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post #1 of 4 Old 12-13-2003 Thread Starter
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Boom Holder Thingy ?

I''ve noticed on some more traditional boats, there''s a (Generaly wooden) bar over the cocpit where alot of more modern boats have a radar arch, except a bit more forward so that the boom could rest on it if the topping lift were lowered a bit.

Whats the purpouse for this? Why did they have it and why dont modern boats have them?


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post #2 of 4 Old 12-13-2003
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Boom Holder Thingy ?

A boom gallows does a number of tthings. At anchor, it keeps the boom from jiggling back and forrth on every wave or wake so you can sleep at night instead of listening to the gooseneck creak and tthe sheets and blocks slapping back and fortth. This also reduces the wear & tear and chafing of these items. At sea, the gallows can provide a convenient handhhold or attachment post for people to clip their harnesses on to. Some people use it to support the boom when they tie in a reef ( they must be pretty finnicky, to actually tie in reef cringles) If tthe weather pipes up to where you want a storm trysail, it''s a good way to secure the boom so that the entire spar provides a solid hand or footthold for those on deck. It could prevent the boom from being swept by a wave and knocking someone, as well. Gallows can be useful, if you have room for them.
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post #3 of 4 Old 12-13-2003
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Boom Holder Thingy ?

Forgot your second question....
Modern boats are less likely to have boom gallows because they tend to have solid boom vangs to hold the boom up instead. Having a fixed gallows also requires the boom be high enough up to clear it under sail. This raises the center of effortt of the sail, which is not good. It''s also desireable to have the gallows high enough for crew to walk under without ducking. Unless the boat is big enough, this can look quite ungainly . In smaller production boats, a gallows would take up a lot of room and could get in the way. (Some gallows are hinged so they can be folded flat onto the cabintop or deck, or are fitted with pins so they can be removed and stowed when not in use.) Not everyone needs a gallows, but people who wantt them usually end up with them - or a boom crutch.
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post #4 of 4 Old 12-13-2003
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Boom Holder Thingy ?

Just to round out Paul''s excellent response, gallows came into useage when booms were solid wood and so way heavier than they are today. (Booms were intentionally heavy in the days before boom vangs to help keep the boom from rising in a breeze.) It was a time when booms extended aft well past the transom. Gallows were initially used in conjuction with gaff rigs and before winches. Toping lifts were a real pain in the butt on gaffers. Lifts existed but they were on both sides of the sail and had to be slacked and tensioned at just the right time.

One point that I disagree with in Paul''s response, rarely did traditional watercraft have the gallows high enough to walk under. Even on fairly large traditional water craft the booms crossed the deck quite low and needed to be ducked under. Because the booms typically extended past the aft end of the cockpit the gallows was generally aft of the cockpit and it was no problem. On our 1939 Stadel cutter the gallows was no more than about 4 feet in height.

I found that sailing with a set of gallows, if you actually used them, was a real pain in the butt with little real advantage over a good topping lift and a clip on bridle when at anchor.

Gallows built in the early to mid 20th century generally were constructed using tubing, a base and a neat little ''patent'' fitting at the top. They were not that sturdy that I would ever suggest clipping a harness onto one which is not to say that you could not build one that is that sturdy but it would look more like the arches that you see today.

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