Safety Equipment: Broken Mast

From: Jeremy Shaw (
Date: Tue May 26 1998 - 12:23:55 PDT

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Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 12:23:55 -0700
From: Jeremy Shaw <>
Organization: Centura Software
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Subject: Safety Equipment: Broken Mast
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A lot of the earlier posts on safety equipment focused on universal
failure, and several mentioned boom breakages.

Universal failure is difficult to recover from on the water, although a
piece of downhaul line tied to a mast-base nut is one possible means to
effect a self-rescue.

A broken boom can, depending on the location of the failure, be lashed
together to create a sailable rig (one poster reported being able to
plane to shore on such a lash up).

However, one significant type of equipment failure which has not been
fully discussed is a broken mast. Possibly because of the apparent
difficulty in repairing a mast in the water, I would posit that most
people expect to just abandon their rig in such situations. This would
explain the dearth of posts on the matter.

Luckily, recent advances in technology have provided a solution to this
hithertoo intractable problem. My own experiments have shown it is
possible to sail back from the channel at 3rd Ave. on a sail of 6.0 or
smaller with the aid of two 500mg capsules of Viagra.

I now carry a small bottle in my emergency kit, and would encourage male
sailors to do the same (prescriptions are readily available from your
doctor). Adapting the old adage 'your mileage may vary', I would have
to say that 'your sail size may vary' - smaller men may be limited to
sail sizes of 4.6 or less.


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