Originally Posted by northoceanbeach
I don't know exactly why I thought about this. I was just thinking about reefing and stuff.
If the wind is at most angles you heel. The more you heel the less force there is on your rig.
If you are sailing dead downwind you don't heel. Plus your boat has a max speed. So what happens to those forces as the wind increases? It seems it would tear your mast off the most easily although I am not sure this is the number one way to get dismasted.
I know as the wind picks up you lessen sail and at some point you may be sailing dd with just a storm jib. But while it is picking up. Say a squall hits fast, until you have the chance to lessen sails is this a particularly dangerous time?
Just because the boat is heeling doesn't mean there is less load on the rig. DDW is the slowest point of sail, and will also result in the lowest apparent wind speeds, and the least power in the sails. The biggest hazards to your rig when running is the potential for shock-loads due to uncontrolled gybes. If the boom is allowed to slam across violently stuff can get broken. If you are flying a spinnaker, and you round up, the loads on the rig rapidly increase from what they were when you were sailing a deeper course. If the chute collapses and fills again the shock load can be extreme. That is when things cam break. Having said that, the rig should be able to withstand those forces. If your upper shroud came off during such an event then your rig is in serious need of professional attention! How would you and your 9 year old daughter have handled a dismasting that day?