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...........................--- Preventers For Running ---
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We hadn't had the sailboat long and had not sailed yet when we started hearing about 'accidental jibes' and how dangerous they could be to both the crew and to the boat itself. Sparky, who helped us in finding our Mac and who is an accomplished sailor told us that if we were running and going to jibe to pull the boom into the center of the boat with the main sheet before starting the jibe and then turn the boat and then release it out the other side under control.
That worked, but as any of you know if you accidentally turn the boat just a little or if the wind shifts just a little you can still get an accidental jibe where the boom comes across the cockpit violently and not under control and if it doesn't hit you or damage the boat it can still scare the hell out of you.
I had read about running a preventer line or two preventer lines to the boom to help this situation. The preventer line would go from the boom forward and then back to the cockpit where it could be pulled taut and hold the boom out regardless of what you or the wind did. During the course of our 18 day Lake Powell trip we decide to try rigging a preventer line or if possible two.
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We had a block and sheet that came with the boat and probably was to be used with the spinnaker that we had not gotten the courage to use yet.
I ran a line from the block's bracket to the center cleat at the bow (off to and forward of the middle arrow on the right side) and tied it off there so that the block would stay ahead of the mast, but could swing side to side on it's control line.
Then I put a carabiner clip on one end of a line we had and hooked it to the boom (left arrow) where the boom sheet attaches and then took the line forward on that side outside the shrouds to the block (middle right arrow) and from there back (bottom left arrow) inside the shrouds to a cleat on the side of the cockpit. Once we were running with the boom out to the side of the boat the preventer line was pulled taut and cleated off holding the boom forward.
This setup worked great except that to change sides and run the main on the other side of the boat after a planned jive I would have to bring the boom into the center of the cockpit and hold it there with the main sheet. Then I would detach the preventer line and take it around the mast to the other side of the boat and reattach it to the boom. Then let the boom/main out on that side and pull the preventer back taut again. This was a pain, but still it was worth the effort and saved our butts more than once when we either didn't keep the boat on the right course or the wind changed direction slightly.
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Later in the trip I rigged a second preventer line using blocks and line we had on board. I continued to use the line and block I had been using for both sides before, but move it to the starboard side for use on that side alone. One line (bottom left arrow) from it goes inside the life lines back to the cockpit and a cleat there The other (far right arrow) goes to the outside of the shrouds and to the boom and attaches where the main sheet attaches.
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I found a cheap hardware store block in my junk and used it and the old main sail halyard for the port side preventer line tying the block off to the left bottom side of the pulpit.
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I used the sheet that was attached to the spinnaker block to secure both blocks to opposite sides of the pulpit.
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The lines (both arrows) run back from their blocks to the boom on the sides of the boat outside of the shrouds. They attach to the boom where the main sheet attaches.

Before going to Florida in the fall of 2010 we bought some better blocks, line and some cam cleats to make the preventers a little better looking and slightly easier to use.
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Above you can see the new lines attached at the boom bail and most of the top arrows point to the portside preventer which is in use in the picture. The slack starboard side is pointed out by the two bottom arrows.
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The preventer line runs forward and turns via a block that is tied on to the base of the pulpit behind the rode bag and then returns to the cockpit. I use the base of the forward stanchion as a fairlead to keep the line near the side of the deck, middle right arrow. The block I used with the up grade is ....
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... a Harken 40mm Carbo AirBlock -- Single Block with Swivel -- Defender #614029.
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The line continues back and is held by the cam cleat we bought from duckworks and from there goes on back to the side of the coaming....
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... and can be cleated off at the cleats mid-cockpit, arrows. These cleats are just kind of a backup in case the cam cleats failed. I did the above to make setting the preventers in place quicker. If you are short on funds just tie them off to an available cleat.
The preventers are now a must use for us. This is another addition to the rigging we would strongly endorse. For us being inexperience running and not having an accidental jibe is hard to do and having one happen can be dangerous to you and/or the boat.
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