Page 37 - 48º North - The Sailing Magazine - December 2017
P. 37

different lengthens so they do not become fully taught together. One line of appropriate size, well-secured with proper shock absorption and chafe protection, should hold through a storm. Better safe than sorry, and if you are considering doubling up your lines, maybe don’t just dig another old line out of the locker. The reason you are doubting the first line may very well be that it is past its prime. Get a new line to double up with the old one. It’s a cheap insurance policy, and, unlike insurance, it should actually prevent disaster as opposed to clean up after it.
We discussed fenders in our 48° North article, “Fenders are Our Friends” (August 2015). All that information still applies. One additional consideration for a blow, apart from doubling them up, is lowering them into the water if you are on a floating dock and you are worried about them popping up.
Apart from securing the boat itself, make sure there is no loose gear on deck. Stow as much as possible below decks or ashore: sails, dinghies, tarps, and anything else that might flog or get carried away. If you don’t stow
them, at least make sure they are secure and won’t chafe. Tarps
are particularly problematic for chafing. If you have a furling headsail you can’t or won’t
stow, make sure it has multiple
jib sheet wraps and all lines are cleated. Wrap the mainsail cover
in additional line to prevent
it from flogging (potentially
the main sheet). Halyards that behave themselves normally can
begin to beat in higher winds, making not only annoying sounds, but potentially bad
chafe on the halyard or mast. Make sure the dinghy is tied down securely.
Your shore power cord deserves special attention in addition to what we went over in our 48° North article on that subject. For a storm, you either want to disconnect it and stow it completely if your boat can be without shore power for the duration, or make doubly sure that it will not come under strain and is securely plugged in.
Mother nature will always win in the end. We are simply delaying the inevitable a little longer, but to do so we cannot under estimate the power of
Figure 2: Stern line with a bad angle A. Stern line tied to opposite side of transom B. This line has a flat fender under it as chafe protection.
wind and water. Take every precaution you feel you should. We are incredible risk calculating systems - feeling confidence or caution. Check your work. Check your boat when the wind is at its worst, if you can. If you feel confident when you leave your boat, you are probably fine. If you don’t, go back and check your work. Boats should help reduce stress, not increase it; so take steps to keep your mind at ease this winter.
Alex and Jack are professional shipwrights, cruisers, licensed captains, and are the owners of Seattle Boat Works.
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