Noob stupid question

Okay, embarrasing question…

Building a Jiff 65 and have no previous yacht experience.
I cant get the mast to stay upright…stop laughing please.
There is play around the mast holder on the deck and I’m reckoning that’s the problem. I left it like that as I assumed you would stabalise it with rigging but have since discovered that’s incorrect.

So the basic Q is, should the mast be a tight fit into the holder, and the 3 rigging lines are to the eye hooks on the side and rear. There should be none going forward ( that’s how I stabalised it)

Again, really embarrasing but there’s no-one I know to chat too or look at there yachts.


Please go to this link and download the COnstruction Hints & Tips provided by the US 1 Meter class. The information is relative to pretty much all makes of boats, and will probably answer all of your questions.

Will do,

Thanks :graduate:

great document, thanks.

Next build should be a whole load better after reading all that.

OK - glad it was helpful - so now, post the questions “NOT” answered in the document — or any you didn’t find answers for.

That said - not sure what you call the “holder” — tubes through the deck to bottom of hull, strips of metal “on deck” with locating notiches or holes and cotter pin, or is it a swing rig that simply sits inside a tube (close fitting) and allows the whole rig to turn. If the latter, there is no “standing rigging” but tube must be a close fit to mast diameter. If a standard rig (main, jib sails with booms and mainsail boom attached to mast) then you will have a minimum of a shroud on each side of the mast to the deck, a back stay to stern deck of boat and a forestay from near top of mast down to front of jib boom. Jib boom is usually attched to front deck and allows jib boom to swing from side to side.

Tension is through all four rigging wires/string. Start with trying to get your mast vertical - side to side and also front to rear.


ADDED: If you have a tube that goes to bottom of hull and is too big in diameter, you can always make small plastic or balsa wedges to insert between tube and mast to hlp hold mast vertical. Standing rig (noted above) will then keep the top of the mast centered. If you use balsa or wooden wedges, be sure to coat them (epoxy, CA glue or varnish) to keep them from getting wet and swelling up. One nice thing is you can change wedge sizes to allow mast to rake back slightly if too much lee helm, or lean forward (slightly) if too much weather helm. Not a lot, but minor adjustments at the base magnify at 43 inches above the deck for a typical RG65 mast.

thank you for the response, these questions appear to be so simple that I can’t find the answers by surfing. I am waiting for the Racing Sparrow book -ordered in November- which I had hoped would answer them. But it seems to be taking quite a while so I’m trying to fumble along in the meantime.

The boat has a standard rig.

I have mistakenly made the mast deck plate holes the width of my mast (8mm ext. dia is the smallest available)
I was completely unaware of needing the smaller piece of dowel (as in the 1M build log) that fits INSIDE the mast for the deck plate holes ( would that be the cotterpin?). So my mast is sitting inside the deck-plate holes flush with the deck…and too loose.

I have both shrouds attached to the sides as well as the backstay. With regards to the forestay, should that play any part in stabalising the mast, or is it there purely to maintan a rigid edge for the jib sail?



All 4 work together to stabalize the mast. If we eliminate tuning (as you are not at that stage yet), the mast does not need to stand in the step unsupported, and probably should not. The side stays, with the back stay and Jib stay should then support the mast. The tuning comes in when you use these to affect sail shape.
A “too loose” mast in the deck plate holes could mean a few things, many of which are unimportant in getting the boat moving in the water, but more important in a competative boat. I treat my mast step (on the deck) as a simple tool to stop the base of the mast from sliding off the deck. If i try to let the mast step hold up the mast, somthing breaks for sure.


Thanks Mike.

Certainly nowhere near tuning :slight_smile:

Please forgive my ignorance, but I’m battling to get the jib concept in my head. If the jib boom is “floating” how can I tighten that stay enough to act as a support? Won’t that pull the end of the boom upwards at an angle with the attachment to the deck being the fulcrum?

I think the penny just dropped…The end of the jib boom with the luff wire can’t pull up at an angle because of the sail attachment on the other end. Placement of the deck attachmentforwards or backwards allows more or less sail to stick out?

If that’s correct, do I start with tensioning the jib sail by the mast (outhaul if i’m not mistaken) first, then adjust the jib luffwire and finally tension the deck attachment and re-check so they sit neutrally parallel to the deck?

If this is right I can stop asking stupid questions for a while :slight_smile:


PS sorry for my bad terminology. I have no experience with anything nautical and it’s quite a steep learning curve.

Ha, you got it! Neat how it all works together eh?

I am also a little new to all this, but I tend to set the mast to the rake I want (tilt angle) with the back stay and tighten the Jib stay. I am probably doing it wrong, but again, I’m new, and it took me forever to get any Jib tension at all.

Think about a Jib topping lift (not sure if I have the terminology right). Then the leach end of the Jib boom, can be tensioned up to the top of the Jib, and you have taken the sail out of the fulcrum, and can now adjust the tension you put on the leach.

(see, I was listening Alan!)

Well said Mike !

Naptalene - you will have two adjustments on the leadng edge of the jib (front) sail. One will be the forestay - it fastens to front of jib boom and exits top of jib leading edge “sleeve” (luff) I usually use fishing leader wire, form a loop and crimp at each end. Attach one end to front of jib boom - small screw eye or your choice. The other end sitcks out about 1 inch or so above top of jib. Attach a line to the loop, and run the line up to a connection point on front of mast - many plans will show dimension/location. You can adjust the line using plastic “bowsies” which adjust line tension and hold it in place. This will tighten your forestay.

You will have another line (Dacron fishing line, Spectra, etc.) attached to the eyelet at top of jib. This line also runs up to where forestay fastens and is also made adjustable like you did for forestay. Now you have two adjustments for the leading edge of the jib. One is to tighten forestay to keel leading edge tight and support mat. The other is a “halyard” and you can adjust tension on the jib itself since it slides over the forestay. This works much like an “uphaul” which tensions the jib.

Note that many use adjustable rubber grommets on the jib boom (they use carbon fiber or aluminum arrow shafts) and sliding the grommet back and forth on the boom also adjusts the tension on the trailing edge of jib (leech). The grommet is connected tot he deck via Spectra line, or many use fishing shackles that swivel.

Finally, you can add a “leech line” that goes from the training end of the boom, up to the front of the mast, and again - using a “bowsie” you can adjust this line which will help take tension (downward pull) of the jib boom by pulling up slightly. Adjusting the leech line in concert with the jib forestay tension will allow you to get a nice movement on the jib boom and let the sail swing to either side (downwind sailing0 and yet maintain some leech curve on the jib.

More on that when you get to the points of “tuning”. In the meantime, as Mike said - you will have a line that now supports your mast from the front, one for each side and one to the rear. The mast base is simply to keep the base of the mast from sliding sideways or forward. Not required to be tight. If you leave it loose, I would suggest you don’t try to lift boat from pond using the top of the mast and then it “might” pop out of the base.

Good luck with your build.

Thankyou so much. And the descriptions with the correct terminology are a fantastic help :slight_smile:

I cant wait to finally get it all sorted out this weekend :slight_smile:

Guess I’d better run my posts through a spell checker. Boy - did I make a mess of the last one. My apologies for the mistakes. Was in a hurry and didn’t proof read the thing. Will try to do better the next time.