Bob Samuels, Admiral Yacht Insurance’s Claims Manager, writes :
“We have had some unseasonably strong blows on the South Coast this year and whilst I was out in my Shrimper in Poole last weekend, it was very discouraging to see at least three well found yachts on moorings with the remains of shredded foresails still blowing in the breeze, having come unfurled.
Photo showing damage resulting from genoa having become unfurled
Sail ties are very cheap and using two or three long ones to tie off the sheets and clew of the sail around the furler should prevent such disasters. Make sure as well that the furling control line is tied off so that the furler can’t run out, particularly if it has a continuous loop controller. Don’t rely on tired cleats.
A thrashing sail that has escaped to play in the wind can do worse than damage itself; it can break or dislodge the mast, with a risk to the hull.
Whilst we are on the subject of furlers when was the last time you had a good look to check that the halyard lead to the top swivel was set right and whether the forestay above the furler is in good condition ?
Just five minutes extra care on securing sails and covers could save you months of lost sailing whilst you wait for a new mast.”
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