I have a 78 Pearson 323. There is a winch and cleat mounted on the starboard side of the boom that I have no idea what it is used for. I don''t have a vang and wonder if this arrangement might be an alternative to a vang?
Might be a winch to raise the mainsail. Possibly original stuff if you now have everything lead back to the cockpit. You never know what previous owners may have used it for.
Also, you should get a vang.
Not likely that a halyard winch would be on the boom; it would lift the boom as the halyard tightened. Also not likely a vang winch, since it is important to be able to release the vang quickly if necessary, and unwrapping a winch would be dangerously slow. Many boats in this size range use 4:1 or 6:1 tackles for their vangs; a winch would be much more powerful than this, and could end up bending (and breaking) the boom. This boom-mounted winch is possibly for the main outhaul or more likely, possibly for putting in a jiffy-reef.
Thanks for the responses. Its not used for an out haul, that rigging is on the port side of the boom. I wonder if maybe it was put there for using the boom to lift somebody or something out of the water? There are two blocks mounted on the starboard side at the end of the boom. One is used for the topping lift. I wonder if the other is for this lifting purpose? I don''t know the load rating for the blocks but at about 1-1/2 inch diameter it looks a little lite duty.