Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Kevlar, Not So Tough

This morning we went for a sail in the bay to re-calibrate instruments. All of a sudden, while sailing at a decent clip, the main fell down. Our 1-year old Kevlar main halyard had severed.

My captain deduced that the break was due to the inflexibility of the Kevlar fibers over the sheave at the top of the mast. There was no sign of chafe, just a hidden point of failure that we were lucky occurred during manageable wind and close to home.

As a rule we get an extra ten feet on any line we have made for the boat so that we can often get a longer life out of it by turning it around. We were able to take the broken main halyard to the rigger because there was enough line to trim the break and put a new splice at the other end, leaving us with a safe replacement.

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