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Old 08-06-2012, 17:09   #16
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Re: Dismasted and dismayed

So I was looking at pics of the 430 and it appears to have 1 shroud and two stays on each side, going to 3 chainplates. Did one fail and then the other two failed? Did all 3 fail at once? Just trying to understand how one plate failing can dismast the boat. I thought the idea of having 3 chainplates is to provide some degree of redundancy.
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Old 08-06-2012, 19:04   #17
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Re: Dismasted and dismayed

You guys are all really great for the sympathy, thanks so much.

The chainplate consists of 3 unidirectional fiberglass fittings attached with a stainless steel rod fitted horizontally. My guess is that one of the 3 fittings gave way, then the other two couldn't handle the load.

I do have insurance, and that definitely fits into the "I'm not going back to get the mast" discussion. I dropped an MOB on my Raymarine chartplotter at the spot, but it doesn't seem to store the lat/long after you cancel the MOB....so therefore don't know the exact coordinates.

I got free of the mast by freeing the cotter pins from the port chainplate and forestay. Then cut the running rigging, very fast. I was very lucky in that the boom/mast didn't beat the crap out of the hull, which was on the front of my mind.

My wife and kids flew over today to participate in the "We're now motorboaters" ceremony. We will gunkhole until the wind picks up.....the boat rocks and rolls like crazy without the mast. Don't know how I'm going to get her back to the states, I really don't want to cross the stream without a mast.
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Old 08-06-2012, 19:08   #18
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Re: Dismasted and dismayed

P.S....no one was hurt, thankfully. Only myself and a friend were onboard, and he had experienced a forestay failure previously. The Hunter 430 has a monstrous arch over the cockpit and protected me from the fall, which definitely helped in my situation.
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Old 08-06-2012, 20:22   #19
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Re: Dismasted and dismayed

For everyone's information. The new high strength/low stretch synthetic lines are a bitch to cut. A friend was crewing on a totally renovated older ocean racer when the knee for the cap shroud pulled through the deck. The crew had no problem getting rid of the rod rigging, just pulled the pins. Cutting the high tech running rigging was another story. They went through a number of knives with little success. Finally had to snip strands with a small cable cutter or unreave the bundle of snakes that the rigging was in to release the mast. The whole time the stick was banging against the side of the boat threatening to hole it.

If you are using these new synthetics, be sure you have a knife that will cut the stuff in an emergency.
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Old 08-06-2012, 21:01   #20
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Re: Dismasted and dismayed

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
For everyone's information. The new high strength/low stretch synthetic lines are a bitch to cut. A friend was crewing on a totally renovated older ocean racer when the knee for the cap shroud pulled through the deck. The crew had no problem getting rid of the rod rigging, just pulled the pins. Cutting the high tech running rigging was another story. They went through a number of knives with little success. Finally had to snip strands with a small cable cutter or unreave the bundle of snakes that the rigging was in to release the mast. The whole time the stick was banging against the side of the boat threatening to hole it.

If you are using these new synthetics, be sure you have a knife that will cut the stuff in an emergency.
Interesting thought! I haven't had all that much trouble cutting the stuff when assembling and splicing it, but that was a no stress situation with a sharp knife and a cutting board.

Being that the stuff melts at a frighteningly low temperature, how about using a cigar or cigarette (if you have those nasyt things aboard) to burn your way through? Or one of those mini-torches? Might be faster and easier than cutting...

And for the OP, welcome to the club, mate. Not a nice experience, but even worse when it happens further offshore in nasty conditions... and without insurance! BTDT, don't want to do it again. Hope that your insurers treat you well, and that you can strengthen the attachments on all the other chain plates while you are about it.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:46   #21
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Re: Dismasted and dismayed

Sorry to hear about the debating, and I'm glad everyone is ok.

For cutting modern high tech lines I highly, highly recommend ceramic knives. They are the only thing I have found that can reliably cut spectra/dyneema lines, and even then you get about 10-20 clean cuts, then need to saw at the line for the next 20 if you don't resharpen them. Compare this to a normal knife where you are looking at resharpening after every cut.

I have no interest in the knives, but I highly recommend the riggers knife from ceramicknife.org . The company worked with Brion Toss (a really well known master rigger) on the knife design, and it has become my favorite pocket knife as well.


Jim,

I have to disagree with you about trying to straiten bent chain plates. Once metal has deformed it can be significantly weekend, and work hardened, and even if the rest are strait if one went I would be concerned about corrosion in the rest of them.

For what it's worth, I would recommend replacing them all, even the ones that are fine. That way you know they are all in good shape. For preference I would go with titanium for its strength and non-corrosive nature, but replacing like for like is always a reasonable alternative.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:01   #22
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Re: Dismasted and dismayed

After reading the book "Black Wave" I purchased a bolt cutter wrapped it in an oil cloth and stored it on deck.
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Old 09-06-2012, 13:14   #23
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Re: Dismasted and dismayed

Hogfighter, could you post some close up pictures of the failed fittings?
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Old 09-06-2012, 13:53   #24
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How old we're or are the chainplates? Have the bedding plates been maintained. 316 l is very good for chainplates but dimensionally should be increased if replacing 305. I replaced mine and found several plates showing crevice corrosion. Lack of maintenance and years of salt water was chewing through the bolts and plates. In a earlier thread I posted pics of the removed plates and bolts here are pics of one of the bolts. The head looks fine but further unseen is deterioration.
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Old 09-06-2012, 13:56   #25
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Re: Dismasted and dismayed

Well, it appears that they are fiberglass fixtures with a stainless rod running horizontally through the 3 fittings and not stainless chainplates. At least that is what I got out of Hogfighter's post.
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Old 09-06-2012, 14:02   #26
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Well I lead this off a tad. Not knowing the make up of the boat. I had a 1/2 inch pin fail on a snatch block due to crevice corrosion. So it's not irrelevant. It would be interesting to know what failed in this case and how. Just for learing opportunities.
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Old 09-06-2012, 14:06   #27
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Re: Dismasted and dismayed

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Older chainplates apparently can look great but be dangerously unreliable. See here for a scary example: chainplate followup - SailNet Community
I've heard some insurance won't cover chain plates unless you can prove they were replaced/inspected to be in good order. I replaced mine on my 20 year old boat. At some point, they can claim they are past their life.

John
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Old 09-06-2012, 14:59   #28
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Re: Dismasted and dismayed

I have luckily never been involved in an open water demastings on a big boat, and really hope not to be. But if you haven't seen the "crash test boat" series do a google search for it, and watch the videos of them breaking a boat on purpose (including the demastings). One of the things i noticed was how hard it was to cut the wire with bolt cutters. Not impossible but very difficult.

While I have a set on board, I also carry a hack saw, which worked surprisingly easy in their test. It also would allow you to clean up bent/broken stantions, a bent wheel, ect, that bolt cutters might not fit very well.
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Old 09-06-2012, 17:39   #29
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Re: Dismasted and dismayed

Sorry to hear that. Do not worry too much though - a mast is a mast is a mast and sometimes we lose one. You will fix her up and go again!

Unusual for a chainplate this young to go. Maybe replace all of them and with a stronger material/design too.

Hugs,
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Old 09-06-2012, 22:08   #30
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Re: Dismasted and dismayed

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Sorry to hear about the debating, and I'm glad everyone is ok.



Jim,

I have to disagree with you about trying to straiten bent chain plates. Once metal has deformed it can be significantly weekend, and work hardened, and even if the rest are strait if one went I would be concerned about corrosion in the rest of them.

For what it's worth, I would recommend replacing them all, even the ones that are fine. That way you know they are all in good shape. For preference I would go with titanium for its strength and non-corrosive nature, but replacing like for like is always a reasonable alternative.
Greg, if that is directed at me, I don't know what you are referring to. I don't recall making such recommendations and in general agree with what you have said here.

Cheers,

Jim
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