Back Stay HF Insulators & Tension Adjustment

Vessels equipped with HF radio commonly employ their backstay as a ready- made antenna. This requires the backstay to be insulated from the rest of the vessel, and this is achieved by swaging two in-line HF insulators to the rigging wire, one at each end of the backstay to create an insulated section. The antenna cable from the wire is then connected to this insulated section of the backstay wire.

It is important not to allow the antenna cable’s outer coating to chafe on any non-insulated part of the vessel as this would create a ‘short’ and degrade the HF transmission and reception of signal.

Ocean Rigging can install insulators onto wire rigged backstays using our specialised hydraulic Ronstan swaging press. 

Backstay Tension adjustment:

To create or increase mast bend, the backstays on many vessels are equipped with the means to adjust the amount of tension applied to the masthead. In conjunction with an inner forestay (sometimes referred to as a ‘baby stay’) and possibly check stays, the shape of the mast may be considerably altered to create a desired sail shape. 

The means to adjust this tension may be a simple block & tackle system (manual purchase system), a turnbuckle system with either folding handles or a wheel, or, as is more commonly found on vessels of over approximately 30 feet, a hydraulic tension system. 

Ocean Rigging can replace or install the appropriate system for the vessel, and in the case of a hydraulic system, can arrange for professional hydraulic servicing.