This is a true story and took place during the summer of 2002.
After the mast fell, it slid off the deck
on the starboard side, filled with water and sank with just the base of the mast out of the water. Since the mast and boom weigh over 400lbs out of the water we decided it would be nearly impossible and unsafe to try and recover the rig, especially since the mainsail
was still stretched out on the boom and bouncing very close to the hull
I went below to search for tools and there happened to be some cable cutters under a berth along with a big knife. We cut the running and standing rigging and watched the rig sink as it slipped into the deep blue.
By this time we noticed on the chart plotter that we had drifted South approximately 1/4 mile and were getting further out to sea. We fired up the Yanmar and started motoring toward the leeward side of Lanai. The first 4 hours were hell as the waves were so steep and choppy that as we rode
over the crests the prop would clear the water and over rev the motor.
As we got closer to the leeward side, the seas were flatter and we headed around to Manele Bay. We arrived at Manele bay around 7pm, hungry and wanting off the boat. My boss cheered us up with dinner at the Menele bay resort, then back to the boat for a good night sleep.
The next morning was a 4 hour motor to Maalaea harbor where the coast guard found us and wanted us to fill out a report. Our friends had called since we did not show the previous evening. They had sent a safeboat out in the Molokai Channel but couldnt find us.
After close inspection
of the standing rigging, the lower rear port shroud
parted 6ft up and the backstay half way up.
Always inspect the rigging before any passage
, if the rigging is of unknown age, have a professional rigger inspect it.
Never leave port without proper insurance
It would be a good idea to carry a backup VHF antenna
as most antennas are mounted on top of the mast, once you lose the mast your are SOL.
Here is a picture of her (Coquette) after 4 months of waiting for a new mast, boom, sails, rigging and my wallet $10,000 lighter.