Stays (nautical)


Written By: Ehsan Jahandarpour

Stays are ropes, wires, or rods on sailing vessels that run fore-and-aft along the centerline from the masts to the hull, deck, bowsprit, or to other masts which serve to stabilize the masts. A stay is part of the standing rigging and is used to support the weight of a mast. It is a large strong rope extending from the upper end of each mast and running down towards the deck of the vessel in a midships fore and aft direction. Thus stays are fore and aft. Those led aft towards the vessel’s stern are backstays while those that lead forward towards the bow are forestays.