More on how to cut your rig away after a dismasting


On the subject of how best to cut away your rig after a dismasting , I got this interesting reply from former colleague Mike Kopman.

‘I did a similar test to Chris Tibbs on rig severing devices when I was at Yachting Monthly, with much the same results. The one you did not mention, and a tool that proved most effective when we were dismasted on a rod-rigged 95ft Farr sloop a few years ago, is an angle grinder.

‘It was the only thing that would do the job on such big rod. I think the Shootit will deal with rod up to 9mm only, or wire to 12mm. Not sure about Norseman or similar hydraulic cutters; they may go bigger. Of course, angle grinders need electrical power, but many even moderately sized cruising boats have inverters or generators aboard these days.’

Just two points here. Some hydraulic cutters can sever larger diamater wire. Holmatro make one suitable for wire up to 16mm.

I take Mike’s point about the angle grinder, depending on the conditions at the time. However, I think the idea of using a 240v man-killer tool on the deck of a bucking, wet boat absolutely terrifying. I can’t think of power tools on boats at all without remembering how poor Lizzie McMullen was electrocuted and died while polishing Three Cheers before the OSTAR.