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Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Jodi and I sailed in the double-handed fleet in the WYC Fall Regatta last weekend. 2nd day was breezy, hung around 20 all day. PHRF started right before us, and there was carnage; a collision in the pre-start; and then this right in front of us on the first upwind.

 
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Likes: Will Gilmore
Sep 22, 2018
1,869
Hunter 216 Kingston
That looks like they aren’t having fun :)

I’m confused how their rig ended up on what appears to be the windward side?

94390083-3FBD-4CEA-A64E-68DA048C7C78.png
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
That looks like they aren’t having fun :)

I’m confused how their rig ended up on what appears to be the windward side?

View attachment 185413
They had just tacked, and then it fell to leeward. It was blowing 20+ knots, and the rig acted like a sea anchor. The boat swung around almost instantly.
 
  • Helpful
Likes: Hunter216
Jan 19, 2010
938
Catalina 34 Casco Bay
They had just tacked, and then it fell to leeward. It was blowing 20+ knots, and the rig acted like a sea anchor. The boat swung around almost instantly.
WOW! looks fairly flat for 20 kts...
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
WOW! looks fairly flat for 20 kts...
It does, couple of reason for that/.

The wide angle gopro flattens things out.
Starting from 8 knots when we motored out, wind had been building all morning (this was at 11:15am), so the wavetrain had not gotten rolling.
There was not a long fetch to windward to allow a bigger build.
 

JRacer

.
Aug 9, 2011
1,233
Beneteau 310 Cheney KS (Wichita)
Well, that will ruin your day. Nobody hurt, I hope.
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Well, that will ruin your day. Nobody hurt, I hope.
No one hurt!

The happy truth is that rigs almost always fall away to leeward, away from the typically windward crew.

I often describe it like being shot at and missed. Before you realized there was danger, its over.
 
Sep 22, 2018
1,869
Hunter 216 Kingston
Curious about how the demasting (or is it dismasting :) )happened? Looked like the mast broke near or at spreaders. Would that be too much load up high or perhaps a shroud let go and the mast broke during the subsequent reaction?
 
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Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Curious about how the demasting (or is it dismasting :) )happened? Looked like the mast broke near or at spreaders. Would that be too much load up high or perhaps a shroud let go and the mast broke during the subsequent reaction?
Strong wind does not cause dismastings. The rig is designed to match the righting moment of the keel plus a safety factor, past that the boat just heels. Missing rings, frayed wire and slipped spreaders cause 99% of them. In this case it was a missing ring, that allowed the pin to fall out of the lower diagonal shroud while loose and leeward. After the boat tacked, the missing lower on the new windward side allowed the mast to buckle at the spreaders.

But N.B. - The First 235 is known for having an under spec'ed rig. Sold with a babystay to help, it took two updates to the spreader system to fix the problem. Most 85-88 boats now have done the retrofit. This boat had the update, but nothing will save you from losing a lower.
 
Sep 22, 2018
1,869
Hunter 216 Kingston
As a long time racer you have likely seen many more of these “events” than most. :)

I haven’t really thought about how the mast would fail - buckle before your description.
If the lower shroud is missing I assume the middle of the mast would curve out to leeward because it would be held at the top and bottom until it failed.

If an upper failed I assume the top of the mast would just bend off or break at the point the lower shroud is holding it.

All that chaos from a missing ring. Wow!
 
Sep 22, 2018
1,869
Hunter 216 Kingston
I wonder if there any published info on how often this happens during racing compared to more casual use?
 
Nov 26, 2012
1,520
Hunter 34 Berkeley
I did the Rolex Big Boat Series last year (no, not on my Hunter 34) and we had 28 knots at the GG Bridge. Three boats lost their rigs that day. All J-105's. We hit 18 knots boat speed under the kite. This is an 80's era custom built 48 ft racer.
 
Sep 22, 2018
1,869
Hunter 216 Kingston
I would say it definitely happens more in racing. Boats get pushed harder.
I would agree with your logic, however the event that started this thread was caused by a shroud pin falling out, that type of thing could happen anytime, racing or not.

My logic would also say that if you are going to race your boat and push it then you would likely take greater care when it comes to maintenance etc. I also wonder that during a racing scenario a helmsman might have to steer a course that might push the rig harder because they are impeded from a less risky course due to another boats position. A casual sailor wouldn’t likely have to do that as much.

(I don’t race so take my comments for what they are worth ;) )

If the failure is weather related I can see a racer mindset staying out in “challenging” situations where a more casual sailor might reduce sail earlier and/or head for shelter.

Does cumulative stress of pushing a rig have much of an impact??
 
Last edited:
Nov 26, 2012
1,520
Hunter 34 Berkeley
I would agree with your logic, however the event that started this thread was caused by a shroud pin falling out, that type of thing could happen anytime, racing or not.

My logic would also say that if you are going to race your boat and push it then you would likely take greater care when it comes to maintenance etc. I also wonder that during a racing scenario a helmsman might have to steer a course that might push the rig harder because they are impeded from a less risky course due to another boats position. A casual sailor wouldn’t likely have to do that as much.

(I don’t race so take my comments for what they are worth ;) )

If the failure is weather related I can see a racer mindset staying out in “challenging” situations where a more casual sailor might reduce sail earlier and/or head for shelter.

Does cumulative stress of pushing a rig have much of an impact??
Sure. It happens more in racing but not only in racing. When I go out for a race I have 5-6 sailors on the boat. I am not afraid of big wind. When it is just my wife and me, we want to relax and sail. I will reef or not go out at all in 20kt winds. In my earlier response in which I cited the three J-105's that lost their masts it was blowing near 30kts. Two Coast Guard cutters came out just to stand by. Did that stop anyone from sailing? Nope. It was the Rolex.
 
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Likes: Hunter216
Sep 22, 2018
1,869
Hunter 216 Kingston
Sure. It happens more in racing but not only in racing. When I go out for a race I have 5-6 sailors on the boat. I am not afraid of big wind. When it is just my wife and me, we want to relax and sail. I will reef or not go out at all in 20kt winds. In my earlier response in which I cited the three J-105's that lost their masts it was blowing near 30kts. Two Coast Guard cutters came out just to stand by. Did that stop anyone from sailing? Nope. It was the Rolex.
Interesting that even at that wind strength three purpose built racing boats had mast failures. I could understand knockdowns, broaches etc. but wouldn’t the rigs of the J 105’s be designed to handle 30 or even more without failure?
 

Apex

.
Jun 19, 2013
1,034
C&C 30 Elk Rapids
So JD, I hear you asking if they need assistance (kudos) but what was the result?
 
Oct 22, 2014
15,804
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Interesting that it happened in front of you.
Happy no one was hurt.
That it happens to racers is a result of seeking all that they can out of their boats.
The frequency of occurrence supports the statement of my rigger friend that many more boats in the marina have bad rigging than one might imagine.
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
So JD, I hear you asking if they need assistance (kudos) but what was the result?
We stopped and stood by. They were close to a lee shore, and in 80 feet of water. We offered our hacksaw, but they saved the rigging by unthreading. Ended up towing them home when their very nice OB failed to start.

After the race we applied for (and were granted) redress, which was our average points scored for the race.