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Old 11-10-2011, 16:11   #46
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Re: Preventers

Hello All,

I want to jump in as a new guy and say I'm luv'n this thread. I bought my first big boat, and Little Harbor 46 (1988), back in Aug as part of my long planned retirement goal. The day is here and my wife and I are thrilled. I'm kind of a safety freak, and knowing the majority of our sailing will be just the two of us, and in far away places, I'm currently obsessing over things that are less than ideal on the safety meter. We're not afraid of taking risks in general, but anything reasonably preventable should be in my mind. I've particularly been obsessing over a preventer and/or boom brake.

Note: my boom is sheeted at the aft end, and is well above head-height in the cockpit.

My first observation is that very few boats have them. Shouldn't all boats built/rigged for blue water simply have this problem solved? In Sep I walked around the Newport boat show for three days and only found two or three new production boats that had any sort of noticeable preventers rigged. Those that had them were smart - from the end of the boom the loose end of the line came out and could be brought forward, outside the shrouds, to a forward cleat or padeye, while the other end threaded through the boom to the mast end, down to the deck, then routed back to the cockpit to a winch. One boat had both port and stbd lines rigged this way giving the most control, and safest access. Nice. I really like the idea of this system. When not in use I'd keep the loose end of the line connected somewhere along the boom closer to the mast for easy access to grab and bring forward as soon as warranted, and then leave it out.

Looking around my marina I also see few preventers. I will certainly explore the subject with other guys as I get to know more skippers.

In all the reading I've done, and somewhat summarizing this thread, I see three main choices for making the boom safer:

1. "Single Line preventer": line running from end of boom way forward to the bow, through block, back to winch at cockpit. Some debate here if line should be non-stretch or be able to take some shock.
2. "Vang/preventer": Hold boom down and forward from mid boom to deck near aft shroud. Seems like racers who want to flatten their main when running downwind would want this most, but maybe not your average cruiser. But Jim Cate tells us about his above - very convincing.
3. "Boom brake": no discussion on this thread but lots elsewhere. This gets permanently rigged to boom generally just aft of the vang and connects to the deck on both sides near aft shroud, with one end of line going to winch in cockpit. Seems least fuss of all options. Opinions are strong in other threads on who makes the best one, but it seems nearly all posters really like having brakes.

Not sure why I just wrote all this other than for my own summary. I have all winter to think about it and put something together. I have to say I'm leaning towards the boom brake option. Or maybe I'll just thread some lines through my boom... (This is certainly the most work since lots of hardware would have to be added to route/manage the lines).

My obsession continues...

JR
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Old 12-10-2011, 08:25   #47
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Re: Preventers

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Originally Posted by jr_spyder View Post
Hello All,

(...)

2. "Vang/preventer": Hold boom down and forward from mid boom to deck near aft shroud. Seems like racers who want to flatten their main when running downwind would want this most, but maybe not your average cruiser. But Jim Cate tells us about his above - very convincing.
I would not mix the vang and the preventer role. Sure, at times, in some applications, they work the same. But please note that as soon as you point higher, you will need a standalaone vang.

Also, if you vang-cum-prevent your boom and your boom happens to be end-sheeted then you will break the boom way before a rougue wave will - simply by oversheeting the boom. (PLS note the reverse is also possible - breaking a mid-sheeted boom that is end-prevented).

There are many ways to do things. Many of them are equal, as long as we recognise the limitations. The best ones are those that are idiot-proof.

b.
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Old 12-10-2011, 09:16   #48
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Re: Preventers

Quote:
Originally Posted by jr_spyder View Post
Hello All,

I want to jump in as a new guy and say I'm luv'n this thread. I bought my first big boat, and Little Harbor 46 (1988), back in Aug as part of my long planned retirement goal. The day is here and my wife and I are thrilled. I'm kind of a safety freak, and knowing the majority of our sailing will be just the two of us, and in far away places, I'm currently obsessing over things that are less than ideal on the safety meter. We're not afraid of taking risks in general, but anything reasonably preventable should be in my mind. I've particularly been obsessing over a preventer and/or boom brake.

Note: my boom is sheeted at the aft end, and is well above head-height in the cockpit.

My first observation is that very few boats have them. Shouldn't all boats built/rigged for blue water simply have this problem solved? In Sep I walked around the Newport boat show for three days and only found two or three new production boats that had any sort of noticeable preventers rigged. Those that had them were smart - from the end of the boom the loose end of the line came out and could be brought forward, outside the shrouds, to a forward cleat or padeye, while the other end threaded through the boom to the mast end, down to the deck, then routed back to the cockpit to a winch. One boat had both port and stbd lines rigged this way giving the most control, and safest access. Nice. I really like the idea of this system. When not in use I'd keep the loose end of the line connected somewhere along the boom closer to the mast for easy access to grab and bring forward as soon as warranted, and then leave it out.

Looking around my marina I also see few preventers. I will certainly explore the subject with other guys as I get to know more skippers.

In all the reading I've done, and somewhat summarizing this thread, I see three main choices for making the boom safer:

1. "Single Line preventer": line running from end of boom way forward to the bow, through block, back to winch at cockpit. Some debate here if line should be non-stretch or be able to take some shock.
2. "Vang/preventer": Hold boom down and forward from mid boom to deck near aft shroud. Seems like racers who want to flatten their main when running downwind would want this most, but maybe not your average cruiser. But Jim Cate tells us about his above - very convincing.
3. "Boom brake": no discussion on this thread but lots elsewhere. This gets permanently rigged to boom generally just aft of the vang and connects to the deck on both sides near aft shroud, with one end of line going to winch in cockpit. Seems least fuss of all options. Opinions are strong in other threads on who makes the best one, but it seems nearly all posters really like having brakes.

Not sure why I just wrote all this other than for my own summary. I have all winter to think about it and put something together. I have to say I'm leaning towards the boom brake option. Or maybe I'll just thread some lines through my boom... (This is certainly the most work since lots of hardware would have to be added to route/manage the lines).

My obsession continues...

JR
From dockside, you will not be able to see the preventer on many boats. You certainly can't see ours. Our preventer is simply a 30 meter coil of 12mm double braid rope which lives in the liferaft locker. Our Selden boom has a loop for the preventer built into the end of the boom. When we rig our preventer, we simply attach the line to the boom-end with a bowline, run it up to and around a forward cleat, then back to a secondary cockpit winch. Simples. It really does not need to be more complicated than that.

A block is nice, but not necessary. The preventer doesn't run all that much, and turning it around a cleat works just fine.
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Old 12-10-2011, 09:20   #49
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Re: Preventers

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
I would not mix the vang and the preventer role. Sure, at times, in some applications, they work the same. But please note that as soon as you point higher, you will need a standalaone vang.

b.
FWIW, I have not found this to be true. I do have a conventional (rigid) vang as well as the preventer/vangs, and in general never use it except to hold the boom up in lieu of a topping lift.

In general, if one has a traveller a vang is not required when pointing very high... mainsheet tension controls sail shape on these points of sail.

At any rate, we've managed to not break a boom (touch wood) so far, and don''t feel very threatened by the prospect. YMMV.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 17-10-2011, 14:01   #50
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Re: Preventers

Greetings,

Just out of curiosity - it was mentioned earlier in the thread that attaching the preventers closer to the clew of the sail is Better(tm).

I have end boom sheeting and I have a clew strop/strap which goes all the way around the boom several times. I don't have a bail/hoop/tang at the end of the boom to attach the preventers to, so was going to make up my own strop from single braid spectra to go around the boom and attach the preventers to that.

However is there any good reason not to attach the preventers to the clew strop/strap itself? It's velcro backed spectra webbing or somesuch and it is plenty strong and in the right location... ?

Thanks!
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