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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 09-30-2013
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Wind breakage

I know. I thought about that subject line long and hard, but just couldn't think of something better.
The thread on How Much Wind is Too Much is interesting. Most of us think 20 kts is about the limit for comfortable sailing. Some speak about not wanting to break something which begs the question: Have you ever broken anything on your boat that was clearly attributable to the strength of the wind?
If you choose to respond to this question give us some detail, the part, it's age, the conditions...anything that will add to our knowledge base.
Thanks,
John
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Old 09-30-2013
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Re: Wind breakage

John,

We have been through 3 hurricanes. Winds up to about 110 MPH. Had a few days to prep for each. So far, NOTHING broken due to wind, except our nerves that have since healed.

As Eileen Quinn sings, "good thing a sailor has a short memory".

Greg
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Old 09-30-2013
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Re: Wind breakage

jib blocks, blew out pin on shackle. Had to wire it down. Shackle may have been undersized. Around 20-25 knots, small sport boat so hardware kind of lightweight

Cracked a wooden boom, wind strain too much at the vang intersection point downwind, when the bow piled into a wave and strain on rig increased. Probably boom shouldve been reinforced. And probably we shouldn't have been out there but it was racing, SF Bay, head current, on a run, so the rig got loaded up.

Broke a tiller once, too much weather helm and poor design of rudder/tiller connection. Also racing. Used a spare tiller (do I see a pattern here? We tend to carry too much sail for too long when we race)

And have partially torn a sail occasionally, caught in a squall and couldn't wrestle it down in time.

Other than that I think the boats I've been on have held together pretty well. They are designed to take a lot more wind than 25 knots, provided you don't overload them with sail.

But I don't particularly want to be out then, a nice snug harbor--or house--is preferable if we have a choice... ;-)
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Old 09-30-2013
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Re: Wind breakage

The only thing I have broken was tearing out the webbing on my reef block. It was because I had the front down too far, but it was the winds fault or I wouldn't have been putting the reef in.
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Old 09-30-2013
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Re: Wind breakage

We managed to tear the boom clean off the mast on a J24, ripped out all 6 rivets at the gooseneck. I was working foredeck when it happened, apparently the boom missed me by about 6 inches. All good fun and a clear lesson in why you shouldn't race gybe a boat in a little more wind than you expected
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Old 09-30-2013
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Re: Wind breakage

Hey,

On the boat I race on, the mainsheet trimmer blew up the block connected to the traveler when he tried to 'bring in the main just a little more'

I broke a jib sheet when the captain asked me to bring the sail in 'one more inch' when we were going upwind in 25 kts apparent.

That's about it from me.

Barry
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Old 10-01-2013
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Re: Wind breakage



That was a "here hold my beer watch this" moment in 35-40 knots, double reefed from a run to a point.......accidental gybes can be hell. Positive note, no one was hurt, and I was not one of the 2 or 3 that ran aground.

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Old 10-01-2013
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Re: Wind breakage

I have seen plenty of destruction on boats I have raced on. A broken spinnaker pole in a broach, a few exploded spinnakers, and torn headsails come to mind. I have SEEN quite a few masts come down in conditions where they really shouldn't have...under 30kts. Granted some of them were rigs with running backstays where someone screwed up, but the fact is, in our area people get complacent due to the relatively light winds we usually get. Anything over 20 kts can be a gear-buster!

Fortunately I haven't broken anything on my own boat, but then I don't race my boat often, so we don't push it hard.
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Old 10-01-2013
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Re: Wind breakage

This is beginning to sound like a conversation I had with a friend about bicycle gear. I quote: this stuff is amazing, never breaks if you don't race.
John
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Old 10-01-2013
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Re: Wind breakage

Been in 20+ on the Bay more than a few times. But the only time we broke anything was when the webbing at the head of the jib let go during a storm on the Chesapeake and the jib came down.

But that was when the boat was new to us, and the surveyor missed the UV damage to the webbing - the only part not covered by the Sunbrella cover.

Simple repair and she's been fine since.

It makes sense that racers break things more often as they're trying to sail the boat at its limit and will carry sail past the point where the rest of us would reef or drop sail.
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Last edited by JimMcGee; 10-01-2013 at 10:14 AM.
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