April 26, 2014

By NBR Webmaster

Permanently- rigged Preventer for “Offshore” Yachts

Definition of permanently-rigged preventer: A permanently rigged preventer is always operational and does not require detachment and reattachment in order to jibe. It prevents an accidental jibe and allows control of the boom throughout a jibe. It can stabilize the boom in rough weather. Whenever a preventer is not rigged there is risk of an uncontrolled or unintended jibe. When the wind is just by the lee at the very beginning of a jibe the force against the roach of the mainsail is minor, and it takes very little to prevent the boom from swinging over. Once the jibe starts and the boom begins to swing, even in light air, force rapidly builds as the boom accelerates across the boat and at the end of the jibe the force is significant. The mainsheet may be equally dangerous if it crosses the cockpit, cracking like a Spanish whip.

The reason for a permanently-rigged preventer:

This CCA Fleet Surgeon was struck with the seriousness of the problem during the 1989 Marion Bermuda Race when a pediatrician at the helm of a fellow neurosurgeon’s boat died within minutes from a head injury by the mainsheet during an accidental jibe at night. The binnacle was also badly damaged.

The following is an anecdotal list of similar fatal accidents in familiar racing venues, and there are many examples among coastal and offshore cruisers.

1 1979 SORC boom injury

2 1981 Practice – USCG Acad Sailing Team boom injury

3 1989 Marion Bermuda Race mainsheet injury

4 1992 Cowe’s Week mainsheet injury

5 1996 Antigua Race Week mainsheet injury

6 1998 Ft. Lauderdale-Key West Race boom injury

7 2007 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) boom or mainsheet injury

8 2010 Fishers Island Labor Day Race (Mumm 30) boom or mainsheet injury

9 2011 J World San Diego on (J 124) boom or mainsheet injury

10 In 1990 USNA midshipman remained in coma after a head injury during an accidental jibe never able to return to school.

Latest Bermuda Race News

December 12, 2022

Newport Bermuda Race achieves Clean Regatta Platinum-Level certification from Sailors for the Sea

Highest attainable level was obtained by implementing multiple new sustainability initiatives for the 2022 Race 

October 27, 2022

US Sailing Releases Report for Crew-Overboard Incident

The Bermuda Race Organizing Committee encourages our sailing community to fully read US Sailing’s report and find ways to realize the recommendations in all of our boating activities.

September 30, 2022

Fall 2022 Newsletter

News from the Race Chair, Safety Training, and Email Preferences


Official Host

Official Rum

Safe Harbor Marinas logo

Premier Sponsor

Race Tracker Sponsor

Official Hospitality Sponsor

Official Performance Partner

Official Shipyard

Official Sponsor

Official Sponsor

Official Luxury Hospitality Sponsor

Official Media Sponsor

Official Sponsor

Official Media Sponsor

Official Gear Supplier


Official Gear Supplier

Official Sponsor

Official Connectivity Sponsor

Official Sponsor

Official Sustainability Sponsor


Interested in hearing more from us?

Set your email preference for Race News, Competitor Bulletins, or our new "Captain Alerts" for potential owners interested in 2024.