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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 10-18-2007
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Broken forestay

Well, here goes my trip south. On a very first day, while we were motoring in slight chop (2-3 ft, may be 5kts headwind) the forestay turnbuckle broke. The top threaded rod just snapped in half. This is pretty weird by itself, but whats more - we are talking about a brand new rigging here - installed less than a month ago by Chesapeake rigging. Not a cheapo terminal either - Alexander Roberts, presumably a high quality company. This was our second time out on the water with this rigging (and first one longer than a few hours).

So, we had a furled foresail and drum flog about for a while, with boat jumping all over. The damn thing is hard to contain - chafed through the halyard and a bunch of lines we used to tie it down. Good thing it wasn't me alone as it often is the case, or else I'd be pretty well screwed.

So, todays stock of damage is:
- broken turnbuckle
- bent sailtrack
- cracked handrail
- broken tie plate between spreaders
- a bunch of lines and a halyard

And here are some pictures of the fitting - its nice and shiny and all new except in two pieces.

Not sure what the lesson is that comes from this tale.

http://images30.fotki.com/v434/photo...95/rod1-vi.jpg
http://images30.fotki.com/v44/photos...95/rod2-vi.jpg
http://images29.fotki.com/v318/photo...95/rod3-vi.jpg

Last edited by brak; 10-18-2007 at 08:29 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-18-2007
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Lucky you had the foresail on - it could have been mighty interesting if there was nothing left to hold the mast up!

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Old 10-18-2007
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consider yourself lucky. that is a clean break for sure - was the forestay running fair with the furler installed?

what type of furler are you using?
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Old 10-18-2007
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So will Chesapeake rigging be there in the morning to begin repairs ?
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my guess is that if it was the top fitting - attached to the masthead - and he had a standard roller furling unit with the halyard attached - then the halyard attached to the RF unit was a proxy for the forestay.

although a forkeye is usually used at top of a shroud (attached to a tang)
if the lower fitting broke.....

Last edited by rperret; 10-18-2007 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 10-18-2007
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It is a lower turnbuckle (I changed pictures into links to make page load faster). The mast was held by lower/upper shrouds, I guess (though now I wonder if all that bending of spreaders forth and back did not damage their point of attachment - lowers connect to the mast on the same rod as spreaders).


The guy from Chesapeake rigging did come today, he replaced the actual turnbuckle rod, and somewhat straightened the furling track (it is serviceable now though does not look perfect). Other things are left for me to fix, I suppose.

It is true that if the top fitting broke - sail would have helped, but with the bottom one it really made things worse - the forestay with furled sail on it is about the heaviest thing you can flog about from the top of the mast (I just lifted the sailbag and its pretty hefty - it's kinda like having the sailbag swing about on the rope with furling drum thrown in for good measure).

The furler is original - old Hood system, pretty bullet-proof except when bent like that. The wire inside furler was replaced, or so I hope - at least that was on the bill I paid.
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Old 10-18-2007
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No comment.

Last time I tried to get into this discussion I caused a train wreck lol ...

Stays .. Losing Your Mast ...
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Old 10-18-2007
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BRAK...I would focus on the fitting. You say "presumably high quality"...but my web search for the company shows a California based company with 3 employees. Sounds to me like an importer and I'd bet you got a far east piece of crap that was supposed to hold your mast up. I would dig some more and hold your rigger totally responsible for any other repairs necessary to restore the boat to the condition it was in prior to their use of an inferior product.
If you are not happy with the re-repair I would suggest you contact the management of Chesapeake Rigging and ask for their help. They have a good reputation on the Bay and hopefully they will see fit to assist you.
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Old 10-18-2007
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brak,
My question would be, is this a one-off incident? I think I'd be contemplating some "test to destruction" on one of those fittings. I'm trying to think of a reasonably priced place to have it done. I don't think your average machine shop is going to be properly equipped to do that. I would not be feeling real comfortable about the rest of the fittings or the replacement fitting. If I had a blow out on a brand new automobile tire, for no apparent reason, I'd be having them all changed out for a different brand. If I encountered resistance I would graciously suggest that the questionable tires be placed on the shop owner's vehicle and, after a year's driving with no failures, we could talk about me paying for replacing all of them. And I place rigging turnbuckles in the same safety category as I do tires.
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Old 10-19-2007
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You need to scrap the entire lot of off brand turnbuckles and use some good ones. I donít know what went wrong but a failure like this is unacceptable for standing rigging. Is this a casting instead of a forging? Where does it come from? Who made it instead of who imported it?

Or you have issues with your roller furling system. Was it dragging? Did it hang up before the failure? What did the rigger say about the proximate cause of the failure?
Lots of questions and I think you need to get some answers before sailing off into the unknown,
Good luck and all the best,
Robert Gainer
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