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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Solent
    Posts
    1,362

    Default Rigging a boom preventer, and gybing deliberately. Got it wrong.

    Caused myself and crew a few problems yesterday. Approaching West Pole in a force 4 to 5 and lumpy following sea I had rigged a pole on the genoa and and a boom preventer to goosewing pretty much direct from Seaview. My preventer is simply a line fixed mid boom to midship cleat with an OXO.
    MY plan was to turn onto a broad reach to enter Chichester by gybing the boat and slowly easing the mainsail accross using the preventer. Bad plan. I went up to the midship cleat and requested the helm to gybe. But I could not release the OXO with the way the line went up to the boom. Now we were on a reach with the boom on the wrong side, mainsail fully powered up. I would guess we had broached as the helm could not correct course at all. A little bit of reading around suggests we had headed up and were "pinned". Situation only rectified once we were able to get back more on a run and release the preventer.
    In the circumstances what should I have done? Either remove the preventer in advance and then gybe the main. Or have a much improved preventer using some form of block attached to the midship cleat. Ideally with the line back to the cockpit too.
    As an aside our mainsheet fixes at the end of the boom to the stern and can take out an unprepared helm in a gybe - so being able to ease the boom across was my intention. With no preventer I would normally centre the boom as far as possible before gybing , and then let out the mainsheet pretty quick once the boom has gone across. But my key question is about rigging a better preventer and if it can be used at all to slow the boom in a gybe.
    Boat is a 29ft Westerly Konsort bilge keel. Very aware the wind would increase once no longer on a run but did not need the aggro with the preventer. But the pole and preventer had done a great job in quite a rolly sea up to the West Pole. Still got lots to learn.......

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Eastern Atlantic seaboard
    Posts
    3,162

    Default Re: Rigging a boom preventer, and gybing deliberately. Got it wrong.

    The way to rig a preventer is with fairly elastic rope attached to the end of the boom and led forward as far as possible then aft to a cockpit control. It is not good practice to deliberately gybe with a preventer attached. Having done so it is time for the knife to come out. If you want a boom brake fit a boom brake though there is no reason your usual method will not enable a safe gybe, perhaps dampening the shock load on the mainsheet by paying it out in a timely way with a turn or 2 on a winch.
    Last edited by Quiddle; 14-08-19 at 15:06.
    I'd rather be tethered to a pad eye than tethered to an iPad.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Romsey, Hants
    Posts
    1,210

    Default Re: Rigging a boom preventer, and gybing deliberately. Got it wrong.

    Not a great idea to rig the preventer mid boom. In extremis the preventer stops the middle of the boom moving but the end keeps going and snaps the boom. On my set up there is actually the word "preventer" cast into the loop at the end of the boom (Selden). As previous post says, take the line well forward (it goes through the loop of the forward cleat on my rig) and back- in my case to the lazy winch so it can be adjusted easily - I accept that wouldn't work if the boat was being goose winged. I also have a line rigged under the boom from the preventer loop to the mast with a loop in it so if I need to rig the preventer with the boom end already well outboard I don't need to hang over the side. I just attach the preventer line to the loop and let the lot go (hope that makes sense). Just come back from 400 miles round the West Country in mostly light airs and it was incredibly useful to stop the boom flogging back and forward on a very broad reach and light winds and a bit of a rolling swell.
    Last edited by stuartwineberg; 14-08-19 at 15:12.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Solent
    Posts
    1,362

    Default Re: Rigging a boom preventer, and gybing deliberately. Got it wrong.

    Thanks both. The knife was considered. Both by myself and the helm. Different purposes I suspect.
    I do follow your under boom line Stuart, thanks.
    I read (after the event) about attaching to a forward cleat, makes complete sense (as does stretchier line).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    scotland
    Posts
    3,422

    Default Re: Rigging a boom preventer, and gybing deliberately. Got it wrong.

    If you are not able to control a gybe then tacking through the wind is I believe a great alternative

    I learned to sail in a gaff cutter
    Last edited by scottie; 14-08-19 at 15:30. Reason: Added info

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Romsey, Hants
    Posts
    1,210

    Default Re: Rigging a boom preventer, and gybing deliberately. Got it wrong.

    Nice reaction to the posts - thank you. I wish everyone on the forum treated replies and observations so positively. Enjoy the rest of the season.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Boat (now back in) the Clyde
    Posts
    5,574

    Default Re: Rigging a boom preventer, and gybing deliberately. Got it wrong.

    As others have said, rig through the bow cleat not the stern cleat.
    Also it is important to be able to release quickly in case need to take avoiding action. Ours is led back along the side deck to the stern cleat, beside the helm.
    To gybe in a hurry we release the preventer from the stern and winch in the mainsheet as usual to make the gybe, ensuring the preventer can run free and sort it out after the gybe.
    We have all borrowed these ideas from others we have sailed with or spoken to.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Solent
    Posts
    1,362

    Default Re: Rigging a boom preventer, and gybing deliberately. Got it wrong.

    Cheers all. Love the forum! Learnt loads here. Going to have to find yet another long bit of rope. Not going to repeat what is now known in our family as "The West Pole incident"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    A Member State of the European Union
    Posts
    5,969

    Default Re: Rigging a boom preventer, and gybing deliberately. Got it wrong.

    I rig two preventers, one each side. They lead forward inside the shrouds to the bow fairleads then back outside all to a position level level with the cockpit where they are attached to the guardrails with a snap-shackle until required. Attached to the extreme aft end of the boom is a single short strop, having a ring in its free end.

    When I want to rig a preventer I unclip it from the guadrail and clip it to the ring on the strop. Then pay out the main sheet and take up the slack on the preventer, finally tightening it by hauling in the mainsheet as necessary.

    To gybe I pay out the active preventer and haul in the mainsheet hard and unclip the preventer that has been in use. Then transfer the strop to the other preventer, gybe and tension the new preventer as before.

    (takes longer to decribe than it does to do it! )
    "Brexit: like watching a library being burned down by people who can't read"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Me - Zumerzet Boat - Wareham
    Posts
    12,215

    Default Re: Rigging a boom preventer, and gybing deliberately. Got it wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by FairweatherDave View Post
    With no preventer I would normally centre the boom as far as possible before gybing , and then let out the mainsheet pretty quick once the boom has gone across. But my key question is about rigging a better preventer and if it can be used at all to slow the boom in a gybe.
    Even with a preventer why didn't you use your normal method?
    It's a well tested method.
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