At the risk of being wrong (yet again), I'm not sure your question got answered.
A boom bale (not "bail", which is done with a scoop or a pump) is a strap hanging from the boom (as shown in several posts above). It can serve as an anchor for a vang, or for the forward or aft part of a mainsheet rig.
But if you see a bale midway between the boom-end and mainsheet-lead blocks, then you just run the mainsheet through it as a safeguard against a slack mainsheet catching a thing or a crew during a jibe or a tack.
The intermediate bale prevents the mainsheet from drooping into the cockpit and catching your throat, or hat, or arm, or whatever, during a light-air jibe.
In the past, I've made intermediate bales out of duct tape. But then again, I'm a New Englander who's been down south too long, so I no longer fit in anywhere....;-)
05-28-2008 09:43 PM
John, Dog and Davis,
Thanks for the pics. Just goes to show you, you can learn a lot on this site.
05-28-2008 06:13 PM
I'm at the equator right now. That's why everything looks so sideways in that picture.
05-28-2008 06:11 PM
Here's an even better view of it on my boom:
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