Hi all just just steeped the mast on my Evolution 22 & have been tinkering with mast bend, how much should i have. Bearing in mind the sails have probably seen better days. Its a mast head sloop with a deck stepped mast, any advice much appreciated.
You need to have an adjustable backstay and an adjustable inner forestay. You should only heed mast bend in a blow. Then you pull on the inner forestay tackle as hard as possible then load up the backstay to get the bend. However as bruce says don't expect too much bend and a visit to the sailmaker may be in order if the sail has too much camber in a blow (ie over 15knots) If you dont have or don't want adjustable backstay & inner forestay then try for about 2 inches middle of the mast forward as measured from a line stretched top to bottom of mast (halyard). this will be about all you can get easily/safely and may help with your aging main sail. good luck olewill
rule of thumb: the bend should match the cut of the main sail. Too much prebend and you will see starvation creases, too little and it will backwind or flutter in the middle.
If its right, when you apply backstay tension the starvation creases should start to appear ensureing the sail is as flat as possible.