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Old 02-05-2008
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Omatako wrote: While the sail is backed and the boat is busy rounding up, how do you release the line that runs to the bow? Especially in the middle of the night in a heaving sea and a good strong blow? I would guess with real sharp knife and a character-building jibe. Definitely not for me

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O, the line runs from the end of the boom forward to the bow, through a block (mine is attached to the bow cleat with a spectra strap) and back along the deck to the cockpit.

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JohnRPollard wrote: 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.
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Yup, "attentive" is the operable word, but I agree entirely -- mechanical prevention is key. Because it doesn't take much "inattention" (maybe reaching for a cup of coffee as the boat slides off a wave) for a jibe to ruin your evening.

Preventers are a pain in the ass to rig and operate, but I find them very useful, especially when you have new/young/inexperienced crew at the helm. Preventers let you say to your young nephew, "See, that's what I was saying about not getting the wind get too far 'by the lee'," without it costing you a couple grand.
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