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post #31 of 35 Old 02-21-2011
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There are four or five boom brakes that are in common usage nowadays. I use a Dutchman Boom Brake, which is a bit oversized for my boat, but done because I was right at the limit for the one the next size down...and wanted to have the beefier unit because my boat doesn't really heel, so the pressure on the sail is much greater than it'd be on a monohull.

The Dutchman uses fixed and adjustable tension sheaves to create the friction used to slow the boom. It is the largest of the boom brakes that I know of.

The Wichard GybEasy is basically a friction brake that depends solely on line tension to create the tension looks like a bastardized rappelling carabiner.

The Scott Boomlock uses a tensioning line to control the friction exerted IIRC.

There's a Walder boom brake, but I've never seen one or used one, unlike the three previous devices.

The main reason I prefer a boom brake over a preventer is simple....a preventer allows the boom to load up a lot more significantly, and if it is released, can cause major damage or injury due to the stored energy in the preventer line. It can also cause a boat to be "pinned" by the mainsail in an accidental/unintentional gybe, knocking the boat down and leaving it there until the line is cut or released. Boom brakes allow the mainsail to still move, but reduce its speed to one that eliminates most chance of injury from the boom crossing over the boat. A boom brake doesn't allow the boom and mainsail to store up great amounts of energy, like the preventer can. A boom brake also isn't as likely to allow a situation where gear is damaged or the boom is broken.
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Lets talk about boom brakes, they look like a great idea. Why not use them always? A simple piece of metal wrapped in a rope, and gybes are a lot less stressful. I have never seen one in person, or seen one used. Do they work? Are they hard to use? How about an adjustable shock cord on the mainsheet connection? It would pull the boom to center when the wind shifts, (or stalls), and slow it down when the boom goes over to the other side, just like a person would on a controlled gybe. An adjustment would control tension for light or heavy winds.

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Last edited by sailingdog; 02-21-2011 at 01:01 PM.
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post #32 of 35 Old 02-21-2011
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I made a little gybe-preventer, just a 30ft length of nice springy line with a snap-shackle on the end. I use it all the time now unless we're going to going down-wind for a really short time. I'm 6ft 5" so I know it'll be my head that stops the boom!
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post #33 of 35 Old 02-21-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post

The main reason I prefer a boom brake over a preventer is simple....a preventer allows the boom to load up a lot more significantly, and if it is released, can cause major damage or injury due to the stored energy in the preventer line. It can also cause a boat to be "pinned" by the mainsail in an accidental/unintentional gybe, knocking the boat down and leaving it there until the line is cut or released. Boom brakes allow the mainsail to still move, but reduce its speed to one that eliminates most chance of injury from the boom crossing over the boat. A boom brake doesn't allow the boom and mainsail to store up great amounts of energy, like the preventer can. A boom brake also isn't as likely to allow a situation where gear is damaged or the boom is broken.
Excellent advice.

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post #34 of 35 Old 02-21-2011
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Quickmick -- Accidental jibes happen.

Dog -- I just got a Wichard boom break. It's rated for a 550 square feet main and our main is 529 square feet.

Any other thoughts on it? Any tips on using it?
Gyb'easy
For use on mainsail areas less than 550 sq feet
Made of forged anodized aluminum
21 oz
Gyb' Flex line included

We won't get a chance to try it out until next month.

Regards,
Brad

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post #35 of 35 Old 02-21-2011
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You should be okay with it, since you're boat is a monohull. Do make sure that you're using the appropriate line, since they specify a particular line IIRC for the Gybeasy. Mounting it in the right location is going to be key.



The issue I mentioned with boom brakes on multihulls is the fact that monohulls heel and tend to bleed off excess wind forces, where multihulls generally don't, so upsizing the boom brake is usually necessary for a multi, especially when you're right at the upper limit. For instance, I have 242 sq. ft. mainsail, so I went with the BB500 instead of the BB250, since I was pretty sure that I'd have some issues being that close to the design limit of the BB250.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bene505 View Post
Quickmick -- Accidental jibes happen.

Dog -- I just got a Wichard boom break. It's rated for a 550 square feet main and our main is 529 square feet.

Any other thoughts on it? Any tips on using it?
Gyb'easy
For use on mainsail areas less than 550 sq feet
Made of forged anodized aluminum
21 oz
Gyb' Flex line included

We won't get a chance to try it out until next month.

Regards,
Brad

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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