[Updated] David McKay, responding to a previous post commented: "What happened with the boom? Your viewers back home want warts and all you know"?
To the best of my knowledge, here is the sequence of events:
We had a rough night and the rope I was using as a preventer wore through, causing some unintentional gybes until we restored the preventer(Dark night, running South with 35-40 Knots gusts, 4 m seas).
Part of the gooseneck, attaching the boom to the mast, failed the next day in very mild conditions when Leon was "shaking out" the number one reef. It could be that the part had failed earlier and that our single line reefing system had prevented any drama - the boom was being supported by the reefing lines.
Was it longer term metal fatigue - the fracture showed a brittle quality rather than a clean break. When did the part actually break after being weakened?
What we do know:
- The line I was using as a preventer was not up to the task and wore through where I had attached it to the end of the boom.
- We should have reefed to #2 before conditions deteriorated, putting less strain on the gear.
- The boat handled the conditions really well and we were not aware of any breakage during the night.
- When the part really failed, it was not at all dramatic. The boat kept sailing on its downwind course and we had plenty of time to do a controlled drop of the sail.
We found someone in Southport this morning who is willing to build a replacement part at short notice.
[Update 11 August] Here is the result:
The repaired part fitted in quite easily. However, it took a fair bit of effort to tidy up the sail and lazy bag. And we found that the second batt from the top had disintegrated. Evolution Sails made up a new batt for us today and the boat is ready to continue on its way.
Mind you the weather is not looking that flash for the next 24 hours, so we might claim another lay day tomorrow (Thursday).