Attaching forestay problem

I stepped the mast the other day in the few minutes I had before leaving the boatyard where I keep the boat on the trailer.

I attached the side stays, middle hole on the fork to the top hole of the chainplate. Got the mast up, and the forestay just would not reach. I pushed on the mast and tighted the jib halyard (fastened to the bow hook) with all my might, and the forestay was still an inch away.

I turned the turnbuckle under the deck a few turns, which didn't do much.

I had to leave it that way, with the jib halyard as the forestay.

Should I simply detach the jib halyard from the bow hook, get some people to hold the halyard in front and ready to hold the stays on the side, and detach the stays and reattach using the bottom hole in the forks and the top hole in the chainplate? Then I assume the forestay would reach, with more give in the side stays (they're super tight).

As for measuring rake and tension, I have no idea really what that even means and whether I have to pay attention. It's an old boat, I don't race it and sail just for fun with my wife and sometimes up to 5 other people on board, and I don't know what cut sails I have. But I still enjoy it, and I don't even know how I got the mast up last year! Must've used different holes and must've attached the side stays after stepping the mast.

Thanks for reading and for any reply.

FIrst, you need to know if you have or want a loose snug or tight rig setting. Each setting will result in a different tension on the headstay. If you are just attempting to get it back from what it was last season, you probably picked the wrong hole on the side stays. (I am sure nothing is twisted) Look at some other scots if you can. The adjustment on the side stay (chain plate) will be the one that affects your situation the most. Check the North Sails tuning guide for further instructions on setting your rig up.

Move the side stays to the upper hole. You will be OK. FS 3512

Move the side stays to the upper hole. You will be OK. FS 3512

Clarification. Get more side stay length