He yarns about last years transat and some of the characters he met, and mentions that he's upgrading his standing rigging to 10mm stainless. His is a 40-foot steel meanie, a tough boat but 10mm? That's gonzo rigging. He tells of meeting a boat that had been in the wars, a 45 footer, steel and with a curiously kinked mast. They were, he said eccentric in their habits: it had a center cockpit (center cockpits are higher than aft cockpits) which they thought a perfect place to stow a 60 gallon fuel container. (Only do the stability sums on this if on the heads.) And it was a mess - lots of loose stuff lying around within.
None of which suggested for a happy outcome when they hit heavy weather trying the North West Passage. Somewhat beaten up, the crew decided to leave it in the microchip hands of the auto-pilot and retire below.
They were pitchpoled through 360 degrees.
The deck was swept clean - bolted, strapped or lashed down, didn't matter. Gone. The inside went mental as crew, galley contents and kit were tumbled about in reckless abandon. However, as well-found boats will she came upright, her rig standing but her mast kinked. The secret of the rig's survival? The skipper puts it down to the well-set up 10mm standing rigging. My mate will be spending his spring re-rigging his cutter with 10mm stainless in anticipation of his circumnavigation. He has invited me down for a 'catch-up'. I suspect much of that catch up will be in form of sitting in a bosun's chair hauling 10mm up the masthead on gantlines....