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Breast stays


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Does anyone know the proper routing/rigging of beast stays? 


I am building the MS Prince De Neufcahtel and the instructions mention breast stays running from a small deadeye on the fore channel to the fore topmast. It does say to rig after the shrouds. Other than that it is unclear, the plans are no help, and I have no outside reference dealing with breast stays.


Where on the topmast would it terminate? 


Just by checking with a piece of thread it appears it would have to run outboard of the shrouds to reach (somewhere on) the topmast.


How would it be attached tot he topmast as well? Similar to a regular stay?



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Breast Backstays are easy to miss. I don’t think I was aware of their existence for the first five years I was interested in ships. The problem is, I think, that we have rigging plans that 99% of the time shows only a view of the rig from the side, not from the front. From the side the Breast backstays, being single lines running nearly vertically and nearly parallel to the mast, blend right into the spars and standing rigging against which they are depicted. They show up quite well if you get one of those rare rigging plans that show the bow or stern view.

I’m not familiar with the ship you are building but my advice is to run them in a straight line right from the masthead down to the channels. If they pass through the shrouds don’t sweat it, but I suspect their deadeyes are outboard of the chains for the shrouds and probably won’t get in the way of the lower shrouds at all.

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The breast back stays were "abreast the mast. Or in laymen's terms directly on either side of the mast. They were rigged from the topmast with a block and fall hooked to an eye set on the channel. The eye bolt should be as close as possible to the centerline of the mast but aft of the first shroud. The eye is set outboard of the deadeyes for the shrouds. The fall belays to the pinrail inside of the shrouds. In practice I believe that only the weather breast back stay would be taught. The lee would be slack. I have read where in harbor the breast back stays could function as lifts for the boat booms. Smaller vessels would have single blocks Larger would have double.

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  • 8 years later...

Ok. so most model ship plans miss breast stays but as I am modelling them I cannot find them in The Art of Rigging so can anyone tell me the size of a breast stay vs the associated backstay (e.g. equal size, 75% or 50%)  so that I can model them in the correct scale rope.  Marquardt's drawings of ENDEAVOUR show them quite clearly so rigging them is not the problem but that doesn't help with sizing the rope.

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