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Old 02-10-2012, 01:10   #61
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

Condolences, hope you get better soon. This is the sort of thing that makes me truly appreciate my power in-mast furling. Just furl up the sail and then undo the preventer and center the boom. All without leaving the helm.
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Old 02-10-2012, 07:25   #62
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

I like leaving the helm, myself. Gives me a chance to look around more easily, check the rigging, kick sea life out of the scuppers, get blood moving, lose my hat, etc.

Not to mention tweaking halyards, Cunningham, leech line and outhaul if needed. My favourite bird is "the duck" when going forward. A simian-like hunch is the sailor's yoga.

I don't think that the small and preventable (see what I did there?) danger of crash gybing is enough to make me go to in-mast furling, however. I've used it at sea, and it has some definitie positives, particularly for short-handed couples on passage, but getting decent sail shape and full speed out of a sail are not on that list.

My boat is vaguely Nauticat-like, but in steel. I need every square inch of sail area to keep moving and avoid burning diesel, so that's one of my chosen compromises: a big, killer main on a big, killer boom.

Did I mention the duck?
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Old 02-10-2012, 07:44   #63
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

I have been hit with the boom on my Paper Tiger, a few times, It hurts, Lots,
Had broken ribs but not from sailing, That hurts also, Lots,

The boom on My Gemini, I tie it down, Its not going any where, I would not like to get hit with it, It would probably kill me, Plus my life line runs along it, So I dont want it moving sideways, I tie it off, whether the main is up or down,
Safety first,

Glad your reasonably Okay from it,
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:09   #64
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

Glad you came out of it OK Newt, could easily have been much worse. Get well soon.
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:13   #65
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

For Newt,
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:18   #66
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

Wow. B are you saying you are jacklined into the boom? I would reconsider that if I were you. I would have taken a dunking if I had done that. Like alchemy I like to be all over my boat. But inexperience at the helm while you are getting things done in challenging waters is a bad combo. I think I have that lesson down.
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:22   #67
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

Thank you my friends from down under and the East. It blows me away to know that I have friends all over the world. Hope to visit you some day.
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:57   #68
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

After being tapped by a boom offwind, I've taken to walking to leeward and flying foresails alone at night offwind myself. Hope ya get well soon Mark. Call me if ya get bored...
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:02   #69
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

newt----sorry to know you had a pardon me, crash course in boom ---- it always hurts-- are you all bolted together now, and unable to traverse a tsa checkpoint for flying???
heal fast--the worst part of healing is you have difficulty sailing and keeping occupied.

i walk my prevernter with the boom, keeping the line i use for prevertion on the cleat--even on my mizzen--can do much damage in short order--i always hear my uncle telling us NEVER GYBE. but then we learned on wooden antiquity. i can keep this way of thinking in my boat, as i have wood sticks and booms--i try like crazy not to have to gybe.

with sloops at night--only jib. with ketch i use mizzen and jib--sometimes here on west coast there are biiig winds off shore so is good to have less sail up.....we were hit north of cabo san lucas by 60+kt winds at 0400.....
in gom we were hit in the sloop with winds of 70kts or more in the "severe" t-boomers of fla in darkness between 2400 and 0300 and in evenings....whew--was a good learning experience. hurry and heal so you can get back out for more practice!!!

please stay safe and come south soon....
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:16   #70
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

I will call you Charlie, once your busy season is over. Z its nice to hear from so much experience. Jib only in such waters in the future.
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Old 02-10-2012, 15:03   #71
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

G'Day Newt,

Well, here's some more good wishes from down under... mend well and quickly, and don't obsess about gybing. IMO, what went wrong in your case wasn't due to the inherent dangers of gybing, but the inherent danger of poor helmsmanship in trying conditions. In this instance, an autopilot would have been a far better choice of drivers than an inexperienced person... but second guessing is always brilliant.

FWIW, what Ann and I have done for many thousands of passage miles (and all other miles as well for that matter) is to use permanent vang/preventers. On both Insatiable I (which had a sail plan similar to your Valiant) and our current boat which is fractional rigged with a really big mainsail, we installed a tackle on each side. These 3-part "handy-billies" lead from about the 1/3 point on the boom to a strong point at the rail just aft of the chainplates, with the tails lead back to the cockpit and a secondary winch. Whenever we are off the wind, the leeward one is tensioned. This acts both as a preventer and a powerful vang. The windward tackle is simply left slack.

Does it prevent accidental gybes? Well, the sail gybes, but the boom stays put. Is it strong enough? Yes... we use it when we do an intentional gybe. We simply turn down until the sail gybes and then ease the boom across using the winch as a snubber, under complete control. Can you break the boom ? It can happen, but we did 86,000+miles in I-one without this happening. However, last summer in Tasmania, the boom on I-two DID break when a very strong katabatic gust caught us aback. Forensic investigation revealed that there was a hidden crack (inside the reinforcing around the attachment area for both preventers and the rigid vang) that had been there for a longish time. The orientation of this crack suggested that it was due to over-tightening the mainsheet against the rigid vang when stowing the boom. At any rate, this occurred after 22 years and well over 100,000 miles of use. I'll admit to being peeved when it happened, but in retrospect it seems a reasonable risk. We still use the preventers with the repaired and further strengthened boom.

A boom brake also provides a modicum of safety, but does not offer as much control IMO.

At any rate, I believe that there are alternatives to the "never use a mainsail downwind or at night" school of thought. We would hate to loose that much drive for half of our passage miles. YMMV...

So, again, hope that you aren't suffering too much during your convalescence and that you will soon be out sailing again.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 02-10-2012, 17:03   #72
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

I have gotten myself and my crew in the habit of "shouting" - "Boom" any time the sail flogs.

Whether a planned and commanded tack or gybe or an accidental one. When anyone recognizes the boom is going to shift they should shout it out.

I also teach foredeck crew to hang out between the shrouds and baby stay when not sitting.

I recently did some 2 handed J24 racing. I was trimming and the best location turned out to be standing in the pit facing backwards. I could reach the sheets and I could pop out to lean out over the rail once stabilized.

It was close and quick match racing particularly pre-start. Twice the boom nearly got me but it seems you get a sixth sense about it based on wind on the face, directional change of the boat etc. Once the skipper crash gybed for position, didn't call the gybe while I was facing away from the boom. I caught a shadow or something and I ducked just quickly and just enough for the boom to knock my hat off...

I agree the boom is one of the most dangerous things on a boat. I think I am going to up my discussion of the boom during newbie orientations.
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Old 02-10-2012, 17:18   #73
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
I agree the boom is one of the most dangerous things on a boat.
Having lost a friend--who was an expert sailor, by the way--to a head injury caused by a boom, I couldn't agree more.

My last two boats have had such a high boom that we don't have to duck when tacking or gibing. This makes it doubly dangerous when I crew on smaller boats. For many years I ducked instinctively, but that is no longer the case.

I like the idea of yelling out "Boom" during a tack. We're quite religious about the commands, "By the lee" and "Jibe ho!" during a jibe, but we tend to tack without vocalizing after the "Helm's alee."
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Old 02-10-2012, 17:30   #74
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
Having lost a friend--who was an expert sailor, by the way--to a head injury caused by a boom, I couldn't agree more.

My last two boats have had such a high boom that we don't have to duck when tacking or gibing. This makes it doubly dangerous when I crew on smaller boats. For many years I ducked instinctively, but that is no longer the case.

I like the idea of yelling out "Boom" during a tack. We're quite religious about the commands, "By the lee" and "Jibe ho!" during a jibe, but we tend to tack without vocalizing after the "Helm's alee."
Particularly gybing - my command is, "Gybe-ho. Mind the boom"

The sign of an attentive main trimmer is one who sheets in on the gybe and releases after passing stern to wind. In small boats it is easy to learn the terrible habit of letting the boom crash over. In large boats stuff will break.

"Boom" has become synonymous with "duck" on my boat.
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Old 02-10-2012, 17:45   #75
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

Quote:
In small boats it is easy to learn the terrible habit of letting the boom crash over. In large boats stuff will break.
Stuff will eventually break in small boats too if one repeats that habit for too long--don't ask how I know.
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