Clutch Bank Blow-out

How do you destroy a Lewmar triple clutch bank? Oh, that’s easy!

Step 1

Start sailing in 28 knots of wind and 4-6′ seas coming at you from about 45 degrees off your starboard bow. Single reef your main and jib. Put up with that kind slop all day until the sun starts to set.

Step 2

Decide to put in a 2nd reef in both sails for overnight since the gusts were reaching 30-35 knots all day.

Step 3

Try something new. Instead of furling the jib and heading up into the wind to relieve the pressure from the main (like you were taught), simply fall off a little bit and give reefing a try. What could possibly go wrong?

Step 4

Since the 2nd reefing line is in the same clutch bank as the main halyard, put the main halyard on the appropriate winch and route the reefing line to the winch beside it. Because there isn’t a cheat block to re-route the line, you will create an estimated 45 degree bend in the reef line coming out of the clutch.

Step 5

Lower the main and begin winching in the reef line. Don’t worry that it makes a terrible sound. Overlook the fact that you don’t think you should really be doing it this way anyway. Ask yourself, “What could possibly go wrong?” and BANG!!! You’ve successfully created a Clutch Bank Blow-out.

I recommend you don’t try this at home, or on your boat, even if your boat is your home. Time to buy a new clutch bank. Ugh.

July 2020