Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Alpharetta, Georgia
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Want to Install a Boom Vang - Cal 25
After shopping around and finding a boat in my price range and suitable for my needs - day sailing on a lake - I just bought a 1978 Cal 25 (as of yet unamed) and she's in great structural shape. I had the boat inspected and apart from blisters on the hull bottom - which I expected from a boat that has been in fresh water for 2 years - the boat was in excellent shape. The interior was refinished, electrical all upgraded, the deck, bulkheads and mast-step are all sound; she looks great and sails fine, too. At least in light winds - this time of year in inland Georgia the temps hover around 90 degrees and the winds are usually only 5-10 with gusts of 15 to 20. I took her out yesterday for the first time and she was a delight to sail in the mostly 10-12 mph winds - I should state that I'm a novice, having recently completed an ASA Basic Keelboat course. I have also lurked on this forum learning so much from everyone.
Now, the rub . . . The boat doesn't have a boom vang or a topping lift. It looks the prior owner detached the topping lift when he installed the bimini over the cockpit and just attched the boom to the backstay via a wire/schackle. I'm going to replace this and re-install the topping lift although I'll probably hire someone to do it since I'm not too keen on using the bosun's chair.
Regarding the boom vang, I want to install one myself to help the boat's performance - I noticed the sail twist in the main while sailing downwind yesterday and I can see how flattening the sail via a boom vang would help. The issue confronting me is making sure I install the boom vang correctly . . .
First, my mast step isn't set up with a bailer or any other existing hardware to take a fiddle block (although the boom seems to have a slot forward of the slot where the main sheet system attaches to the boom so I'm guessing I could attach the upper section of a boom vang using that slot?) I'll try and post some photos of the boom and mast. There is an eyelet on the mast that looks like it could be used to attach the boom vang to the mast but it seems to be positioned too high up - it's midway between the mast step and the gooseneck. Any good books I can read on installing the boom vang? I want to make sure I choose a system that is strong enough for my boat and install it properly so the wind force doesn't damage the mast or boom. (In other words, is a mast hound adequate or should I through bolt a bailer?) Would love to get your recommendations. If there are any experienced sailors in the Lake Lanier, Georgia area who might be willing to contact me offline and help me, that would be most appreciated!
BTW, I've considered a rigid boom vang to address topping lift and boom vang but would need assistance on choosing the right system.