I want to know more about my First 375, Zenith, and I need some help:
1. ¿Are the runners neccesary in a First 375? ¿What is the utility of running runners? ¿How to trim them?.
2. The upper part of the mast move fore and aft when sailing in choppy sea and force of wind 3-4, and leeward shroud are slack, but the mast is straight all the time. Do you think is Ok?. How much tension may I apply to the shroud?. Can I avoid it by tighten the backstay or the shroud?. Do I have some risk of break the mast with this fore and aft movement?. How much bend may I apply to the mast?.
Thanks and good winds.



To tell you how your rig should be set with out seeing your boat would be difficult.
General rules are that stays and shrouds are tensioned to 20% of their max load with no sails up.
Your question of runners I assume are running backstays. Do you have them or do you think you need them?
They are only fitted on rig that are fractional IE the genoa does not terminate at the top of the mast.

The best advise is to get a rigger or sailmaker to look at your boat.


New member
1 Oct 2001
Have you checked the Beneteau owners website, there is alot of information for dealers which you can access, it includes rig settings etc. Also you might ask Benteau direct via email.

Good luck


New member
20 Jun 2001
Not far from Uwchmynydd, near Bwlchtocyn, just up
Some answers regarding runners (running backstays). I have an X99 which also has these.

What are they for? Firstly on tall slender fractional rigs (like the X99), the backstay does not do much in supporting the mast, it is for mast adjustment, and the shrouds are not swept back very far either. In this case the runners have an important job, they hold the mast up. A high forward load on the mast (gybe or a spinnaker filling) without sufficient runner tension will bring down the mast. It is vitally important to have someone who knows what they are doing on the runners when going downwind. Upwind the runners are less important in holding the mast up, they are then a sail trimming device, mainly for the foresail. Runners are used to tension the forestay, which reduces sag and hence reduces fullness. Rigs with runners point upwind better than a rig without because of this.

How to trim them? Downwind/reaching, some runner tension on at all times, increasing with wind strength. Upwind, none to light tension in light winds, increasing as wind picks up. In moderate winds if there is forestay sag, pull them in harder. Usually the setup of the runners is designed so that it is not possible to overtighten the runners. The usual problem is undertension.

I don't know your rig, but on some rigs with runners (like the X99's) there are also checkstays, which are like lower smaller runners. Generally the runners and checkstays are tightened together. This stops the mast becoming too curved in its lower sections.

A slack leeward shroud does not sound right in a fractional rig with runners. Shrouds on these rigs should have pre-tension on them, and should not go too slack (they will slacken off, but should not be floppy). Get the rig setup by a rigger, preferably one who races and understands fractional rigs. Not all of them do.

The North Sails website has an article on tuning X99's. It is the only article I have ever seen on the web that mentions how to use runners and tune rigs with them.