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Southern Cross 35
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've always used a preventer but recently I have decided to install a boom brake and looking for some advice.

There is a decent sale on the witchard gyb'easy at defender and I'll problably get that one, unless there is a compelling reason to go with the Dutchman (or some other).

So a few questions
  • I'm inclined to use the boom brake in lieu of a preventer. Is that wise, or should I use both? I've been doing a lot more ocean sailing this season and the thought of back winding the main and even dipping it in water with the preventer strained to the max is a bit worrisome.
  • rigging the boom brake to the chainplates seems preferred but it also strikes me as a significant obstruction going forward on the high side, at least on my little boat. Am I missing something? (As a single hander I value clear side decks)
 

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Southern Cross 35
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651 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
All, thanks for the explanation and advice. Jon the details and pictures you provided were extremely helpful.

i do not consider a brake to be a substitute for a proper preventer. Using it as such, or rigging a preventer from mid-boom to the deck amidships, can be a recipe from breaking something
Agreed. I did not explain it very well, but I don't intend to use the brake as a preventer. My preventer is from the end of the boom to the bow, and back to the cockpit. My thought is to use the boom brake, without the preventer, and "let the gybe happen" if the conditions arise. (Vs fixing the boom and "preventing" the gybe altogether).

I have had occasion to come close to an accidental gybe on a broad reach in big seas (big for me anyway), preventer rigged, and autopilot engaged. In these cases the autopilot (an oldish wheel pilot) was overwhelmed and could not react fast enough. In each case I was able to disengage the autopilot, grab the wheel and correct.

But it got me thinking (frankly it also scared the crap out of me!) anyway my thought was: If I were to gybe in these conditions with the main "prevented" how would I get out of that situation?

Again I've never been in this situation so I may be being completely naive. Perhaps it's just a matter of easing the preventer? It just seems like there would be a lot of force to safely ease the preventer. And if the preventer parted I imagine it could be ugly. Or maybe it possible to jutst steer out of it? I don't know.

(FWIW My preventer is a stretchy 1/2 line taken back to a cleat at the cockpit. I don't have a clutch for it)

Anyway this is what lead me towards the boom brake, and the thought that using it instead of a preventer might be safer in some conditions.

As Tatia mentioned, fixing the brake to chainplates seems a bad idea. I'm surprised Dutchman actually recommends it. Mine are taken out to my perforated toerail, instead. Of course, that constitutes a major tripping hazard…
even though I singlehand and would learn to (almost always) step over it :), the tripping hazard is still a concern. Is rigging the boom brake to the cabin top viable? Is it strong enough? Is the geometry acceptable for the boom brake to function? I can take it to the toerail if it's the right thing to do, but just wondering about options.
 
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