Stowing the inner stay appears to be quite the challenge sometimes. All too many times I have seen systems that are either over complicated, under engineered or are just plain ineffective. Below I describe a method that is very straight forward, simple and effective.
Almost in every case imaginable, the inner stay storage bridle, is the key piece to any effective inner stay storage system. However, these days it seems harder and harder to find these clever little bent pieces of tubing. Wichard, was one of the original makers of these bridles and they called it a Stowage Clip. Also, C.Sherman Johnson, who used to make a beautiful one of these (similar to the design of Wichard’s), has for some reason redesigned it to what I think, is not as good of a design (see pic below). We here at The Rigging Company will simply make our own as they are needed. For reference, the one pictured above is the only image I could find that is similar to the one we make. This is what they are supposed to look like.
Next you will need two attachment points at (or slightly aft) and forward of the mast, preferably, just off to one side. If you don’t already have something in place, i.e. a stanchion base, mast pulpit, Dorade box, sturdy handrail, or maybe even one of the shroud chainplates or turnbuckles, I would recommend some folding pad eyes, mounted on the deck. The folding pad eye is nice as it folds flat when not in use.
The forward pad eye is for the stowage bridle attachment, which will require either a short strop or a small block and tackle between the welded eye on the bridle and the pad eye. This should keep the stay just forward and off of the mast and spreaders (see diagram). The aft pad eye is to attach the terminal of the stay by way of either a quick release lever, block and tackle, or direct attachment. I personally prefer the block and tackle because I like to take these big, heavy and expensive inner stay levers down below and out of the way. (Read more here for a quick note on choosing and setting-up your quick release levers.) Using the tackle between the bridle and forward pad eye instead of a strop (as pictured above) is our preferred method. This will require the stays end terminal to be simply shackled, lashed or otherwise directly attached to the aft pad eye. The stay is then tensioned using the stowage clip and tackle.
This set up is simple, tried and trued. The placement of the two attachment points at deck level (i.e. pad eye’s, turnbuckle, stanchion base etc.) is the key to the functionality of the system. The goal is to allow the stay to be stowed aft, with adequate tension so that it is out of the way and tight, yet forward enough to keep it off of the mast and the spreaders. Keep this in mind when setting up your inner stay storage system.
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