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post #1 of 21 Old 04-03-2016 Thread Starter
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A Mystery

What bent the boom vang?

Last October we had our Catalina 36 hauled. We winterized her and put on the winter canvas.

When we removed the canvas this spring the boom vang was seriously bent. There appears to be no damage to other parts of the boat nor to the winter canvas.

Had the vang been damaged when being hauled/blocked, we would have seen the damage when we put the winter canvas over the boom.

There are no trees near the boat.

There is not enough room between our boat and the boat we were parked next to for the marina's travel lift to pass through.

There were reported gusts of 50 mph during the winter, not enough, I would have thought, to bend the vang without disturbing the winter cover.

Partly, I'm curious as to how this might have happened. More importantly, if it is something that I did or didn't do, I'd like to see that this doesn't happen again next winter. I would say that the sheet for the vang and the mainsheet were snug, not hanked down and not flopping.

One last thing. I figure if there was enough force to bend the vang so badly, that force must have been transferred to other places, but there is no apparent damage to the boom or the fitting at the base of the mast. The screws that fastened the vang to the boom were in place and undamaged.

Thanks for any insight you may have.
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post #2 of 21 Old 04-03-2016
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Re: A Mystery

I will hazard my guess; that the weight of snow loading on that winter cover pushed the boom down (is there any other support for the boom?). In the future, disconnect the rigid vang and use a topping lift to hold the boom up over the winter.

Where are you located? The winter in the northeastern US was not that bad this year. Certainly not enough to cause that.

Contact Garhauer directly. Show them the pictures, and speak with Guido if you can. Guido can probably provide you with only the parts that you need, and NOT at a ridiculous price.
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post #3 of 21 Old 04-03-2016
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So I'm assuming there was no topping lift attached, yeah?

I'd at least stick a 2x4 support at the aft end of the boom rather than cantilevering it all winter.

Also canvas shrinks A LOT when it gets wet. Its really hard to unzip my winter cover when its raining. Could be a contributing factor?? Doubt it though.
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post #4 of 21 Old 04-03-2016
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Re: A Mystery

Snow load, shrinkage due to drying and wind force on the canvas are the possible reasons.
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post #5 of 21 Old 04-03-2016
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Re: A Mystery

Was the boom noticeably lower than you left it? IIRC the garhauer is spring loaded so why didn't the spring just give a little?

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post #6 of 21 Old 04-03-2016
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Re: A Mystery

Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
I will hazard my guess; that the weight of snow loading on that winter cover pushed the boom down (is there any other support for the boom?). In the future, disconnect the rigid vang and use a topping lift to hold the boom up over the winter.
Agree
Most probable that a heavy load (snow, ice on the boat cover) exerted a significant down force on the boom which caused the rigid vang to 'buckle'.
Buckling failures are caused by a relatively small compressional load acting along the long axis of a very slender support member, once the support member (vang) 'deflects'/ bends under the applied load it doesn't take much further load to bend such in 'buckling' failure.

Its the same reason that you don't do handstands, etc. on top of a thin, but easily bendable, wooden 'yardstick' held end to end between you and the ground, as once the midspan of the yardstick becomes 'offset' or deflected from the centerline - buckling takes over and requires very little compressional force to complete the failure, even though there is sufficient material to bear the compressional load along the long axis of the 'yardstick'.
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post #7 of 21 Old 04-03-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: A Mystery

I had not thought of snow being the culprit. (I'm reminded of an old Alfred Hitchcock episode where the victim was shot with an ice bullet, leaving no evidence.) We did have a blizzard w/ maybe 20 inches but it was dry.

We did have the topping lift, as well as the main halyard, attached to the boom. There would have been some stretch, I guess.

I don't recall that the boom was lower this spring than when we left it.

The boat is on the hard on the Maryland side of the Potomac some 30+ miles from the Chesapeake Bay.

In the picture, we had not finished attaching sand bags to hold down the canvas.
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post #8 of 21 Old 04-03-2016
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Re: A Mystery

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Originally Posted by mrmac View Post
We did have the topping lift, as well as the main halyard, attached to the boom. There would have been some stretch, I guess.
I'm surprised enough deflection was possible to cause that damage, then. Weird.
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post #9 of 21 Old 04-03-2016
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Re: A Mystery

+1 on snow theory. Having kept my boat for years in the Northeast, I can verify that snow loads on canvas are significant and certainly enough to bend a long, unsupported length of aluminum. The heaviest loads usually come from the water that melts and freezes in puddled areas on the canvas. A regular boat job in the winter should be clearing snow off any cover.

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post #10 of 21 Old 04-03-2016
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Re: A Mystery

I use a 2x4 support for my mast as I don't want to rely on the topping lift. As noted, if water can collect on the cover, weight loads can be substantial.
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