Millie and Chris,
In the summer of 2001 I unstepped both masts and replaced all the
rigging. After restepping, the way I have tensioned the rig has been
progressively to sail to stronger winds. While on one tack I'll
tighten up on the loose shrouds, tack, then do the same to the other
side. All the time, of course, checking that the mast stays
perfectly in column. If not, I'll tighten a bit more on the opposite
side that the top of the mast is bending off to. Do this first in
light winds, then 10 to 15 knots then 15 to 20 knots.
Concerning the headstay or backstay, I don't have any systematic way
to go about that other than trying to minimize the sag in the
headstay foil (and of course keeping the mast in column!).
The welded 'tangs' on our Nirvana masts keep the spreaders at a
particular angle. Sounds like you have something different. The
angle does manner, as you want the spreaders to bisect the angle the
shrouds make from the mast attachment tang to the chainplate. They
should never droop down.
We have a bit of gelcoat on the aft cabin top flake off over time so
we sanded this area down and applied the nonskid material
Treadmaster SP. It's worked great--still non-skid but much much more
human-friendly than the standard Treadmaster pattern.
Hope that helps.
Xanareva, sharki #127