Cracked Forestay Chainplate

Ellen Cahill

We recently cross the Atlantic in Saol Nua, a 1986 Mango. Just before sitting down to breakfast to mark our halfway point we spotted a very significant break in our forestay chainplate. With 1200nm to go I was extremely anxious but also very grateful we spotted it before the mast came down. We decided to furl in the Genoa for the remainder of the journey and using two spare bottle screws secured the forestay to the two bow cleats. We also attached the inner forestay.  We checked the condition of the plate every 2 hours for the remainder of the journey. 

On the mango the chainplate is an upsidedown 'Y'. One half had severed completely and a crack had initiated in the other. I inspected the rigging before we departed but I suspect evidence of a crack may have been on the inside of the plate. We had 20knots on the aft quarter and fairly calm seas so it pointed to an issue existing prior to our departure.

Thankfully we made it will the rig intact and have since replaced the chainplate. I climb the mast and carefully check the rig before any passage over 24hours but now, with the boat that bit older I'll be keeping an eye on the chainplates! 

Any else ever seen this happen?

Ellen Cahill,
SV Saol Nua
Mango #45

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