Sticking to Your Plan: How to Make Stiffened Stay Maintenance Easier
Stays are lines, ropes, or poles attached to sailing boats that run fore and aft along the middleline to the main hull, deck, sails, or other main masts that serve to stabilize the main body of the boat. A stay is also a component of the main standing rigging and is utilized to support the entire weight of a single mast. For smaller sailing boats, the stays are located just in front of the main mast on either side of the clew. For larger sailing boats, the stays are farther forward on the port or starboard side of the main hull.
Although it may not seem significant now, a stay is an important part of your sailing equipment and should be cared for accordingly. The performance of your mast will be enhanced and the efficiency of your sailboat will increase if you properly care for your stay. When you want to stiffen a stay, the first step is to disconnect it from its anchor. The next step is to raise the mast to its proper height and secure it with the right kind of balancer device. By raising the mast high and holding it there for a few seconds, you will be able to stiffen the stay.
Since a stay is relatively heavy, you should try to store it whenever possible. This is especially true if the mast has been in storage for more than one year. If you have to keep the stay in storage for more than one year, you need to make sure that it is stored on a flat, dry surface and away from dampness. Storing your stay inside of a damp storage area is just asking for rot to set in, so always remember to keep your stay out of these damp conditions. If you need to stiffen the stay for one year, you should make it as easy and efficient as possible by storing it properly.