Rigging a Boom Preventer

(The following article is reprinted with permission from the Catalina 320 group.)

According to Wikipedia, “A preventer, or jibe-guard, is a mechanical device on a sailing vessel which limits the boom’s ability to swing dangerously across the boat during an accidental jibe. The uncontrolled jibe (or gybe) is feared by all sensible yachtsmen. The heavy boom can potentially inflict severe head injuries or dispatch crew members over board; even the mainsheet or traveler can also inflict serious injury. Uncontrolled jibes may also damage the boat itself.”

On Sea Shadow, a Catalina 320 (#808), we take the threat of the uncontrolled jibe very seriously. While I have always secured the boom to a forward deck cleat when sailing any lower than 120 degrees apparent off the wind, it was not until I had the opportunity to sail with Orlando Duran on his Catalina Morgan 44 that I learned a better way

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