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Old 03-01-2014
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Rigging boom vang and whisker pole

Would like to rig a vang and whisker pole for downwind sailing. Vast majority of vangs are anchored to base of mast. Is there a reason you would rig the main to both port or starboard or can you set up the vang to the port gunwale and always run with the mainsail to port. Would also serve as a boom brake. This boat is a 14 foot sloop that I'm using to teach my bride to sail. Trying to create a scaled down version of our retirement boat. Electric troller, reefed main, some sort of furling jib. All low buck simulations of full size boat, maybe Mac 26? Thanks for the help. Dave G
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Old 03-01-2014
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Re: Rigging boom vang and whisker pole

Whisker pole is usually fixed to a ring on the front of the mast, with the other end going through the clew cringle of the foresail.
You could use a vang as a preventer downwind, unclip from the base of the mast and clip it onto the toerail/gunwale. It's not really ideal as the forces are in the middle of the boom, normally you'd run a preventer from the end of the boom, all the way forward, but it would likely be fine in lighter air. I used to do this on my old boat and it worked fine. Dead downwind is pretty slow though, if you want to do that you'd be better off getting a symmetrical spinnaker. You'd likely be faster doing a series of broad reaches.
Oh and re the port/starboard for the main, you need to be able to run both, a few degrees either way and you are by the lee and would want to gybe anyway.
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Last edited by PaulinVictoria; 03-01-2014 at 02:58 AM.
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Old 03-01-2014
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Re: Rigging boom vang and whisker pole

Everything you suggest works until the wind pipes up and something goes wrong...

Rigging a vang as a preventer without the ability to release it from the cockpit is a dangerous thing to do in anything but very light winds...

If you gybe the fixed main might cause a broach and the boat could be pinned on its side with the gunwale underwater.

In addition fixing the center of the boom can result in the boom breaking at the attachment point during a violent gybe.

Just running a whisker pole through the clew of the jib is also a quick, dirty and dangerous way to rig. It works on small boats but on larger boats the pole should be independent of the jib... rigged with a topping lift a down haul and a guy so that you can reef without touching the pole.

People might tell you that the system works but I have seen broken booms and as crew once had a very unpleasant 10 minutes in the middle of the Gulf Stream when a 35 foot boat was pinned on its side by a backed and fixed main.

The key to getting the wife to cruise long term is not scaring her early in the process...
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Old 03-01-2014
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Re: Rigging boom vang and whisker pole

On a 14' boat, you can probably reach a vang that's led to the rail pretty easily. You would need a snap shackle on the bottom of the tackle so you could move it to the other side when you're on the other gybe. We used to have such a setup on a 40' sloop I crewed on. It is a hassle having to move or adjust it all the time. Every time the wind or course shifts, and every time you trim or ease the sheet, the vang needs to be adjusted too. When you ease the sheet 'way out, you'll have to move the vang base forward to have it work. When you trim the sheet in to head up, you'll have to release the vang too. It will then hang down from the boom and (on a 14' boat) whack you on the head when you tack or gybe. On a boat racing with eight crew, one of them can be assigned to attend the vang when it's rigged this way. If you are out sailing with your honey, it will be much easier to leave the vang attached at the base of the mast so you don't have to mess with it so much. On a 14' boat it might cut into your cockpit space a bit, so what many people do is to put a loop of shock cord around the lines so that they're pulled up out of the way when the vang isn't in use. When you use the vang the boom is out to the side of the boat, so the vang doesn't interfere with the cockpit so much any more. The shock cord stretches out, and when you release the vang the shock cord takes it up out the way again. Hope this helps do what you need to do.

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Re: Rigging boom vang and whisker pole

My 2cents... rig the vang as a vang should be - you'll have it's 'boom-lift-prevention' features all the time, esp through any gibes both intentional and not. If you need a preventer rig one separately and forward rather than down. Esp if your intention is to mimic what you'd do on a larger boat, then do it that way now.

DDW often isn't the best or easiest point of sail anyway, and if you come up onto a broad reach it will be more fun, need less gear and attention, and you'll get practice gybing - and may even end up with a better VMG.
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Re: Rigging boom vang and whisker pole

a 14 ft sloop...got pics? we sailed on one regulalry down here at the sailing school...in fact it what I proposed on! jajaja

you are so small that you ca rig any sort of simple pulley vang system...preferrably with a quick release system on it

but like I have mentioned before I dont use vangs all that much for simple cruising around or sailing in mild conditions in fact I like losey gosey

on a boat that size you simply grab the mainsheet(s) as a whole when gybing and again on a boat that small you can lay against the boom on downwind courses

say your wife lokking aft at you jajaja nice and romantic, but please dont gybe unintentionally1 jajaja

if you have pics of the boat in question it would be much easier to help or recomend where to rig a mini preventer or a vang

do you have a tang or ring on the mast for a whisker pole?
again pics would be great
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Re: Rigging boom vang and whisker pole

WOW! Thanks for all the responses. Sorry, there will be no photos. I'm urban Amish, my camera still uses film. Compass not GPS, tapes and CDs not MP3, olde school. The several times I've sailed down wind "W and W", I did it with the mainsail to port, I sit on the port seat with right hand on the tiller. Just seem to be more comfortable like this, maybe a right brain thing? I guess I just want the main right in front of me so I can see the impending crash gybe. I was planning on having the vang rigging set up to unclip and stash when not in use. So it won't be in the way when the boom swings. Also planned to incorporate a bungee or possibly breakaway to protect the boom in the boom preventer function. I had planned to run a line along my port gunwale for the poor mans jib furler. Seems to me that another line there for the boom vang made sense. Some one mentioned use of a topping lift to support the wisker pole. My w'pole weighs almost nothing, its a 4 ft painters extension pole. May need the topping lift to hold up the boom while using motor. These are mods for later this season. First priority is the trolling motor. Have to fab a mount. Then I may have to re-rig the main sheet. Now it is attached to a bridle across the transom, I can almost guarantee it will get hung up in the raised trolling motor. So I may have to mod main sheet or remove and stash troller while sailing. The boat is a Pintail built in 1969? #207 So far lots of fun. Thanks again to all. Dave G
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Re: Rigging boom vang and whisker pole

good stuff simple enough
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