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The bow of the schooner Appledore and its chain bobstays are seen here silhouetted against the reflection of an early sunrise in Camden Harbor, Maine.
Bobstays are ropes or chains to hold down the bowsprit of a ship to offset the upward pull of the forestay/jib sail.
Schooners often have long bowsprits that lets the boat be fitted with a large jib sail. The bowsprit lets the boomed jib extend past the end of the bowsprit itself allowing for the larger jib sail.
A bowsprit becomes vulnerable when a large jib is set in a hard breeze. To support and strengthen the bowsprit bobstay and bowsprit stays are used but more importantly it bears tremendous stress when the boat is sailing to windward. At such a time the big mainsail is full and pulls backwards on the mast with tremendous force.
The bobstay is a key part of the sailboats rig. The bobstays (shown here) are under the bowsprit and run from the bowsprit and down to the bows hull leading edge. It prevents the bowsprit from lifting vertically from the force on the jib. It may be made of chain, wire or line.
Bowsprit stays are stays that go from the sides of the boat to the forward tip of the bowsprit and they prevent side to side movement of the bowsprit.
The Forestay goes from the top of the mast to the bow of the boat and it is attached to the forward end of the bowsprit, both bobstay and bowsprit stays are needed with it.
Schooner rigging can vary from one boat to another and the way the rigging is configured can govern what sails can be used.
D800E, 18-70mm lens, manual mode, on tripod
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