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  #11  
Old 06-26-2004
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accidental gybe

Jeff: It would be interesting to hear your take on boom brakes for jibe control.
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  #12  
Old 06-26-2004
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accidental gybe

I don''t really have any experience with them. In theory I like the idea although I can''t quite visualize the geometry of the lines run to one so that they can actually work.

Regards,
Jeff
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Old 06-27-2004
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accidental gybe

I''ve never chartered, just lucky, I guess, so I would not know the level of equipment on board to expect. But my preventer is pretty straight forward. I use a line with a snap shackle with long trip lanyard that attaches to the mid-point of my boom, near where the hydraulic vang is attached. I then have a snatch block on the rail near the chainplates, perforated toerail makes it easy, I have no toerail, only track to the shrouds, so a padeye car is used. The tail is led back to the cockpit to an unused winch, usually one of my secondaries, near the reach of the helmsman. When a gybe is completed, the snatch block is moved to the new lee rail, and the preventer is snugged in.

When on a new boat for the first time, I always take a look around at the deck and rig. How long is the boom? Is it a "Deck Sweeper" when trimmed? Where are the "Safe Zones" that are out of harms way on deck.

My IOR design has a short 14'' boom. It uses end-boom sheeting. But being a race boat, when trimmed, the boom is of the "Deck Sweeper" variety, as in no one is safe during a gybe! I have a couple of lines marked on my deck going out to the rail from the traveler. When someone new is on the boat and not familiar with the subtleties of getting their head "softened", I tell them that the best place is behind the lines.

Heck, as an IOR design, I need as much afterguard in the stern when running as I can get.

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Old 06-27-2004
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accidental gybe

FWIW our experience with a home made boom brake has all been positive. It is not a preventer, but it slows the boom and can even bring it to an easy stop by hand tensioning the slack line. It serves a vang function beyond the end of the traveler without loading up the gooseneck fitting. Its reason for being was to prevent the possibility of the boom lifting and fouling the backstay since we don''t have a boom vang.

To jibe in significent winds we sheet to centerline then ease out with the brake at a faster rate than is convenient by tailing the mainsheet. This prevents loading up the helm and the running mainsheet(4:1)doesn''t burn the hands.

The symmetrically rigged control line runs forward from the cleat at the cockpit, to a block on the rail about 2-feet abaft the shroud, over the brake''s drum (4-inch dia.) with one or two turns on the drum then out to the other rail to a cleat aft. One turn on the drum doesn''t inhibit tacking in light air. The boom brake is attached to the boom 5-feet abaft the mast. This has been adequate for a 283-sq.ft. main on a 14-foot boom.

The brake''s construction in aluminum was simple and straight forward. It''s a basic model without the tensioning ''bells and whistles'' found on the purchased item. I''d be happy to detail its fabrication to any one interested.

Regards, George

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Old 07-20-2004
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accidental gybe

I wholeheatedly agree that on a cruising sailboat, particularly with inexperienced passengers, there is rarely any good reason to sail dead downwind or to not have a good preventer rigged. Here is a simple rig involving minimum rope and hardware: Dead end a line a the aft end of the boom long enough to reach the shrouds with a quick disconnect fitting at the forward end and a bail on the boom to store it. Run another line with the same fitting from the point at the shrouds through a swivel block at the bows and back to the cockpit. To set it up, sheet the main in to where a man can reach through the shrouds and connect the two lines. Before you jibe, come up on the wind, sheet in, disconnect, restow the line on the boom, jibe, take the same end of the preventer to the new lee shrouds, and reconnect. The hauling end does not have to change sides.
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Old 07-22-2004
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accidental gybe

". A small wind shift will send the boom over. "

Waves roll a boat from side to side. IMHO, gravity is more likely to start the boom moving on its downward slide, thru the eye of a following wind, and then "whacko!". At night, specially when cruising, I drop the main (hate night time drops and changes), lose some speed (but surprisingly little) and leave it at that.
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Old 07-22-2004
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accidental gybe

Interestingly enough a boom impacting with a head seems to make a "Clang" sound. Maybe that''s just how it sounded inside my own head at the time.

Guess whose fault it was then? Mine! Silly enough to put my head in the way of the boom while I was in charge of the boat ...
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Old 07-22-2004
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accidental gybe

Sorry you descovered why it''s called a boom...
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Old 06-08-2008
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George,
Would you send me a detail on the boom brake drum you use on your boom?
I just tried to rig a climber's rappelling "figure 8" to the boom of my Catalina 380. But I have not sailed with it yet. Any comments on the usefulness and safety of my rig?

dizzydr
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Old 06-08-2008
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Thanks for the Reminder that Booms + Heads Hurt

Thanks for the post.

Just reminds/reinforces my decision some time ago that in addition to the pfd's that everyone on my boat must wear always, a bicycle safety helmut must be on my head whenever I'm out solo and the wind velocity is greater than light.

My boom is high enough that a boom+head collision is impossible for me or a passenger in the cockpit, unless standing full up on the seats.

Unless he/she is an experienced sailor, passengers aren't allowed out of the cockpit onto the upper deck without me first accessing fully the risk in relation to wind velocity, heel, and the point of sail. But when soloing, I'll sometimes turn on the auto pilot for a moment or two to do something at the mast or forward. Never when running with the wind however. Having a helmut on is added insurance that if I miscalculate or become inattentive, its unlikely that I'll ever be knocked unconcious.
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