For some, this is an easy question to answer. For others, nearly impossible. But everyone who crews has experienced it at some point. From ‘vtfishsailor’:
I Sailed part of last season on this boat and 5 times this season and I am uncomfortable – can’t trust the boat. Last night, we had winds to just under 30, and the vang blew up – parted the line. When I looked at it after the race the line had a lot of U.V. damage and was badly frayed in several spots. Looked under spec too. A few weeks ago we blew up one of the blocks on the vang. As we were putting the boat away I took mental notes about a few things. Many of the halyards are a little too short, frayed and have U.V. damage. The backstay looks about the same. The safety line on it looks tired too. Several of the cleats in the cockpit don’t close on the line unless you give them a push. Several important shackles should be taped or wired shut. Some of the blocks that are tied to the eyes look like they need new line. The jib halyard was stuck last night. Most of this stuff looks like it came on the boat when he purchased it used a few years ago. After racing, we were talking and the vang breakage came up. The owner shrugged it off, saying ‘small stuff breaks’ in those conditions. I don’t consider the vang "small".
How should I proceed. When it’s blowing, I am just waiting for something to break. It doesn’t make it fun. Somebody could get hurt, but I don’t want to be an ass. What would you do? Jump in with your answer here.