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Old 03-13-2014, 04:35 AM   #1
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Default Means to cut away rigging in emergency

OK, this is sort of like borrowing trouble to even think about it--but maybe not. It takes these HUGE wire cutters to make it through the 3/8" rigging wire. We've comforted ourselves with the "well, we do have a hack saw aboard" and "we could always remove the wires at the turnbuckles" but seriously--how may folks have the proper tools to cut away the rig if they need to? These are the sort I'm talking about Wire Rope Cutter
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Old 03-13-2014, 10:45 AM   #2
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Here's an interesting article which may be interest to you, Brenda.
robots= author=
The best thing I ever saw for cutting rigging is called the 'Toolova shootit'. I have googled it and found many references, but it seems it may have gone out of production. I note in the above article, the writer talks of using a rechargeable angle grinder. In the sort of weather that can drop a rig, I think using an angle grinder would be too dangerous to the user.
Regards,
David.
PS Here's the link to the shootit http://www.toolova.de/english/Kat_Y1...tit%2012_e.htm
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Old 03-13-2014, 04:14 PM   #3
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So it seems that the hacksaw may be OK after all (according to your link, 40 seconds...) and since I believe it would be difficult to actually USE the long handled cutters (and everything else is too costly to really consider...) I guess we've got the right tool aboard afterall. The shootit thing is cool--but no longer available it says.
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Old 03-14-2014, 04:20 AM   #4
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Why not release the cotter pins on the turnbuckles and knock put the pins with a hammer? A hack saw takes way too long.
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Old 03-14-2014, 07:48 AM   #5
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Releasing the clevis pin would be a quick and easy option providing the rigging is slack. If there are several tons of pressure on the pin, knocking it out would be impossible.

In the past day or so, I have read a lot on the 'net about dismastings at sea, and trials of various items of equipment. It seems that managing to remove a rig threatening to harpoon your hull, is not such a simple thing in a rough seaway. On a pond, the hacksaw (with the best of expensive blades..and plenty of them) would seem a good option.

But what if the rigging screws and wire are being pulled violently from fore to aft. No one is going to have the physical strength to hold the rigging and cut it through at the same time.

Anyone who has been in a serious storm in unprotected waters will understand the violent movement of the deck, the danger of being away from the relative safety of the cockpit and the very real dangers posed by the fallen rig such as:
Fouling of the prop and rudder, holing the hull, the danger to crew of wire slicing guillotine like, across the deck under great power every time the yacht rolls, the possibility of the rig becoming snagged on underwater obstructions (remember on a 45' yacht, the mast base could be the length of the mast and rig, up to 100' below the boat and still be attached) then there is the chance that the boat will be forced broadside to breaking seas, or being dragged down by the bow or stern depending upon which item(s) of the running rigging have failed. There may still be sails attached, making walking on the deck almost impossible, and flailing clews and sheets....Just the thought of the danger makes my blood run cold.

Add to the mix, the lateral movement of wire rigging under pressure and the potential for it to saw through the gunwhales as the boat rolls under the weight of the rig still on deck.

Dismastings are relatively rare on cruising boats, but so is tearing off your rudder or keel after clouting a whale or shipping container. These things do happen and managing it may not be quite so simple as it would first appear.
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Old 03-14-2014, 05:06 PM   #6
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I do wonder how people manage to cut away things--yes. It all takes enough strength and stability to use the tools at hand. For example, we have (aboard) a Milwaukee M28 cordless portable (metal cutting) band saw (we use it for wood often, though). But I'd never imagine being successful using it to cut away part of the rig--it's big enough to require two hands to use it. No hands left for the boat. Both me and the band saw would go overboard. Now that I'm thinking....we also have an air powered angle grinder and a LONG airhose to our aircompressor (below deck). You COULD use the angle grinder with one hand....hum....
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Old 03-15-2014, 04:37 AM   #7
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Maybe synthetic rigging easier to cut free.any thoughts.
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Old 03-15-2014, 05:00 AM   #8
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I think that synthetic rigging will one day replace metal. It is used effectively on some large race boats. Stretch has all but been eliminated, UV degradation is a problem and, I guess, it would need replacing frequently (And, it's hellishly expensive)...but as the technology improves, I feel sure it will become more and more prominent.
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Old 03-15-2014, 05:13 AM   #9
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I suppose another plus will be the ability to carry spare synthetic replacement rigging on board.it is also quite easy to self fit.reducing weight aloft too.the alternative is an unstayed mast junk rig very easy to reef single handed and quickly.
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Old 03-15-2014, 06:03 AM   #10
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And, woven rope was used as rigging for thousands of years before we managed to develop galvanised or stainless steel wire. Down goes the mast and a quick couple of belts from a crew member with a machete and, all of a sudden, we're on a power boat.

Indeed the running backstays on my previous (55') boat were made from polyester double braid. Here's an interesting bit: http://www.sailfeed.com/2012/10/synt...d-traditional/
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Old 03-15-2014, 08:14 AM   #11
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Thanks auzee great article,this is getting back to the KISS principle cutting out many fittings cheaper and easier sailing,help to get the greedy marine shops out of your pocket.
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Old 03-15-2014, 08:43 AM   #12
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We've just put dyneema running backs in place and agree that we'll all probably see more of the high-tech rigging materials in use soon.
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Old 06-28-2014, 03:28 AM   #13
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The following is a link to yachting monthly video has been seen 190,000 people, but if you have not seen it yet, I do suggest viewing it as it shows a demonstration of a dismasting and a few methods for cutting the rig loose.

The hacksaw was surprisingly effective. My takeaway from this is to have more than one hacksaw with extra blades and to have them in two separate locations on boat. A good place would be under a hatch cover in the cockpit, as the saw is flat.

I was in an offshore race off San Francisco working the main on a 42 footer. Nice SF winds of 30k and steep waves from ebb tide. I asked the owner of the boat if he had any cable cutters in case of dismasting. He scoffed and said they were never needed. Within an hour another boat about 30 meters from us lost her rig and then proceeded to get banging on the hull from the mast. My POV is it is prudent to be prepared.

Yachting Monthly's Crash Test Boat Dismasting - YouTube
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