Group: Forum Members
I watch from the sidelines, a faint but sympathetic smile playing about my lips, as you guys bat these ideas back and forth concerning ways to prevent your preventers from causing your rigs to self destruct.
In the junk rig world, we reckon the long, 180˚ gybe to be safest in heavy weather. Given sufficient searoom, we sail 90˚ by the lee so that sail is taken aback, then it comes across quickly, but harmlessly, and ends up empty of wind with a slack sheet, having nothing like shrouds to stop it short. Because we have to get so far by the lee to cause an intentional gybe, there is much less chance of an unintentional gybe. There is no boom to cause an elfin safety issue, as the "boom" is in fact just another batten. Applying a strong preventer to it would simply cause it to break. The only need I have felt to rig a preventer is in light going with a leftover sea, when the after sail of a ketch or schooner won't lie quietly, and then it's no more than a 6mm nylon line that will stretch if the sail is seriously backwinded, allowing the sail to come across. The fore sail of a ketch or schooner, or a single sail, is so far forward that it is not possible to rig a preventer - no matter, it wouldn't do any good anyway.
Of course, we do have our own problems to find answers to:
The sheet, as it comes across, must be prevented from snagging anything on the boat, or the crew, and the best way to do that is to rig a semicircular hoop over the cockpit. This comes in handy for rigging shade, as well, so is a good thing to add on a voyaging boat [note to self: must add one to Weaverbird this winter].
When gybing deeply reefed, we have to avoid a "fan-up", as the after ends of the yard and upper battens rise, and may get caught the wrong side of the topping lifts in high-peaked junk rigs. Again, there's an answer, which unsurprisingly is called a fan-up preventer. So yes, we do sometimes rig a preventer, but it's to prevent inconvenience, not to cause it.