the
Catalina 34 National Association or Catalina Yachts, Inc.
Additionally, this material has not been reviewed by Catalina
Yachts, Inc. for technical accuracy. This page's maintainer cannot
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suggested modifications or upgrades. Please obtain assistance from a
competent marine mechanic or boatyard prior to making any
significant modifications to your vessel.