Join Date: Sep 2004
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My two cents:
- stretchy is good as it absorbs dynamic loads, IMHO
- stronger is better, just make sure you can release the preventer easily and in a controlled manner when you have to
- snap shackles are quick and convenient, but they break at the most inopportune times (like, in the middle of an uncontrolled jibe), so if you're going to use one go oversized. (I have a snap shackle on one side and I tie a knot on the other because the shackle broke)
- I prefer end-boom preventers as you're less likely to break the boom, especially if you drag the boom in the water as you roll to and fro, which happens sometimes in downwind sailing when the seas get up
My preventer is set up with a line port and starboard from the cockpit to big blocks on the bow and from there outboard back to the shrouds where the lines are attached when not in use. There is a single, stretchy line attached to a bail at the end of the boom that is long enough to run to the gooseneck where it's cleated off when not in use. To rig the preventer join the port or stbd line to the one on the boom and tension it from the cockpit. The disadvantage of this set up is that you need to reset the preventer after a jibe/tack.
In sizing the line....go to a good rig shop and ask what they recommend (and why).