24 Jul 2005 23:34:23
John Mulholland
Danger of Wing Riggers

I have been doing a bit of thinking, which can be very dangerous. In this
case, though, it is more a case of something I have found that is dangerous.



There is a serious injury risk in the event of a head-on collision with
boats with wing riggers that do not have backstays. In a collision where
the hulls miss by about 60 centimetres, the rigid block that supports the
pin is the first part of the boat to hit the oncoming sculler or rower. If
it hits him, or her, on a vertebra, a broken back is almost certain.



Older riggers almost all had backstays, which deflect the rigid block from
the spine. The initial impact will almost invariably be a glancing blow.
An injury may be caused but it is unlikely to be a broken back.



The wing rigger problem is a relatively new one, because it is only recently
that a rigger could be made stiff enough and light enough to be used without
a backstay.



I believe that there are two ways forward. One is to insist that all
riggers are fitted with a backstay, or are made with one of the attachment
arms swept back from the boat at an angle of at least 30 degrees from the
orthogonal. The other way is to fix some type of padding to the rigger; to
perform the same function for the rigger that the bow ball is supposed to
perform for the sharp bow.



I would like all owners of boats with such wing riggers (I am one) to
consider what measures we can take to minimise the risks. Collisions are
not inevitable, but neither are car crashes and we all wear seat belts, and
many of us have cars with airbags; because accidents do happen.



I have designed in my head a pin protector, which might do the job; but I am
not an expert in this sort of device. It would comprise a strip pf metal,
about 50 mm wide bolted to the top and bottom of the pin with a triangular
section strip of rubber bonded to the front edge. The strip of steel would
have to be strong enough to resist twisting out of the way, but flexible
enough to allow one size to fit most common lengths of pin. The rubber
would have to be soft enough to deform and spread the load over as large an
area of the "victim's" back, but firm enough not to allow metal-to-bone
contact. Anyone know of someone who would make such a device at a
reasonable cost?



John Mulholland




25 Jul 2005 00:15:46
mpruscoe
Re: Danger of Wing Riggers

John Mulholland wrote:
> I have been doing a bit of thinking, which can be very dangerous. In this
> case, though, it is more a case of something I have found that is dangerous.
>
> There is a serious injury risk in the event of a head-on collision with
> boats with wing riggers that do not have backstays. In a collision where
> the hulls miss by about 60 centimetres, the rigid block that supports the
> pin is the first part of the boat to hit the oncoming sculler or rower. If
> it hits him, or her, on a vertebra, a broken back is almost certain.
>
> Older riggers almost all had backstays, which deflect the rigid block from
> the spine. The initial impact will almost invariably be a glancing blow.
> An injury may be caused but it is unlikely to be a broken back.
>
>
>
> The wing rigger problem is a relatively new one, because it is only recently
> that a rigger could be made stiff enough and light enough to be used without
> a backstay.
>

While I won't dissagree with you about backstays, having been saved by
one when in the bow seat of an eigth that had a head-on collision with a
sculler, there have been plenty of conventional riggers around without
backstays for a long time, so it's not just wing riggers.


24 Jul 2005 23:49:15
sue t
Re: Danger of Wing Riggers

Bow-mounted wing riggers (behind the rower), such as those on the
Fluidesign,
http://www.nlroei.nl/Fotoboek-display-39997.html
do not have that problem.

Perhaps every shell should have the wing rigger bow mounted, rather than
mounted towards the stern side. I'm sure this will cause much debate.




24 Jul 2005 16:55:17
Re: Danger of Wing Riggers

The one person I know who broke her back rowing in a head-on collision
was hit by an oar blade. Maybe we should get rid of those, too, to
make rowing safer.

sue t wrote:
> Bow-mounted wing riggers (behind the rower), such as those on the
> Fluidesign,
> http://www.nlroei.nl/Fotoboek-display-39997.html
> do not have that problem.
>
> Perhaps every shell should have the wing rigger bow mounted, rather than
> mounted towards the stern side. I'm sure this will cause much debate.



25 Jul 2005 01:19:12
Phil
Re: Danger of Wing Riggers

I have Matt Woods gullwing riggers on my 1x and these attach to the
rowing shoulders and aftershoulder without a 'backstay' (IMO these
should be called forestays as they attach forward!).
Neither do CD riggers have these stays.
The oar/scull presents as much of a hazard and is in approximately the
same position. Padded oar shafts?