How to Create a Jury Rig

In association with Admiral Boat Insurance, Yachting Monthly created a series of potential disasters to find out if all the theories of how to deal with such situations actually work in practice. The boat used in the crash test is Admiral’s own 1982 Jeanneau Sun Fizz ketch, Fizzical.

Once the poor Crash Test Boat had lost her mast, it was time to set up a jury rig. The Crash test team demonstrated how to do this by using nothing that wasn’t on the boat already. They used the stump of the mast which they had retrieved from the water, the main boom as a yard, and they re-cut the damaged mainsail to a square sail to effect at square rigger. Using spare shackles they created a tripod of stays, running a forestay from the masthead through a block at the stemhead where this would carry the greatest load, and two shrouds, run from the masthead through two blocks lashed to toerails aft of the mast step. The new square sail was lashed to the boom which was raised to the top of the mast square across it, the forward clew lashed forward, and the aft clew used as a sort of main sheet. Various adjustments were needed to get her to sail close to the wind including adding the original small jib as a trysail. The team explains in their article (see the August 2011 issue of Yachting Monthly below) how this was done.

Following last month’s dismasting of the Crash Test Boat by Yachting Monthly, the unlucky crew set about creating a jury rig from what was left on board. This resulted in the elegant square rigger shown above. Below is a video of the event itself.

Robert Holbrook, MD Admiral Marine

Robert Holbrook

“Often, the first natural human instinct when an emergency or disaster strikes is panic. In a series of controlled experiments, the Yachting Monthly crew put theory to the test by re-enacting some typical worst-case scenario sailing accidents or emergencies – such as grounding, capsize and mast failure. Risk assessment and careful consultation with experts was at the core of all tests. How often are incidents like this photographed and filmed in detail? By sharing their findings in a series of articles, I could see how yachtsmen could learn much invaluable information. Why not learn from our mistakes by following her story so you can avoid making your own?”

All Yacht Monthly articles are available in full

Download the full, unabridged Yachting Monthly articles in PDF format below for reading at your leisure.

What to do When your Yacht Run Aground: Yachting Monthly Article (PDF)

Dismasting: Yachting Monthly Article (PDF)

Boat Leaking – The Best Ways to Plug a Broken Through Hull from Yachting Monthly: Yachting Monthly Article (PDF)

Capsizing: Yachting Monthly Article (PDF)

Gas Explosion: Yachting Monthly Article (PDF)

Sinking: Yachting Monthly Article (PDF)