Fine Tuning the Rig

Last season (2023) we purchased brand new North 3Di sails Tour Ultra X Sails.  However, we were having a few issues with our Genoa so we we had Roger at North Whangarei do an inspection and repair. During this repair we noticed some marks on the luff of the Genoa which indicates there might be a problem with our forestay, part of our standing rig.

See “Back in the Boatyard” for the reason why we had North do an inspection on the Genoa.  During the inspection, Roger pointed out several areas of concern.  There are black marks on the luff which indicate a potential problem with the forestay.

So, we contact Matthew at Whangarei Spars and Rigging and ask him to come inspect our rig, forestay, and furler. (For convenience, I refer to Matthew at Spars Rigging as Matthew and my Matt as Matt).

First, Matt ties our two spin halyards to each bow to secure the mast.  Then Matthew uses a ginormous 24″ wrench to loosen our side stays which will allow us to remove the forestay. Then Matthew removes the furler and secures it to the bow so it doesn’t flap around.

We send Matthew up the mast to loosen the top of the forestay.

Matt slowly releases the halyard holding the top of the forestay as I direct it away from the boat and Matthew gently places it on the grass.  It is really long at 16-17m and surprisingly heavy.

Disassembly and Evaluation

We have 9 foils, 8 joiners, and 12mm rod making up the forestay which holds our Genoa sail (or jib) and tensions the front of the mast.  A joiner is used when two foils meet and each joiner has 4 tiny screws.

Some of the screws are stripped and the men have to use a heat gun to loosen them enough for removal.  At each junction of the foils are joiners which are part aluminum and plastic.  Four of our joiners will need to be replaced as they are worn out.

While we had everything down and easily accessible, I take the opportunity to clean the stainless, remaining foils, and 12mm rod.


Matthew replaces two of the foils and 4 joiners.  He also replaced the bearing in the furler.  Putting the forestay back together took both Matt and Matthew several hours.  You have to line up the foil just right to get it on the rod, then the screw holes of the foil have to align with the screw holes of the joiners.  

Matthew uses 4000UV glue to ensure the older joiners do not slip or move. He is able to just tighten the new joiners so that they won’t move.  Each screw has loctite applied before being inserted (this will prevent them from shaking out).

The top bearing was fine and did not need to be replaced.  The bottom bear was replaced.

Installing the Rig

Once the forestay was back together, they tested it to make sure the sail could be raised and lowered smoothly.   Everything  worked well!  Next, we slowly raise the forestay to the top of the mast and fit it back to the boat.  It took a lot of effort to get it set.  We even had to use a dynema line and ratchet attached to Matthew’s truck to pull it down and tension it.  

After it was all set, Matthew tensioned the side stays.  I asked him about a rigging survey and he said our rig is in really good condition. Despite it being 8 years old.  Plus we have 4 rods which don’t show wear unless there is a broken strand and we certainly don’t have any of those!

Our blog posts run 10-12 weeks behind actual live events.  The events from this blog post occurred at Norsand Boatyard in early May.  Did you read about the Boatyard Projects we did before leave?

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