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Old 07-07-2010, 02:07   #1
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Forestay Failure - Chainplate Failed

OMG. Had a forestay failure last night - due to an unexpected weak link. The chainplate (the steel plate running down the bow of the bow to strengthen the whole thing) broke. Snapped clean, about 1/3 of the way day, by a bolt. Just like the picture in the link on last page for rigging inspections.

Then the base of the stay ripped the top of the deck clean off, so now we have a forestay hanging on under the roller furling, and a ten inch gap under it.... Not nice.
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Old 08-07-2010, 00:38   #2
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A quick word of explanation - I originally stuck this in the "forestay failure" thread, but Ex-calf (kindly?) thought it was sufficiently off-topic / interesting to make a new thread. Anyway, here's the link I referred to in the original post:

BoatUS.com - Seaworthy Magazine

Bash originally posted it! Brings home the importance of inspecting your rigging - although I have to say, I would never have noticed this before it went; even though ours was on the outside of the hull running down the bow, and not inside the deck as per the caption in the photo.

Typically, it went in a race. We were close hauled doing about 7 knots in 24 knots (apparent) of wind; with two or three furls in the genoa.
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Old 08-07-2010, 04:05   #3
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Eek, thats not good news. What stopped the whole lot from falling down ?

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Old 08-07-2010, 04:55   #4
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I wish I'd taken a photo - but of course I didn't have my camera, and it was dark so the phone cam wouldn't do. It ripped (a triangle at) the front 6 inches of deck up - the part with the bow roller. The deck at the back of the triangle is still attached. I think the furling was somehow attached to the deck. Once we found the problem we furled in, and Skip lashed the whole thing with a spare line.

Here's the thing - we heard a small bang, and the whole genoa slipped out a few inches. We checked the winch (which wasn't locked very tightly), and all three corners of the sail. But, didn't pick up on the broken chainplate for another 5 miles. Need to go and check it all later today anyway. Too hot right now - 45C down at the marina.
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Old 10-07-2010, 14:20   #5
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It is really a great thing that you didn't lose the whole rig.

Had a friend that had it happen on an Ericson 30 once but luckily he was going downwind and could save the rig.

regards,
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Old 10-07-2010, 15:19   #6
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We almost lost our headstay in the Red Sea. When we got to Turkey, we found the strap toggle holding the headstay was fifty percent broken through. If we had not discovered the fracture and gaping spread in the right half of the strap toggle, we would have lost our rig.

I always check my rigging before heading offshore. Now I also inspect the strap toggles on the headstay as well.
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Old 10-07-2010, 17:26   #7
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I lost a forestay once going to weather in an Olson 30 during a race. Only thing holding up the mast was the genoa's luff. Did a quick 180, at which point my tactician yelled to get the sails down. I yelled even louder, "Noooooooobody touch the sails! They're all that's holding the mast up!"

We quickly made a new forestay out of the spinnaker halyard, and very quietly withdrew from the race.
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Old 14-07-2010, 08:22   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
, "Noooooooobody touch the sails! They're all that's holding the mast up!"

We quickly made a new forestay out of the spinnaker halyard, and very quietly withdrew from the race.
Even if you had no baby stay, are you sure the sail is all that was holding the mast up?? I'd have thought the support from the side and back stays would be enough to support your mast in case of emergency with the sails down.... I'd hate to lose the sails as well as the stay!!

Well done, of course, with the halyard!
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Old 14-07-2010, 09:06   #9
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I think a little nod to a true cutter rig is in order if we're going to talk about redundant forward stays.
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Old 14-07-2010, 11:55   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
I think a little nod to a true cutter rig is in order if we're going to talk about redundant forward stays.

Huh???
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Old 14-07-2010, 12:11   #11
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Quote:
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Huh???
I should have chosen another term than "redundant". A cutter will have a staysail shroud through deck mounted, in addition to the forestay with the yankee. Either way, two through bolted wires provide forward tension on the spar, not that anyone in their right mind would want to put all the load on the staysail shroud (hence redundant being a poor term).
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Old 14-07-2010, 21:20   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
I should have chosen another term than "redundant". A cutter will have a staysail shroud through deck mounted, in addition to the forestay with the yankee. Either way, two through bolted wires provide forward tension on the spar, not that anyone in their right mind would want to put all the load on the staysail shroud (hence redundant being a poor term).
The forestay is only redundant until the headstay fails, then is it of prime importance.

Redundant is a good word here. Redundant is only a bad thing in the UK where it means terminated from ones employment, and even there is also means backup to something important.
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Old 18-07-2010, 02:03   #13
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So, we took the old chainplate off yesterday. Found out that the backing plate was not actually a single backing plate, but two short backing plates, and the chainplate split in the middle of the two. Bad news. Why did we never check the backing plate for this thing??? But then, why didn't we pick up on the signs of fatigue on the chainplate. Oh yeah, I know. We never inspected it!
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