Today’s news about Canadian Derek Hatfield allows me to raise a What if? in addition to those already covered in a series of our Newsletters (see below), namely:
What if one or more of your spreaders get broken?
In the case of Hatfield, a competitor in the Vendee Globe, it has meant that he is now heading to Tasmania – a distance of some 1,000 miles. As he has no fuel, he has been forced to sail the boat. The prevailing wind where he is means that he has to sail on port tack, where two spreaders were broken when the yacht was knocked down in heavy conditions at the weekend.
I understand the shrouds themselves are still intact but without the spreaders, the shrouds would be quite loose. I, for one, would be reluctant to climb up a mast that is only partially supported in order to assess the damage close up and try to make repairs.
If he’s unable to tighten the shrouds I’m sure he would use one or more halyards that he could tighten on a winch and give better support to his mast.
The scenarios we covered in our Newsletter were: