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Thursday, October 27, 2011

BACKSTAY LEVERS......




If you have a large boat perhaps a pair of the large backstay levers we have might be of use to you? The ones pictured are suitable for boats from 50' to about 80'. Twenty five years ago I purchased a set from Paul Luke for about $1000.00. There's a similar pair (the greenish bronze ones) priced at under $500.00. For thirty years we used a block and tackle arrangement on "Kelpie". I never knew how handy the levers were till I purchased the 68' schooner "Shearwater." Wow! Tacking up and down Newport Harbor was a cinch. Release one, set up the other. They always maintained the same amount of tension. No lines to coil or calling for more "beef" if you are late on the tack cinching up the tackles. There's one thing I want to caution you about when using them. The time to release one is when the boat is "head to wind" on the tack. If you are early, they are under a lot of tension. You MUST ALWAYS stand to one side of them. Once the lever passes the center point it will jump up at you. Serious injuries have resulted from using levers of this type by novice crew members. Being late on the tack can also cause you big trouble because the full force of the mainsail and boom will be on the lee backstay. Note also- we have several "quick release" levers for stay sail stays, baby stays etc.

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