Harness breaking at full speed

Harness breaking at full speed

Post by Ned Stoffel 213 » Sat, 16 May 1992 21:10:10


> The main thing that worries me is the prospect of dislocating various joints
> in my arms/shoulders when the harness breaks/releases and all that loading
> comes on before I can adjust.. ever had that happen? If you're lucky the
> whole rig just gets torn out of your hands!|>

I have experienced at least three harness line breaks, two plastic
harness hook breaks, and a plastic boom attachment break while at full
speed.  Since the lines almost always break when they are fully
loaded with your body weight, you would have to be a gorrilla to
hold on to the booms when this force is instantly and unexpectedly
transfered to your hands.  I am always in the water before I even
know what has happened.  The danger to yourself is primarily that
your feet do not release from the footstraps.  I always keep my
footstraps tight enough that only my toes fit into them.  This means
that I have to make a point of adjusting them smaller on the days that
I can sail without boots.  If you are borrowing a board, you may
not always think of adjusting the straps, but you probably should.

The danger to any sailors downwind is much greater.  This is something
to consider when passing an oncoming sailor at a distance of
less than a mast length to windward.  I have seen a sailor (who was
not in his harness) lose his grip on his booms during a gust while
a half mast length upwind of oncoming board.  The other sailor ducked
just below the wayward rig as it hit his mast right above the booms.
It was scarey to see, and I wouldn't want to be on either end of such
a collision.

Ned Stoffel