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Old 01-30-2014
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Re: Is a Vang Really Useful on a mid to Large Boat?

Thanks for the posts guys. The last few are especially are very well considered. Jeff_H in particular was the tipping point toward my decision. I've decided to keep the vang because I was never especially thrilled with getting rid of it for the reasons so well put by Jeff, Rich, and Alex. The change that I will make will be twofold:

1. Change the geometry as Jeff suggests. I plan to do some measurements, then work out the trig and verify if the reduction in moment arm is offset by the improved angle. If the numbers support the change, I will rig a temporary attachment point more forward on the boom. But I suspect that Jeff is right.

2. I won't try to apply vang when going up wind. The mainsheet will do that for me. But when off the wind, I will rely on it more.

I will still rig a preventer downwind (for now). I've found that accidental gybes in air up to the mid 30s, result in only a few inches lateral boom movement if the preventer is vertical prior to the gybe and snubbed such that there is no slack. If there is slack, then the loads mount dangerously. I saw those loads that firsthand when we blew a Catalina 30 gooseneck apart on an accidental gybe in 20 knots. So I do respect Jeff's caution and will carefully reevaluate the practice over time.

Thanks guys... good stuff.
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