Originally Posted by billyruffn
I think there's also a lot to be said for keeping the sail area appropriate to the conditions at hand and having a human being driving the boat (or at least sitting at the helm prepared to react) when the wind and sea state get up. After all, an attentive helmsman is probably the best "preventer" there is.
You are no doubt correct in pointing out that keeping mainsail area commensurate with wind strength will improve the situation regardless which preventer method is employed.
But this is the point where I must sheepishly reply that an attentive helmsman may not always be your best preventer. Perhaps I was not as attentive as I should have been, but having myself been at the helm during an accidental jibe that destroyed a mainsail on an off-shore cruising boat
, I generally advocate some method of mechanical prevention as prudent whether the boat is steered manually or by autopilot/windvane.