Inner Forestay

Seeking advice for a project or do you want to share the outcome of one? Various technical tips and questions.
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Puddle Sailor
Joined:Wed Apr 03, 2019 1:51 pm
Inner Forestay

Post by Puddle Sailor » Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:59 am

I'm considering to add a inner forestay to my Dufour 385GL as I note that there is a fitting in place on the mast.

Can anyone that has added a cutter stay inform about if it is necessary to also add some stay going backwards to compensate for the forward pull in the top of the mast.

Do you park it by the mast or on the side of the boat? What is it like to have the forestay in the park position when not in use? Will it interfere with anything? Is the stay stretched out in the parking position in the from of the sheet track or is it then a loose item that is moving around?

When tightening the forestay for sailing. How do you know how hard to set it?

I'm considering to add a furling genua on the new inner forestay. The plan is that it can be minimized to a storm jib. Has anyone tried this?

Have you seen any cracks due to overload on the deck resulting from the pull of the extra stay?
(Should I consider reinforcing the deck before installing an inner forestay?)

Is there anything you would have done differently if installing an inner forestay on another boat?

I would greatly appreciate if you can take you time to answer so that I can get my planned installation right.

Photos will be appreciated.
Best Regards

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Joined:Wed Oct 28, 2015 2:35 am
Location:Sardegna / Italy

Re: Inner Forestay

Post by Milva » Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:30 pm


I have the same plan and i inspected a GL 455 with a fixed cutter stay with a roller furling. He is using his setup for several years WITHOUT any backstays. I attached a massive iron clamp on the sheet that seperates the anchor hatch from the cabin. I checked a lot of setups for the rig. i think the best idea is to use a removable forstay made with Dyneema and a pulley to handle from the cockpit. The guy who made that system said the main problem ist to force the tension enough to hoist the sail properly, especialy with strong winds.


Cpt. Holzschnauz
SY Milva

Many thanks to Michael for this forum.

Joined:Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:09 pm

Re: Inner Forestay

Post by Chara » Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:11 pm

Hi Milva

I've added an innerforestay on my 385GL in 2015 and crossed the atlantic in 2015/16 ( Sailing goosewinged on the tradewindsworked great. I've had a sailmaker in Las Palmas added stainless steel rings behind the luff of my high aspect sail, and hoisted this sail with the spinakerhallyard. For this purpose the sailmaker made special dynema softhangs that worked perfectly, we did an average off 6.7 knots crossing from mindelo cape verden to Surinam (13days) the boat was in perfect balance by sailing 165 degrees with the wind from behind.To make sure the boat sails the windcourse you need to push 2 buttons on the autopilot simultaneously My raymarine autopilot (XP10) worked excellent by setting the pitch on 1 (on a scale fm 1-10) which resulted that it did not used a lot of amps . with 400 watts of solarpanels we coyuld keep fridge and freezer and ais and plotter on and only had to run the generator 3 times for half an hour at night to boost up the batteries.
To make the proper installation place the pad eye on deck right after the anchorwinch and bolt a stainless steel plate underdeck with a vertical plate on which a turnbuckle(riggingscrew) can be connected this than connects to underdeckplate of the padeye. My inneforestay can be loosened with a pelicanhook and if not used connected to the mainstay, I only use it for long distance sailing as it makes tacking difficult. The beauty of this goosewinged sialing is that you do not need the mainsail and you can put the largest genoa on the furlexroller on the forestay enabling safe reefing without going to the foredeck. We had a rule of thumb 15-18 knots full sail +20 knots 1 dot away on the genoa. +25 knots 2 dots away on the genoa and +30knot genoa rolled up completely. We had a great sailing experience with our 385 on the ocean and at one time had 50 knots for 1,5 day eneterin gflores at the acores. If you need more info juist send me a email at

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