Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: East Stroudsburg, PA
Thanked 83 Times in 79 Posts
Rep Power: 9
Re: Heavy weather sailing
Lance mid boom or not, if you snug the vang, and you let the mainsheet out, the boom won't rise. If you release the vang, and let the mainsheet out, the boom will rise with however much pressure is in the sail. Think of the vang as a boom lift preventer (as it swivels around the base of the mast, so it doesn't care what angle of attack you are on, it always stops the boom from lifting). The key is to know when you want to keep that boom down, and when (and how much) you would want to let it out to let the boom lift (generally off wind and in lighter air).
Ideally there will always be as much upward force on the boom as downward (spare the flogging better sailors than me I know that's never the case). It's why boomkickers are used (or rigid vangs)... it allows the sailor to always get consistent lift, or drop depending on the setting of the vang (regardless of wind conditions).
Example: In yesterdays race we were off wind, and surfing (defined by me as being well over theoretical hull speed for the boat, with our own wake crashing into our stern, rolling into the cockpit through the scuppers)... on a reach to broad reach. We forgot to ease the vang some after we rounded our windward mark... once we realized it, a competitor who was trailing us (a boat length or 2) had quickly fallen behind when we cracked off on the vang a bit to allow the boom to rise ever so slightly (4-6 inches at the aft end). It provided easily another .2 to .3 knots (which is substantial when you are trying to gain distance on a heavier and faster boat with more waterline in those conditions).
"Rum Line" a 1982, S2 7.9 - Production boat limit tester, blue-water bucket owner, with wine taste on a beer budget.