Sailing with a broken boom

November 11, 2006

ManolisOn Saturday the 11th of November on the advanced sailing lesson course was one of the most dangerous experiences until now.

But it was worth it!

Everything started normally as every other weekend. It was a little bit cloudy, the wind was North – West as usual and not too much. Perfect day for sailing. When we got out of the harbour, it started raining. Excitement was all over the crew, we could use more our new waterproof clothes!!!

After a while it was raining more heavily. Everybody was happy with that, because the vessel is getting washed, the scenery completely changes. Finally we reached and we moored in the island Dia. We ate, we had fun, but at some point we had to return back to Heraclion.

The worse a bad feeling all around us…

We knew already that the weather was going to get worse. As long as we were in the island of Dia, we couldn’t feel it. Departing from Dia we put our smallest sails and decided to sail with both sails (main & genoa), the other vessel which was near (Christina) sailed only with one (genoa). Travelling with two sails in this weather is something different than with just one. Having two sails we had to broad reach instead of running as Christina did. That means also that we had to do a lot of jibes in order to reach Heraclion port.

When we were a little bit outside of Dia, it was raining cats and dogs and also the wind was a lot. As an advanced lesson crew everybody liked it. Sailing with a broad reach in this weather you are always afraid of doing an unitentional jibe or a broach. Everybody was on alert….

When Pashalis got the rudder, we didn’t had to wait for long, until the error happened. A semi-broach happened and as we recovered the boat, we heard a strange noise. With a quick check we saw that the boomvang was broken.

Christos and Harry offered to go in the bow, behind the mast and and make a temporary fix on the boomvang with ropes. Which they did successfully. With the temporary boomvang we continued our way to heraclion port. Inside
the heraclion port, at the point as we were getting down the sails, the boom fell on the deck. Then we realized that it wasn’t only the boomvang that was broken, but also the gooseneck.

Sailing with a broken gooseneck means that the boom can get out of its position at any time. If the boom were to got out at the point when we were in the mast and fixing the boomvang, We would for sure have at least one unconscious person in the sea after that. He would have been hit by the boom very severely.

After all nothing happened, but It makes you think…

More photos from that day and the broken gooseneck can be found here: http://www1.webng.com/hargikas/Broken%20Boom/


One comment

  1. dear lord!
    “learn sailing”, they said…
    “it´s easy and fun”, they said…

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