Logical Dismasting Depiction and Explained

Al discussed with the crew their individual dismasting experience and determined that:

  • They all felt a wave hit Dragonfly on the port side even though the wind was from starboard.
  • The disruption inside as a result of the hit was extraordinary in that things were thrown from cabinets, which doesn’t happen on Dragonfly.
  • Emerson, the watch person saw the mast break below the boom first.
  • Both Al and Stephan saw and described the mast broken in the same manner.


The only explanation of the breaks on the mast was a rogue wave hitting the boat on the opposing side of the boat. The resulting forces cause the mast initially to buckle under the boom.

Below are a visual depiction what happened based upon the witness descriptions, experience and engineering rules. This analysis has been reviewed by a mast builder, a rigger, a boat/mast designer and a NAMS surveyor and international marine investigator and they all concur. The dismasting was caused by a fortuitous rogue wave hitting Dragonfly on the opposing side to the wind.

Dragonfly dismasting components

Dragonfly Dismasting - Initial Hit by Wave

Dragonfly Dismasting - Mast buckles below boom

Dragonfly Dismasting - Lower tang releases

Dragonfly Dismasting - Mast begins to fall causes damage to surround

Dragonfly Dismasting - mast hits salon roof and water causing third break

Dragonfly Dismasting - what Al and Stephan saw


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