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  #21  
Old 04-08-2008
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A few years ago while chartering a Dufour 30 in Greece, a mixture of inattention and a sudden gust caused an accidental Jibe. At the time, my wife was reaching across from the port side to attend to the starboard jib-sheet winch. The main sheet track on that boat is mounted in the front of the cockpit.
The boom was way too high for us to get hit - but the main sheet wrapped itself round her neck and rammed her head-first into the starboard cockpit coaming. She had a big gash, blood everywhere and was a bit stunned but very luckily was not seriously hurt.
We learned several things:
You don't have to be hit by the boom to get hurt in an accidental jibe
The cockpit is a very bad place for the mainsheet
If we are before the wind for any length of time (ie long enough for attention to slip which is about 5 mins in my case) we always use some technology to prevent accidents. We use a Jibe preventer but I've heard good things about boom brakes too.

Since that day we have never chartered or owned a boat that did not have the main sheet track either far back behind the cockpit or across the coach roof.

Last edited by davekitson; 04-08-2008 at 11:51 AM.
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  #22  
Old 04-08-2008
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A boom is not an absolute necessity. I have a boomless Marconi rig and a self tacking jib. This is a lazy man's pilot house cruiser. Getting hit with a boom is not a concern. However if I were stupid enough to be on the cabin roof and an accidental Gybe happened I would find myself in the water. LOL A lot of power in that big sail. Even the jib would toss a person in the water. All my controls come back to one electric winch insude the pilot house. And six clutches.
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  #23  
Old 04-08-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlin2375 View Post
I've never sailed with a preventer but when one has it up, how does the boat react when an accidental gybe SHOULD have happened?
Does the boat heal momentarily to windward and then settle back down?
Does the main get backed out? What about the jib?
Anything one should do with the tiller to react to it?
A hundred and one different answers because - were you Wing and Wing - DDW or with both sails on the same side.... etc... ? Any way since the main is basically fixed in place by the preventer and probably luffing and the jib is doing who knows what depending on how deep down wind you were, I would think in most cases it would be easiest to re-fill the main because if you have any way left at all that would simply mean turning tiller or wheel to get back to your original course. Then you can evaluate what needs to be done about the jib which may have backwinded and came back and filled .... OR .... is hopelessly wrapped around your forestay .... but now at least you can be making a little way, take a deep breath, and do what ever needs doing.
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  #24  
Old 04-08-2008
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Dutchman may not be enough

Here's our accidental gybe story (the most recent one, that is): The first year we got our new 44' blue water boat we sailed around Vancouver Island. Rounding the Brooks Penninsula we were flying downwind in 30-35 knots - I saw 14knots briefly on the knotmeter. Boom! - accidental gybe, broke one of the mainsheet blocks and damn near ripped the track off the cabin top.

We had a Dutchman, but I would have to say it wasn't set up tight enough to do its job. Only a few other contributing factors, though: sailing overcanvassed (one reef in the main, should have been 2 or 3), nearly out of control, etc.

Since then we have sailed across the South Pacific, logging 13,000 mostly downwind miles. We still use the Dutchman, but now have and use preventers run from stout padeyes at the end of the boom, forward to the peak and then back to Lewmar linestoppers. The Dutchman is used to control intended gybes. It may be belt and suspenders, but we think they are both needed when making long passages downwind under wind vane steering.
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  #25  
Old 04-08-2008
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My 7 year old son calls it 'the Boomer!!', and says it with great enthusiasm. I think he's really hoping to see the promised effect happen to someone the little sadist... At least he gets it, which is good.
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  #26  
Old 04-08-2008
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Once in 20 years of sailing I've been hit by the boom, and that happened in a keelboat.
Since then I've had a catamaran.
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  #27  
Old 04-08-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peg View Post
Once in 20 years of sailing I've been hit by the boom, and that happened in a keelboat.
Since then I've had a catamaran.
Obviously it knocked the sense out of you ... sorry I couldn't resist
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Old 04-08-2008
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Regarding Post 20 and some of the responses: I have to agree that a boombrake is of little use in a high wind accidental jibe. IMHO Preventers should be single-part, and stretchy line (nylon) run from the end of the boom to the bow and then back to the cockpit. The purpose of the stretchy line is to absorb shock and should be rigged to be quickly and easily eased from the cockpit to allow the boom to swing over comparatively gently.

Jeff
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Old 04-08-2008
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  #30  
Old 04-08-2008
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Cool accidental jibe

1 preventer is worth a pound of cure!
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