Re: Is a Vang Really Useful on a mid to Large Boat?
IMO the vang is a crucial safety item when sailing downwind. It prevents the chance of an accidental goose-wing gybe. It's a pretty important trimming tool any time the boom is outside the traveler range. Even before then it can play an important role in leech tension.
If you find it an ineffective tool it probably isn't powerful enough.
I wouldn't sail without one, even if it was nothing more than a fixed strop which would be better than no vang.
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)