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Old 02-01-2013
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Re: Installing a Boom Brake

Casey --- we set up a GybeEasy on Annie last year. Initially secured it to an eye where the aftermost shroud attaches to its chainplate. Simple and strong but meant high-stepping over the line every time we went forward. PITA

Ultimately, we installed robust padeyes at the outer edges of the coach roof and are very happy with with the setup now. Only trick was getting the geometry right. The drawings accompanying the GybeEasy were of some help but we fine-tuned the location of the padeyes as follows:

1. Decide where on the boom to secure the GybeEasy itself. We used a stop to attach the GE just aft of the vang mount. Using a strop is simple, shipshape, more than strong enough, and avoids non-critical holes in the boom.

2. Locate the padeye mounting points by trial-and-error. Run a light line (or tape measure) from one coach roof edge through the GE and over to the other edge of the roof. Tug the test line taut while swinging the boom as if jibing from one extreme to the other.

Just get the hang of this, try it first with the test line intersecting the roof edges about even with the GE. You'll see that if you start with the line taut and the boom centered, the boom jams as you move it outboard. Or, if you start with the boom outboard, the line gets way too slack as you move towards the centerline.

Keep moving the edge-intersection points forward until you can swing the boom from one extreme to the other with a minimum of slack at the centerline. At this sweet spot, the GE will operate smoothly from one extreme to the other.

A bit of slack as you pass over the centerline is no problem. It's the reverse that you want to avoid. If your trial-error line gets tighter as it passes over the centerline, then the GE would be trying to drag the boom down as it jibed across. In other words, if you were on a run and you had already vanged the boom down tight, then the GE would be putting a terrific strain on the leech as the boom jibed across. Something would have to give.

Annie's boom is equipped with a hard vang. I assume the same trial error process would work with a topping lift set up. But before you drill holes for the padeyes, maybe it would be smart to run a trial with the sail up and vanged down tight.

SV Annie
PSC 37
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