Forestay

Mast fittings

Advice to all to check out the forestay attachement on ALL masts after Rod's experience. I've never liked the SuperSpars single rivet and self tapper. Not because its not necessarily stong enough when fully tightened in a new mast - but because the self tapper can loosen over time, erode the tapped thread (disimilar metals) and drop out or eventually pull out the last couple of mm if its loose.

ANY more suitable replacement fitting is acceptable in my book - a 'tang' similar to those used for the shrouds must be favorite as I've never ever seen one come off !!
I'm not sure a knife would necessariy help in some instances though but not a bad idea to carry one. I also think it is good practice for anyone seeing others capsized or in 'difficulties' of any kind to keep a watchful eye on them - you could often be the first on the scene in a real emergency. So if the helm is not obviously OK assume the worst and be prepared to investigate. This stuff applies to all classes of course, but especially singlehanders.
Not sure it's relevant to this particular one but I'm no fan of adjustable raking systems - and its just too easy to overdo things and the mast could 'pop out' of the deck fitting with too much rake. The mast could come down almost anywhere !! So if you are a user of such adjustment controls - be careful and don't be tempted to overake it - ever.
Mike Lyons