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Old 07-12-2012, 13:01   #1
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Maybe it's Me...

I am brand new to this forum, so if this post is in the wrong spot please let me know. And if it is, I apologize in advance.

I've been doing some research on boom preventers lately and have decided to rig one up on the boat. I stopped by West Marine this afternoon to gather some pricing info and was asked by the fella there what I was putting together. When I told him he scrunched his nose and told me that preventers are a bad idea here. I asked why and he said because "the wind shifts around so much."

Now maybe I am missing something (and if I am please let me know) but doesn't that make a stronger case for a preventer? I suppose he was saying that the wind shifts so frequently that it would have to be adjusted regularly, but I'd rather be a bit busy than risk killing a crewmember or damaging the boat.

I'll admit that the wind is very shifty here and I will also admit that I am shaking the dust off as a skipper (I haven't owned a sailboat in 8 years or so). In my opinion both of those factors favor the preventer, but wanted to seek some expert advice outside of Mr. West Marine. I mean it certainly can't hurt to take steps to ensure that everyone returns to the dock safely, right?
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Old 07-12-2012, 13:11   #2
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Re: Maybe it's me...

Not sure about the local winds an option might be one of these
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Old 07-12-2012, 13:36   #3
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Re: Maybe it's me...

I think it is good to keep some mental space between boom brakes and boom preventers.

I never rig a preventer in sheltered waters, racing nor when I expect many and radical wind shifts.

Then I think sailing is not a religion. If you want a preventer, rig one. If it does not work for you, just unclip it.

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Old 07-12-2012, 14:03   #4
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Re: Maybe it's me...

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
I think it is good to keep some mental space between boom brakes and boom preventers.

I never rig a preventer in sheltered waters, racing nor when I expect many and radical wind shifts.

Then I think sailing is not a religion. If you want a preventer, rig one. If it does not work for you, just unclip it.

b.
Thanks for the responses! I thought the purpose of a preventer was to prevent an accidental gybe, which seems a lot more likely to happen when the wind is shifting. Is that not correct? Aside from a slight inconvenience in shifty air, what is the major disadvantage to having one rigged?

Maybe a brake is what I should pursue.

I appreciate your insight and patience!
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Old 07-12-2012, 14:09   #5
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Re: Maybe it's me...

Yes, but often used for sail trim also, to hold the boom down so the mainsail doesnt release so much air in the gusts.. although on a headsail it's called a Barber Hauler.
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Old 07-12-2012, 14:16   #6
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Re: Maybe it's me...

Go ahead and rig up your preventer! Just chose pint of sail to keep the sail full (like normal). Besides accidental gybes I use mine a lot in conditions where bumpy wave are allowing the boom to bounce around too much.
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Old 07-12-2012, 15:27   #7
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Re: Maybe it's me...

I appreciate the information. I'll probably go ahead and rig it up, as I already have most of what will be required. No harm in trying it.
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Old 07-12-2012, 15:37   #8
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Re: Maybe it's Me...

Man, you gave me pause to remember my few days of Lake Sailing! I never experienced anything so squirrely as my time teaching sailing on a North Carolina mountain lake. I grew up sailing in Fort Lauderdale and when the wind set,- that was pretty much it for the day! Do you have hills around your lake? I couldn't adjust to the port tack...starboard tack ..light nothing.....bast from the bow.....anything, anytime winds on a mountain lake! Do what you can and what might work. In my opinion nobody works harder than those sailing on inland lakes!
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Old 07-12-2012, 15:52   #9
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Re: Maybe it's Me...

There is definitely some topography that influences airflow over the lake and pretty consistent 5-10 degree wind shifts. It keeps you on your toes for sure..and keeps you puckered when downwind. Fortunately there haven't been any accidents, but the whole idea of rigging a preventer was prompted by an unintended gybe a few weeks ago.

I am doing what I can to teach my wife and it sure makes it difficult when you can only hold a point of sail for a couple of minutes! On the flip side, it will probably make her that much better.
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Old 07-12-2012, 16:35   #10
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Re: Maybe it's Me...

The disadvantage is that if you want to gybe/tack quickly, there is that line that has to be eased first.

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Old 07-12-2012, 16:58   #11
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Lake and river sailing makes for wind shifts that are very different and more frustrating then coastal and passage sailing usually offers. A preventer could really be a bitch if habitually slammed hard over. Hence the idea of the brake. Cant really separate the 2. The idea of the break is that this has happened and rather then slam the rig with a force some energy is dissipated. If getting gybed is frequent like lake or river sailing a brake seems like a nice option. Any way I use a preventer but were I doing lots of shifty weird winds on lake sailing a brake would be a serious consideration.
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Old 07-12-2012, 17:06   #12
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Re: Maybe it's Me...

Yes, on a lake the brake is a better idea. I use a preventer mostly for taming the boom when the 'seas are bigger than the wind'. My preventer is simply a block and tackle rig to the toerail. Gotta take it off before one intentionally gybes. Can use it for a barber hauler too, and other stuff.

Keep your apparent wind near the beam. Keep your eyes on the water for the puffs.
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Old 07-12-2012, 17:19   #13
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Also because in lake sailing the gybe is usually from a a wind shift from a very different direction often by force you can find that the main is now pinned by a preventer. So dumping the main is not as easy. Ditch the jib sheet. Better yet instill think a brake is better in this application. Thanks for reminding me of many days of learning patience sailing on lakes.
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