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Discussion Starter #1
I have an old 1966 Columbia 40 and I am wondering if it would be worthwhile to add a boom vang to her. Her boom is end-boom sheeted and is over 15-feet long and perfectly round aircraft aluminum with bronze cap at the end and very heavy and robust even at this age but I am wondering if a boom vang is still called for assuming that there is still play in the boom...due to it's length and despite it's thickness...Or are these old CCA booms so thick that vangs aren't needed to help keep mainsail shape really. Any thoughts welcome.
 

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Barquito
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I don't think is has much to do with the boom stiffness. When off the wind you need something to hold the boom down.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Okay..so it is more of a control issue and not much of a boom flex sail shape issue...gotcha...I havent even sailed her yet but was curious...she has a huge mainsail and it's going to be an intersting singlehand..even for guy like myself who is fairly able and agile....though the first few times I hope to have some crew.The boom is quite heavy and may be able to stay down a good bit due to it's heavy makeup and bronze endcap where sheet attaches..but we'll just have to see how she behaves..Thanks for the swift replies.
 

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S2 7.9 Bear Lake, UT
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Okay..so it is more of a control issue and not much of a boom flex sail shape issue.

I think it is not a control issue as much as a sail shape issue, but not from boom flexing. During closehaul the mainsheet pulls the boom down. Off the wind with the sheets loose there is nothing but the weight of the boom to hold it down. In heavy winds the boom can lift and the sail will twist loosing shape and efficiency, when off the wind.
 

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You probably already have a vang aboard, but don't recognize it. It is likely a 3:1 or 4:1 tackle with fiddle blocks (and a cam on one end) and snap shackles on each end. One end attaches to a strap that goes around the boom, and the other end gets attached to the toerail or some other solid, convenient spot. Rig it so you pull UP on the tackle: pulling down exerts only your weight; you can exert much more force pulling UP. Look around in a locker for it; it's bound to be around somewhere, maybe even still attached to the boom strap.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Okay thanks for the replies...I will have to take another look...I have never seen any type of bolt eye or such where one would attach on coachroof so it would make sense it attaches elsewhere to the sides ...I am mostly self-taught and still have so much basic stuff to learn...afterall I am still unable to understand what lazyjacks are either and whether I need one of those to singlehand...but there are however many signs of progress in my education thus far so maybe some of these concepts will sink home sooner than later hopefully...I'll look for that equipment u spoke of.meanwhile the subject of lazyjacks may have to be on another thread
 

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I am not sure because when I owned a boat there was no vang and when I am on others I am not looking at the attachments just yanking on it when told to do so. But I believe the vang can be as described a simple block set of blocks giving some advantage with a cam cleat to lock it into place or release. What I described so far is simple block and tackle vang. A solid vang is a nice upgrade in terms of it acting to keep the boom perpendicular to the mast, acting just like a topping lift when dropping the sail or reefing leaving eliminating the need for a topping lift, which is nice.

The description of a strap on the boom is fairly accurate. It is usually an aluminum strap or ubolt under the bottom of the boom 1/3 to half way back from the goose neck. The front part of the vang should be a U-bolt or similar near the base of the mast. The angle from the base of the mast to boom will stay the same, while the angle and distance from anywhere else like the coach roof will change as the sail is let out. Putting this line to the toe rail would have it act more like a preventer, which you can use just a simple line for no need for mechanical advantage.

Lazy jacks are much simpler to describe, they a series of small lines led from maybe 2/3 up the mast to 2/3 back on the boom. If you are single or short handed, it helps to capture the sail as its dropped and keep the sail on the boom instead of the side decks or the water. You can then gather and fold the sail later. Some lazy jacks have a way to loosen them and secure them near the mast to prevent them from affecting sail shape when not needed.
 

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Chastened
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It wouldn't surprise me to hear that someone bought an older boat that wasn't equipped with a vang...or at least a vang in the sense that we're used to, today.

My Pearson 30 had no attachment points mounted on the mast or boom, and I could find no tackle onboard for one. The only evidence I ever found that a previous owner ever considered a vang, was a label on a cubby that said "boom vang/preventer".

I also found a set of tracks (not for jib cars) with padeye-cars on the deck. I suspect that the PO hooked something into the boom's foot groove, and attached it to the padeye-cars on these other tracks. This would achieve the same downward force of a modern vang, while also providing some preventer ability to prevent an unwanted gybe.

I have since installed a conventional, soft vang (block and tackle) on the boom and mast. I now use the odd-ball tracks and cars for inner jib sheets and spinnaker twings.
 

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Give the boom brake a thought.
With a boom that heavy and long, you may want to mount a hefty preventer that is easy to set and remove and also act as a way to bring the boom down off the wind.
 

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Old soul
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Both my previous boat (a 1974 ketch), and my current boat (1977 cutter), came to me without a vang. Not sure what the thinking was when they were being rigged, but I sure miss the vang when running. I recall the first time we went on a run in big winds. I look up and the main boom is flying way up, making an ugly V shape of the sail. What the heck :eek:.

I installed a vang on my previous boat, and will do the same on our current one. But some sort of preventer is also absolutely necessary -- especially for your 15' boom. You do not want to have an accidental jibe with that boom.

Note, a preventer can be used to keep the boom down, and therefore act somewhat like a vang. It's not as good, but might be easier to rig quickly. A vang is nice, but a preventer system is absolutely necessary for your boat.
 

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My boat is a 1961. It was equipped with flush threaded inserts that are through bolted in the deck. A large bronze eye threads into the deck insert(when needed) to allow clipping on a snatch block(or multiple blocks) to a boom strap(typical when roller boom furling like your boat was the norm).

This is used as a preventer and serves as a vang for mainsail shape. You may have these inserts in the deck?
 

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Barquito
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Wow. This discussion just made me realize that I already have a block on the deck for rigging a preventer! May be a little hard to see in this photo, but, there is a block just aft of the shrouds, inboard of the rail. I thought is was just a fixed jib block, but, it didn't line up very well. Man, sometimes there are things right in your face that you don't see. To the OP: you will have discoveries like this (for years).

 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Give the boom brake a thought.
With a boom that heavy and long, you may want to mount a hefty preventer that is easy to set and remove and also act as a way to bring the boom down off the wind.
I think your right...and I am happy and better nformed now by all of the replies...
 

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An easy way to rig a preventer for an accidental gybe is to rig a carabiner to the boom, then run a line rail to rail, with a Munter hitch - its basically a capsizable belay knot - (see Wikipedia; tapatalk isn't letting me post the link -). Get three 'biners and a section of line long enough, have something on deck to clip each side to, and it's easy peasy.
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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I've been told that my old '67 roller boom had some sort of weird vang set-up. I found this round, horseshoe shaped, heavy glass contraption that fits over the boom and sail so the boom and reefed sail can rotate inside it. I wondered what the thing was and after posting a picture, someone on one of these boards said he recognized it as an old Alberg vang. It was somehow rigged down to some kind of track on the deck I've been told??? The roller function of these booms was a very bad idea and I can't see any attachments. It seems both ideas were scrapped years ago. I also have a regular vang that that came with the boat. It has never been rigged up and sits, brand new, in a locker and I don't know if I want to use it or not. It would be nice at times to keep the boom from bouncing around when on a run but I'm thinking the boom brake I made up will probably accomplish almost the same thing once I get it installed.
 

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Wow. This discussion just made me realize that I already have a block on the deck for rigging a preventer! May be a little hard to see in this photo, but, there is a block just aft of the shrouds, inboard of the rail. I thought is was just a fixed jib block, but, it didn't line up very well. Man, sometimes there are things right in your face that you don't see. To the OP: you will have discoveries like this (for years).

I'm not sure what the original purpose of that block was, but I doubt it was for rigging a preventer... if it was, it wasn't placed in a very suitable location, will offer very little in terms of leverage, and will very likely break or be torn free of the deck in the event of an accidental jibe or backwinded main in a breeze...

It might do for sailing in relatively tame conditions and flat water... but when the wind and seas begin to build, IMHO you really need to run the preventer from the end of the boom, up towards the bow... Anything run from mid-boom down to the rail, will risk simply breaking gear, quite possibly the boom...

I think the best solution is to have your preventer line(s) slightly shorter than the boom premanently fixed to the end of the boom, and stowed at a point near the gooseneck... When you need to rig the preventer, that ring is attached to a line long enough to run to a turning block near the bow, then back to the cockpit... This alleviates the need to ever lean outboard to rig a preventer, struggle with the ridiculous heights above deck some booms have reached these days, or to go forward to adjust or release it...

Amazes me how many boats I deliver that have no bulletproof preventer system already configured, I often have to cobble together something using docklines, or whatever... A bulletproof system on a larger boat offshore is hugely important, the forces can be immense, and an accidental jibe can do some serious damage to gear, not to mention easily result in injury to crew, or even a man overboard... This is a Hallberg-Rassy I brought back from the islands last month, we wound up doing a lot of DDW sailing, and I had to make up a jury-rigged preventer setup using a ridiculously oversized 3-strand dockline, which weighed a ton when it was wet...(We struggled to configure a usable foreguy/afterguy setup for the pole, as well, a real PITA) This boat had already been across the Atlantic a couple of times before, I couldn't believe there wasn't a more permanent preventer set-up already in place...

Your CIRQUE is a real beauty, btw...


 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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The problem with running a preventer on narrow hulls like mine and Cirque is that you cannot get a good angle from boom to bow. My J m/m is only 13' and the boom is 15' long, extending to the aft of the cockpit. These are not the high aspect ratio boats of modern design. I have found that, keeping the preventer line inside the shrouds (as it must be), even large diam. line will stretch enough to allow the boom to cross over. A mid-boom attachment only gives you around 5' from gooseneck to attachment point. Having line outside the shrouds seems to me to be an invitation to taking the entire rig down should something go wrong. I've experimented with a lot of different ideas and have yet to nail down a bulletproof system for setting a preventer. I think a ladder style boom brake may be the best option to avoid 1. bending the boom should it dip into the water 2. uncontrolled jibes that can rip the boom off (ask me how I know this:) 3. Taking the rig down with a failure where the preventer crosses the shrouds.
 
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