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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation > accidental gybe
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Thread: accidental gybe Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-21-2011 05:18 PM
sailingdog You should be okay with it, since you're boat is a monohull. Do make sure that you're using the appropriate line, since they specify a particular line IIRC for the Gybeasy. Mounting it in the right location is going to be key.



The issue I mentioned with boom brakes on multihulls is the fact that monohulls heel and tend to bleed off excess wind forces, where multihulls generally don't, so upsizing the boom brake is usually necessary for a multi, especially when you're right at the upper limit. For instance, I have 242 sq. ft. mainsail, so I went with the BB500 instead of the BB250, since I was pretty sure that I'd have some issues being that close to the design limit of the BB250.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bene505 View Post
Quickmick -- Accidental jibes happen.

Dog -- I just got a Wichard boom break. It's rated for a 550 square feet main and our main is 529 square feet.

Any other thoughts on it? Any tips on using it?
Gyb'easy
For use on mainsail areas less than 550 sq feet
Made of forged anodized aluminum
21 oz
Gyb' Flex line included

We won't get a chance to try it out until next month.

Regards,
Brad
02-21-2011 04:55 PM
Bene505 Quickmick -- Accidental jibes happen.

Dog -- I just got a Wichard boom break. It's rated for a 550 square feet main and our main is 529 square feet.

Any other thoughts on it? Any tips on using it?
Gyb'easy
For use on mainsail areas less than 550 sq feet
Made of forged anodized aluminum
21 oz
Gyb' Flex line included

We won't get a chance to try it out until next month.

Regards,
Brad
02-21-2011 04:43 PM
jackdale
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post

The main reason I prefer a boom brake over a preventer is simple....a preventer allows the boom to load up a lot more significantly, and if it is released, can cause major damage or injury due to the stored energy in the preventer line. It can also cause a boat to be "pinned" by the mainsail in an accidental/unintentional gybe, knocking the boat down and leaving it there until the line is cut or released. Boom brakes allow the mainsail to still move, but reduce its speed to one that eliminates most chance of injury from the boom crossing over the boat. A boom brake doesn't allow the boom and mainsail to store up great amounts of energy, like the preventer can. A boom brake also isn't as likely to allow a situation where gear is damaged or the boom is broken.
Excellent advice.
02-21-2011 04:13 PM
MarkSF I made a little gybe-preventer, just a 30ft length of nice springy line with a snap-shackle on the end. I use it all the time now unless we're going to going down-wind for a really short time. I'm 6ft 5" so I know it'll be my head that stops the boom!
02-21-2011 12:57 PM
sailingdog There are four or five boom brakes that are in common usage nowadays. I use a Dutchman Boom Brake, which is a bit oversized for my boat, but done because I was right at the limit for the one the next size down...and wanted to have the beefier unit because my boat doesn't really heel, so the pressure on the sail is much greater than it'd be on a monohull.

The Dutchman uses fixed and adjustable tension sheaves to create the friction used to slow the boom. It is the largest of the boom brakes that I know of.

The Wichard GybEasy is basically a friction brake that depends solely on line tension to create the tension looks like a bastardized rappelling carabiner.

The Scott Boomlock uses a tensioning line to control the friction exerted IIRC.

There's a Walder boom brake, but I've never seen one or used one, unlike the three previous devices.

The main reason I prefer a boom brake over a preventer is simple....a preventer allows the boom to load up a lot more significantly, and if it is released, can cause major damage or injury due to the stored energy in the preventer line. It can also cause a boat to be "pinned" by the mainsail in an accidental/unintentional gybe, knocking the boat down and leaving it there until the line is cut or released. Boom brakes allow the mainsail to still move, but reduce its speed to one that eliminates most chance of injury from the boom crossing over the boat. A boom brake doesn't allow the boom and mainsail to store up great amounts of energy, like the preventer can. A boom brake also isn't as likely to allow a situation where gear is damaged or the boom is broken.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnBilll View Post
Lets talk about boom brakes, they look like a great idea. Why not use them always? A simple piece of metal wrapped in a rope, and gybes are a lot less stressful. I have never seen one in person, or seen one used. Do they work? Are they hard to use? How about an adjustable shock cord on the mainsheet connection? It would pull the boom to center when the wind shifts, (or stalls), and slow it down when the boom goes over to the other side, just like a person would on a controlled gybe. An adjustment would control tension for light or heavy winds.
02-21-2011 08:52 AM
CapnBilll Lets talk about boom brakes, they look like a great idea. Why not use them always? A simple piece of metal wrapped in a rope, and gybes are a lot less stressful. I have never seen one in person, or seen one used. Do they work? Are they hard to use? How about an adjustable shock cord on the mainsheet connection? It would pull the boom to center when the wind shifts, (or stalls), and slow it down when the boom goes over to the other side, just like a person would on a controlled gybe. An adjustment would control tension for light or heavy winds.
02-21-2011 07:08 AM
NCC320
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmeador View Post
This thread reminds me of a question... does anyone make boom end padding? I was thinking of buying some pipe insulation at home depot and wrapping the end of my boom with it so if it smacked someone in the head, it wouldn't hurt so much. It might not be much help during an accidental gybe, but I hit my head on the damn thing all the time just sitting at the dock.
Like most sailors, I've had an accidental gybe from time to time, but really try to avoid them. The last one was several years ago in moderate wind conditions. I'm not sure exactly how it happened...I was at the wheel but was focused on trying to get a sailing companion to make a traveler adjustment. I'm not sure if I accidentally moved the wheel, had the rudder in wrong position, experienced a wind shift, or all of the above. One second, all was well, the next, the boom went flying across hard enough and violent enough to pull the leach end of the sail out of the boom bolt rope slot. Forget warning anyone, it happened so quickly that there would be no time to yell the warning, and if you did, it takes some reaction time for the other people. No one was hurt this time. The boat is a Catalina 320 and that boom went across so hard, that there is no doubt that it would have killed anyone it hit, whether it was padded or not. As has been pointed out, if the helmsman is paying close attention, there are warning signs from the sails, but if the helmsman is paying attention, he is unlikely to have such a gybe in the first place. I have since rigged the boat with preventers, but if you are frequently changing course, you (me at least) are likely not to set them. Because of the possibility of being caught off guard by a wind shift, I try not to sail straight down wind. If you aren't confined by the channel, traffic, or in a race, there generally is no real need to run straight down wind. On long runs, it's probably ok to sail closer downwind if you set the preventers.
02-21-2011 03:00 AM
centaursailor TILLER TO THE BOOM TO AVOID DOOM!
Love these little reminders, will memories this one.
And look at fitting a boom brake as I never liked the preventer when single handing.
Safe sailing
02-20-2011 11:33 PM
jackdale
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrism33 View Post
For those who haven't seen one in action, have a look at this link:
I am a big fan of boom brakes, I prefer them to preventers. They do not stop a gybe, but they sure slow one down. Rigging and releasing a preventer presents its own problems, as does intentionally gybing.
02-20-2011 11:24 PM
chrism33 This forum topic is very timely.

I was in an offshore race 2 days ago. We had a 25kt tail wind, the jib was poled out (to windward) on a run with a rolling sea. We had an accidental gybe and one of the crew was thrown by the mainsheet and ended needing urgent treatment in a hospital. Thankfully he's fine now ... and I won't spoil your lunches with any further details of what happened ;-)

The poled out jib took away the usual telltale signs that the boat is in the "gybe zone". If the boat if rolling on the sea, you need to be well off a dead run to avoid a gybe.

I don't want to go through this again so I'm now in the market for a boom brake.

For those who haven't seen one in action, have a look at this link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9rIod-1tZE&feature=player_embedded
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