preping for heavy weather
I have mixed feelings about preventers. I prefer not to head dead downwind in heavy going but to actually reach up slightly. I also think that it is important that you be able to rig and release the preventer quickly from the cockpit and that the preventer have some elasticity. The reason I hold this opinion is that I have watched and been aboard boats that have death rolled while heading dead down wind with a preventer rigged. The preventor holds the boom up to windward and backwinded. To me having to send someone out of the cockpit during that type of a death roll far exceeds the danger implied by sailing without a perventer. I think at night and in high seas a preventer is warranted and at that point I typically rig the preventer with nylon so there is a little stretch should you dip the boom.