Originally Posted by Valiente
It was a crash gybing death during a race that convinced me to make up preventers (at least forward to the toe rail, not the more effective boom-end to bow and back arrangement) in the first place.
I mentioned it in the context of someone buying a superannuated racer to be used as a learning platform or even as a basic cruiser, and therefore not necessarily averse to safety elements that are seen as impediments while racing.
But maybe shouldn't be.
A preventer being used with out proper knowledge of how to use it can be just as dangerous as not using one. If the boat gybes, and the preventer line isn't release, it can cause the boat to get "pinned down" by the mainsail. While this may not be as dangerous as an uncontrolled boom swinging across the boat, it can cause its own share of problems, including heeling the boat over enough to have crew fall off. It also requires someone to go forward to release and re-attach the preventer lines each time you gybe—not an ideal situation for novice sailors.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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