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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Howdy again, all...

I'd like to install a vang on my 1972 P26. I've got the vang and a bail that should fit my boom, but I've got a few questions before I start drilling holes in my boom...

1. Where on the boom should the bail go? I've researched, and most of what I've read recommends 45 deg angles, so that would indicate mounting the boom bail the same distance from the aft face of the mast as the distance between the boom and the attachment point of the vang to the mast base area. Correct?

2. Is attaching the bail as simple as drilling two holes in the boom and securing the bail with a long stainless steel bolt that passes through the bail eyes and the boom, or are the forces great enough that I need to reinforce the holes in the boom with plates or bushings in some way?

3. I'm not sure how to attach the other side of the vang to the base of the mast. I have a mast plate, but there is no aft flange.. the only holes are on the side flanges. Could I mount another bail using the aftmost holes on both sides of the mast plate? What about a "vang tang" that would slide into the mast track? Is there such a thing? A short wire cable with eyes on either end shackled to the aforementioned mast plate holes?

I've read through the stuff on the RigRite site, but I'm not sure what constitutes a "small boat." Is 26' small? I just don't have a good idea as to the forces involved and the strength necessary at the attachment points.

As always, any and all ideas and suggestions are appreciated.

Thanks again, and best to all,

Barry
 

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1, 45 degrees will give you the best boom pull for the least effort from you. 2, not always a good idea to try to bolt something tightly through a hollow section such as a boom. Better to use large structural rivets I would think, and on a bracket that has as many holes as possible for the rivets. Just my 2 cents from an engineering standpoint only.
 

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You can attach the bail to the boom using self tapping sheet metal screws on both sides of the boom. Do the same for the mast using a heavy eye strap.

Tod
 

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For #2 on small boats I have always seen the boom bail to be through bolted. It is on my 25. I would think that would be MUCH stronger than two rivets or sheet metal screws. The wall on a M25 boom isn't much to hang onto for the screw for sure and a vang could have some pull on it.

I have seen tangs on the mast for #3 for sure. On mine, we replaced the base with one that had gear attachments all around. Best 30 bucks ever from Garhauer.
 

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I installed a vang on my p28 (1976). I found a stainless bolt that had an unthreaded body almost exactly as long as the ID of the mast and used that to attach the bail to the mast. I cut off the unnecessary threads and used an acorn nut, lock washer and flat washer. The bolt rotates freely, but it is snug and doesn't work on the mast. Then I tapped and threaded the mast on the aft side, just above the mast collar and fitted a pad eye that I modified just a tad so it would slide down the mast groove. It's been there for about six years with no issues, other than how to run the bitter end without going to a lot of fuss.
John
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for help and suggestions, folks. The Garhauer mast steps look great, with the centered, raised attachment point aft (great design), but that's out for this year anyway... I don't want to spend another day taking the mast down instead of sailing. I really like the idea of installing a padeye in the mast slot; anyone have a source for one, sort of quick-ish? My track takes 3/4" slides.

I'll go ahead and through bolt the bail on the boom.. as soon as I get a smaller bail. The forged stainless one I ordered from Garhauer is too wide by about 1/2" total. Would it weaken it if I bent the arms in closer together? The local hardware store didn't have a 1/4" stainless bolt (that's the size of the holes in the bail) long enough, either; they stopped at 3", and I need 3 1/2" for this bail.. unless I bend it. They DID have some nice 1/4" I.D 3/8" O.D. bronze bushings that I considered using. Are there any dissimilar metal issues going from a stainless bail/bolt to an aluminum boom, and would adding bronze bushings be a good idea or a bad idea? It'd mean 3/8" holes in the boom instead of 1/4" holes in a boom with a cross section of 4" x 2.5."

Am I over-thinking this?

Thanks again.. I appreciate the time and suggestions.

Barry
 

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Alum rivets work for the bail... threaded pipe also works for the bail, but then you have a decent sized protrusion at the bail. I'd go rivets.

Also the 45 degrees is fine, Plus or Minus, just needs to give you enough room to work, and enough downforce to hold the boom down in a blow.

usually there is a tang on the bottom of the boom or mast for this to attach to (and frankly the boom), sounds like there is not right now. You COULD also rivet a bracket on the bottom of the mast, but keep in mind you'll need to make sure it isn't a problem while stepping/unstepping the mast (if you do that)...

Something like this would work fixed at the bottom of the mast.
Catalina Direct: Gooseneck Fixed Mast Bracket CP-22, C-25, C-250, CP-26


Probably overkill, but there you go.

Frankly depending on the size of the boat, I'd consider either a rigid vang, or a boomkicker and a vang. The boom support is helpful for reefing, and provides a "lift" when the air is light, taking up many of the duties of the topping lift. But of course we're spending YOUR money not mine... so whatever your purse can handle.
 

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Look in the yellow pages for a specialty nuts and bolt supplier. They will have far more choices than the hard wear store. Also nylon bushings would work at the mast. You should not have to drop the. Mast to get the vang rigged for the season.
John
 

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I installed a Garhauer rigid vang a couple of years ago. You are right to be cautious, the vang is one of the most highly stressed parts on the boat.

The mast and boom brackets looked a lot like the Catalina one, above. I used high strength s/s rivets from McMaster Carr. They are rated 2400 lbs each. Use some Lanocote to prevent galvanic corrosion. 6 rivets means 14400 lbs! Should be sufficient!

The Garhauer instructions are :

Install bracket to mast as low as it will reasonably go, without interference with stuff like open hatches.

Set boom horizontal, and mount vang to form a 90 degree angle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions. As Mark reinforced, my main concern is the huge amount of force a vang can exert on a relatively small area. As a newbie, I got a VERY clear lesson today, courtesy of Mother Nature, of just how much power is generated by wind flowing through sails. HOLY CRAP... the forecast called for 7 knot winds.. perfect for us neophytes. My wind meter read between 28 and 34 knots all day.. which is also, of course, total crap... if it was that, I'd probably be typing with lungs full of water at this point... but the winds WERE between 15 and 20 knots all day according to other experienced sailors with actual anemometers that work, and I got my ego handed to me, poached on toast, quite a few times.... which is pretty remarkable because I don't know enough to even HAVE an ego. GREAT learning experience, and only completely terrifying twice... but I am NOT going to mess around with wimping out on sailboat hardware.

Through-bolted bails, or tangs with many attachment points that wrap around the majority of the boom, riveted or tapped-n-screwed... that's sounds like the right plan. I agree with a couple posters who mentioned that the thickness (or "thinness") of the aluminum wouldn't give enough purchase for screws to have enough thread contact, but if the attachment points were straps around the boom then the loads become sheer loads so it shouldn't be as much of a problem. Either way, I'm going to OVERdo it.

If I get up the nerve and can swallow my pride, I'll tell the story of today's sail tomorrow. Right now, it calls for another vodka. Everybody's safe, nothing got bent or scraped, we had a great time most of the time, and I yelled at my wife for the first time in decades... but only because she was screaming so loud she couldn't have heard me otherwise.

Ain't sailin' fun? I'm going back out tomorrow... can't wait!

Best to all,

Barry
 
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