Forestay Location vs. Hounds

I am going to be drilling my USOM mast soon to start assembling the rig. Where should the hounds be, compared to the forestay attachment point (above, below, level)? This is an “A” rig. Thanks fore the help.

-Andrew Miller

There is nothing in the US1M class rule to control the position of the forestay or shrouds within the rig dimensions, so you can do what you want.

On masthead rigs, there is no advantage to place the shrouds lower than the forestay.

So I would place the shrouds at the top of the mast (and the spreaders at halfway to the deck). A masthead fitting in the shape of a cross would provide the four attachments: forestay, backstay and two shrouds.

If you are going to be using the max allowable roach the forestay attachment pretty much has to be at the masthead.

The plans I have are from Midwest Model Yachting and it has the forestay located at 220mm from the top of the mast, I was planning on making the hounds around 100-110mm from the top of the mast. Maybe my wording has been a bit off. My jib does not have a luff wire installed, so what I have been calling the forestay is actually going to be where the spectra will attach the head of the job to the mast. I may still install a true forestay from top of the mast to the bow.

My very best advise is, do not install a separate fore stay.
If you do you will find it very difficult to achieve a tight jib luff.
The load becomes shared with the fore stay and neither can be made tight.:scared:

The best system is that used, by most, good racers today, with the jib luff stay attached to the front of the jib boom, the jib sail attached to the boom at the tack, (lower front corner ) with adjustments for jib stay length and jib luff tension at the top of the rigging.
The secret of tuning the jib is in the fitting of a so called “leech line” which is an adjustable line from the jib stay attachment point at the mast to the rear of the boom.
This allows the setting of the amount of twist in the jib and is in my opinion one of most important settings you have, to ensure best performance from any model yacht.
If anyone wants further explanation just ask and you shall receive.:witch:

Would it be worth adding a jib luff stay? Currently my jib has no stay to speak of. I could see where this would create a nice leading edge, which would be beneficial. I’ll have to do some thinking to see if I could do it on my jib. I might also add that everyone in my area sails CR-914’s so this is really a re-learn how to sail boat, while fast would be good, I wont have a gauge to measure it by. Once I get my skills and building methids well sorted with this boat I am going to attempt my own “Annapolis Harbor” suited design, something with a bit more freeboard, a bit more displacement and more sail area in the 50-50 inch range.

Yes, IMHO adding a jib luff stay would be essential for best performance.
There are a number of methods of adding such to an existing sail.
Tiny plastic tube sleeves taped to the luff.
A folded over luff tape allowing for the insertion of a wire stay.

One of the best sites for information is that run by Lester Gilbert.


Hey Don -

might want to correspond with Earl Boebert. He is using a very small diameter carbon tube as his leading edge on his jib on his RG-65.

According to Earl (I paraphrase) it is very rigid and fights the tendency for the jib luff to bend off/sag in gusts. He can better explain his technique for attaching to deck and mast. With most big boats going to some sort of jib luff attachment - using the same concept on our little ones seems worth a try.


First, of course, you have to make sure this is legal in your class. The rigid jib stay was used by L.Francis Herreshoff on his celebrated “Live Yankee,” (the boat that killed the R Class) and patented by him IIRC 1928. It was widely used by UK free sailing M Class skippers in the late 60’s and early 70’s – I got the idea from Griffin’s book. I also think one of the Footy builders uses one and has reported on it in this forum but a quick search failed to turn it up.

Anyhow, the idea is shown in the two pictures. A 1/8" dia carbon fiber tube is slid inside the luff pocket of the jib. A loop of Spider Wire runs through the tube. At the bottom it attaches to the jib radial and at the top it goes through a sliding fitting to allow slot adjustment and then up to the masthead. The picture shows how the tack of the jib is (not terribly tidily) CA’d to the tube, and the “halyard” at top that tensions the luff, made from a piece of window Lexan, a Dubro fitting, and a nylon nut.

Not shown in the pictures are the swept back diamond spreaders on the mast. These, and the lack of required jib stay tension, eliminate the need for a backstay; mast bend is accurately controlled by tension on the spreaders.

Unscientific observational evaluation (“gee, that jib sets nicely”) indicates the scheme appears to work :slight_smile:



The vane “A” class in the UK uses rigid jibstays today:

But the radio sailors do not; probably because it is too time-consuming to set up inbetween races if the wind changes…

Now that you mention it :slight_smile: To permit rapid rig changes, the ring through which the Spider Line is looped (A) is also the pivot rod for the radial fitting as shown by the black dotted line. It is held in place with the screw B. A loop+rod is made for, and permanently attached to, each rig.

The jib portion of changing rigs consists of the following: loosen B, and pull out A. This releases the jib boom, which still stays attached to the hull by the jib sheet. Unhook the clew of the jib and away goes the old. Put the jib boom hinge back in place, slip in the part A of the new jib, tighten B to lock in place, hook the clew and Bob’s your uncle (sorry Lester, couldn’t resist :-))