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OOPS! Could have lost the mast today

2764 Views 19 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  JonEisberg
We set out for an epic eight mile journey from Prickly Bay to Grand Mal, Grenada and only made it about half way. We felt a serious impact like we had hit a big log or something. Turned out that a fitting at the top of the forestay had broken. The mast was being supported by the halyard and I very quickly hooked a spinnaker halyard to the foredeck cleat and tightened it. We were able to motor with no drama into the Port Louis Marina in St. George's which is very spiffy with a couple of mega-yachts and a few sailboats in the 90-foot range. Typing this by the pool next to the bar, but this place isn't really our style.

The rigger is coming at 9 in the morning. We really can't see what the problem is - does not appear to be stay itself, perhaps a toggle or shackle. Will see in the morning. Hope it is easy and quick to repair. I tried calling the marina on 16 and 68 (the local channel for pleasure boats) and got no reply from the marina. On further inspection, as they say in some sport, the bang at the mast top broke off the antenna. Have a spare antenna if it is only broken.

The joys of sailing ...
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I do an inspection of the rigging myself before any long passage - I did not think this 8 mile effort counted in that, but did check a couple of months ago and did not see any obvious problem. When the rigger is here tomorrow I will get him to have a look at everything.

Andrew, won't know until tomorrow what broke. I can't see from the deck or dock.

As to loads, I wonder if it varies with the kind of rig you have. We have a very large, single spreader rig (I notice that Ted Hood switched to a double spreader rig for the Little Harbor 44 and 46 that are very similar boats. On this rig, the highest loads are on the forestay and after lowers apparently. Just what I have been told, but told by professionals. I imagine I will learn more tomorrow. I guess we will need to unfurl the jib so the rigger can use the jib halyard. Could use the main halyard I guess. Hope it is not windy.
Turns out it was a bronze toggle that broke (the eye part not the fork part). Last time I looked it was OK. The furled stayed up on the halyard so it was not a big deal. The rig was supported by the wind in the sail until I got a spinnaker halyard rigged. Also the mast is a very big section which helps. The rigging is five years old and seems in very good shape. The repair is not a complex one. The rigger went up late yesterday to see the problem was and came back today with a new toggle but a pin that is not long enough for the toggle (the current toggle is not as wide so the old pin would not work. They called their office to get the right size and someone brought one that was not the right diameter. They are coming in the morning to fix it.

Nothing to do but enjoy the pool, but these are not my sort of people. Just about everywhere you go in Grenada people (locals and cruisers) all say hello. Here when you pass most people on the dock they don't even nod. Must be a ***** to be rich. We are in front of a sailboat that I would guess is about 85'. When I looked at the guy at the top of my mast it looked he was on a typical 26 footer.
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