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Our anchorage is presently bathed in sunshine, a nice change from the rain that we’ve grown accustomed to lately. So far today we’ve been spared a bunch of rain, save for a sprinkle or two a bit earlier. Even though the sun is shining, the wind is quite gusty. In fact, the forecast indicates that it may get even more windy here today, and some rain is due too. In other words, it’s another great day to stay put.

Wind makes more than waves!

While even non-boaters can easily imagine the uncomfortable motion that bad weather can inflict upon a boat, most people do not fully grasp the noise that typically accompanies it. Turn up your volume and play the following video. I recorded it just a few moments ago.

Listening to this video, what you’ll probably hear the most is some of the running rigging banging on the mast. I had the camera pretty close to the mast step, so it is loud! Even though I have secured all of the halyards off the mast so that they can’t bang, and tied a number of the whisker pole control lines away from the mast so that they can’t hit it either, we still get this kind of noise in gusty conditions. In addition to that, what you probably can’t hear as well but we definitely can, there is noise resulting from the wind blowing past the standing rigging, the wind generator spinning, and our shade canvas flapping. In other words, it’s pretty noisy here today, and this is just a normal gusty day, nothing even close to a storm.


  1. Hi,
    I have an old yacht with external running rigging and I find that, sometimes, loosening the halyards stops the slapping.
    The only item running inside my mast are the wires for lights and instruments … I haven’t found a way to stop them from slapping yet … open to ideas
    Sv Strider

    • Unfortunately, the lines that are banging on our boat can’t really be eased. As for the wires inside the mast, I don’t think there’s much you can do unless you unstep it. If you do though, we’ve had friends who have used foam pipe insulation, and pool noodles to dampen the banging.

  2. For me, easing the main halyard usually results in it fouling on a spreader and wrapping around a stay. I bungie chords halyards out to a lower stay and put some tension on. Wind noise in the standing rigging has the psychological effect of making me a little bit jumpy, But I sleep in a house. I can imagine it would wear on you. You can’t hear it below decks, can you? Or do you have hatches open?

    • As I noted in the post, it is not halyards that are banging. They have all been secured. I think it is mostly the topping lift, and control lines for the whisker pole that are making the noise.

      Can we hear it below decks? Hell, YES! That was recorded from inside the boat. Whatever you hear on the video, we can hear even more clearly. Fortunately, it is not nonstop. It occurs kind of randomly, when the boat turns slightly out of the wind.

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