Originally Posted by Faster
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.
for the newb sailor(no offence to anyone here) over reliance on vangs on downwind courses is the number one cause of boom failure, gooseneck failure and anything related to boom BREAKAGE
this is also true for improperly pullied mid boom traveller systems
this is why travellers(mainsheet) at the end of booms have such great records of non failure
for example my last boat had a rotating 4 point attachment boom end that in case of an accidental gybe what fails is the attachment point...and yes you lose the boom to the stays but you can quickly reatach mainsheet and have a nice sail...
booms that break in half are mostly caused when improper tension is exerted at a point too midway of the boom length...thats why you see massive pulley traveler systems on coachroof mainsheet traveller systems its needed...kind of like chosing your poison
My current boat is setup this way...but its a short IOR boom..so the forces involved are to an extent less than a boat with a big long boom and midpoiunt attachment
verbal diarhea out