Forestay Failure

>We limped in to Naples last night without a forestay. On route to Key West, we had heavy seas and winds gusting a little over 40 miles per hour. We had spent the morning trying to trim sails to our beat into the wind. We had finally settled in and were making some progress into the wind and waves when we see our headstay snap from its fixed position at the bow. (The headstay is the wire cable that attaches to the bow of the boat and that keeps the mast upright. The head sail (Genoa) attaches to the headstay via a Roller-Furler system). The headstay, roller-furler and sail were all thrashing about the boat. Randall and Michelle went foreward on the pitching wet deck for the job of securing the headstay and roller-furler and then bringing down the staysail to take pressure off the mast. It probably took about an hour and, from the helm, I could tell they were getting beat up and almost thrown overboard trying to control the loose headstay and sail in the conditions. I was at the helm and Jake was securing the lines they were using to try to get the headstay secured. On everyone’s mind was how well the mast would hold up without the headstay’s stabilizing force. We made for Naples and got there mast intact. The headstay’s brand new shackle broke, causing the problem. We aren’t sure why but one theory is that the anchor somehow came down on the shackle with enough force to break it. But most likely, it looks like the part was defective. Randall has a very bruised foot and both he and Michelle are sore today. We have a replacement shackle so the fix should be easy. Pizza, beer and ice cream were attacked with much gusto last night as we talked about how much worse it could have been.

Toggle that used to connect the headstay to the boat

5 Responses to Forestay Failure

  1. Laura June 30, 2009 at 8:17 am #

    >okay – you know we are all going to google "forestay" I need a visual! Thank heavens you all have each other. I think of Tania tackling these near catastrophes all by herself. Glad you were near the coast so you had the option of "limping in". We will believe that this path down the coast has the ample time for you to work out these little kinks!

  2. Jan June 30, 2009 at 8:23 am #

    >Sounds like a rough day…..You guys make a great team…

  3. Capricious June 30, 2009 at 11:41 am #

    >Yeah, we can't imagine how solo sailors deal with everything. I'll post a pic. We attempted the fix this morning but looks like we'll have to take the sail off the furler and examine for damage to the furler. I should never say a fix will be easy until we have already tackled it.

  4. Sherrie Phillips July 1, 2009 at 6:59 am #

    >This what sailing is all about isn't it? Overcoming the challenges? So far you guys are doing a great job. Like you and Laura it just amazes me more that people atempt it solo. Rarely a dull moment. What does Lilli do when everyone else is keeping the boat afloat?

  5. Susie July 1, 2009 at 12:34 pm #

    >I'm like Laura thinking Ok what in the heck is
    she talking about? You are so brave, and I can't
    wait to read the book a couple of years from now.
    Your Mom, Lisa & I had a good day in Amarillo
    yesterday. Do you have a good supply of sunscreen? Love ya

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