Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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In big waves or a steep chop, I have long been a fan of using comparatively light nylon line for the preventer and running it from the end of the boom to a block near the bow and then back to a quick release cleat in the cockpit. The long length of nylon line allows the line to stretch and absorb the shock if the boom accidentally dips and prevents the kind of damage that George B mentions. The cleat in the cockpit allows the boom to be eased over during a deathroll without endangering the crew. This is a cheap and easy way to rig a preventer, and one that can be left rigged 24/7 when offshore.
I strongly disagee with the popular practice of taking a tackle to the rail below the boom as a preventer. In heavy going, if you dip the boom or death roll, you are likely to damage the hull to deck joint, toerail track, the boom and/or gooseneck, depending on the specifics of the situation.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay