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Remember you're a womble
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Discussion Starter #1
My 1974 vintage boat has the de-rigour sliding gooseneck of the period. Frankly it annoys me in many ways, makes it more difficult to raise the sail, shape the sail, reef the sail, drop the sail and everything in-between.
Does it actually have a single redeeming feature that I need to consider before going ahead and nailing the damn thing to the mast properly?
 

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Smaller boats in particular had sliding goosenecks in the past. Allows you to raise the sail and cleat it by hand and then lower the boom with a small purchase to tighten the luff, without needing a winch. With the roller reefing booms of the past it didn't have to be fixed. At least that is my guess.

It also complicates vang attachment.

I would want it fixed for single or 2 line reefing, often from the cockpit. Winches are more common on smaller boats now as well.
 

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Easy to 'fix' it, and no reason not to, really, esp if you have a halyard winch available. A couple of sail stops above and below, or drill and pin it to the mast. Do you have a cunningham set up for the main? With a sliding gooseneck they may not have added that to the sail.. something you may want to consider if you do pin the gooseneck and you're not set up for the sly pig already...
 
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Remember you're a womble
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Discussion Starter #4
The main has flattening reef cringles so I would just use the forward one for the cunningham. My boom downhaul would pretty easily become my cunningham, although I think I want a bit more purchase on it. I think I'll try and get a sail stopper and fix it that way.
 

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The forward cringle would have been the cunningham in any event, a 'flattening' reef usually just involves the clew (though by the time you need it the cunningham's probably already on pretty good)
 

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Remember you're a womble
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Discussion Starter #7
Part of the problem of course is that it doesn't slide, more a series of grinding jumps and then the inevitable seizing at the worst possible moment, and once it's under load of course it just gets worse. I could spend time trying to clean and lubricate it but I don't think the results would be worth the effort in any case.
I'll add it to the list of 1000 other little jobs that need doing (such as trying to free one end of the spinnaker pole up).
 

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My 1974 vintage boat has the de-rigour sliding gooseneck of the period. Frankly it annoys me in many ways, makes it more difficult to raise the sail, shape the sail, reef the sail, drop the sail and everything in-between.
Does it actually have a single redeeming feature that I need to consider before going ahead and nailing the damn thing to the mast properly?
The "floating" goose neck was an adaptation designed to address the problem of luff stretch when a sail was at full hoist--or on racing boats, when the main was hoisted to the "black band" set at the top of ones spar by class rules. With a fixed goose neck fitting (and before the introduction of the "Cunningham", named after the sailor that came up with the innovation) one had no way to harden a luff as the sail stretched under load. By affixing the goose neck to a track, and adding a 3 or 4 part downhaul, one could harden the luff by stretching it downward without violating class rules or, even if one's sail was at full hoist such that the halyard couldn't be tightened any further. The downhaul also prevented the boom rotating about the point a vang or kicking strap was affixed to the boom causing the goose neck to slide upward at the mast when the main sheet was hardened. Properly maintained and with a good 3-part or 4-tackle for the downhaul, the arrangement works quite well and does not result in the distortion of the lower portion of the sail that a Cunningham causes. Absent doing the maintenance and applying a good dry lubricant such as SailKote to the track and connecting an appropriate downhaul, I wouldn't fix what "ain't" broken.
 

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I agree with HyLyte. This isn't really a "problem".

Pin the gooseneck as previously described, or simply add the downhaul, cleat it off, and leave it cleated.

When you raise the main, simply winch against the cleated downhaul as you would if the gooseneck were fixed.

For me, the floating boom/downhaul vs. fixed boom and cunningham is "six in one hand, half-dozen in the other hand."
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have a downhaul on it already, the problem is that when I release the halyard to reef, the gooseneck slides down then gets stuck so I have to go to the mast to sort it.
I'll try and disassemble it all to try and get it a bit smoother, if it's too far gone then I'll just pin it.
Also, I have a rigid vang so a fixed gooseneck is advised I think?
 

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I have a downhaul on it already, the problem is that when I release the halyard to reef, the gooseneck slides down then gets stuck so I have to go to the mast to sort it.
I'll try and disassemble it all to try and get it a bit smoother, if it's too far gone then I'll just pin it.
Also, I have a rigid vang so a fixed gooseneck is advised I think?
Add a track pin on the Goose neck track to prevent the assembly sliding down enough to become "stuck". When reefing, remember to free the vang before slacking the halyard. The Goose neck down-haul should be arranged so that it can be easily released/adjusted when necessary from the cockpit (typically a cam-cleat on a multi-part block) and remember to ease that with the vang release. The type vang is irrelevant. Of course, if you are simply looking for a rationale/permission to fix the Goose neck, you have it. Just ensure that your method for doing so is reversible. The next owner may prefer the original design. (Remember. One never really "owns" a yacht but merely has temporary custody for some greater, or lesser, period. Think of later custodians.)
 

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I think a rigid vang could be adding a 'binding factor' to all of this as the boom can't really drop 'straight down', instead pivoting to a degree on the vang attachment point.
 
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Ah yes, I didn't know you had a rigid vang. That might bind things up, I'm not really sure. Try lubing it all with Mclube/Sailkote first.

Pinning the gooseneck at the minimum desired height is also a good idea. I understand what you're saying about difficulty reefing. I also have to juggle the boom a bit when I reef.
 

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Paul,
I have the same setup as you on a '76 Pearson. However I think I see in one of your photos that you have the main halyard running to the cockpit, where as I go to the mast to raise or reef the main. If that is so, then I would consider a total reworking of the gooseneck, vang and topping lift to modernize the setup for in-cockpit control of all sail setting functions.
Also, I found that a friction sail stop is not dependable for holding up the boom and sail. It will slide down over time. A screw set in the track will do the job of keeping the boom from sliding down yet is easily removable.
Let us know and see how you resolve this.
John
 

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I think a rigid vang could be adding a 'binding factor' to all of this as the boom can't really drop 'straight down', instead pivoting to a degree on the vang attachment point.
The boom pivoting around the point of attachment of the vang will limit the range of travel of the Goose neck at the mast as the distance between the Goose Neck and Vang attachment point is fixed. Accordingly, the benefit of the floating Goose neck may be obviated.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
All my lines (well, the ones I use) are led aft. The rigid vang does allow the gooseneck to slide freely, I think part of the problem though is that as the gooseneck slides down, so the end of the boom lifts up, giving a lovely full sail shape again, not ideal. Seems with the gooseneck being able to move that it just adds another set of complexity to the reefing process, something I like to try and avoid since I almost exclusively singlehand.
I don't know, I'll have a mess around with it and see if I can make the system work, maybe a couple of sail stoppers 6" below the top gooseneck position will give me the usefulness of the sliding gooseneck without the pain of it dropping right down.
 

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As Hylyte pointed out, Paul.. it's likely that the rotation of the boom around the vang attachment makes this all a moot point, and you'd be better off with the gooseneck pinned.
 

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If you have a solid vang I can't see how it could be effective with a sliding gooseneck, as long as that gooseneck is allowed to move.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The vang can change length so the sliding can work for a small amount of movement, as the gooseneck comes down the vang shortens. Problem is when it reaches the limit of vang compression, it basically becomes a fixed pivot point and up goes the end of the boom. I have a feeling I'll end up pinning the gooseneck somehow.
 

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If you have a solid vang I can't see how it could be effective with a sliding gooseneck, as long as that gooseneck is allowed to move.
After pondering the geometry of an archetypal rigid vang (e.g. Garhaurer), it seems evident that with such equipment, a fixed gooseneck is preferable as Brian and Faster suggest. A floating boom could work but repeatedly tuning the geometry for variation in the length of the vang would require rather more effort than the benefit conferred compared with the simplicity of a fixed boom and Cunningham. The Garhaurer, as an example relies on fixed dimensions between the gooseneck and the point of connection of the variable strut on the boom; and, the point of connection near the base of the mast. With these dimensions fixed, the varying the length of the strut dictates the vertical arc of the point of connection at the boom about the point of connection of the gooseneck to the mast and accordingly, the elevation of the outboard end of the boom above or below the horizontal to effect the shape of the main's leach. The floating boom assembly was a good technology for its objective, albeit rather more complex than a simple Cunningham, and worked well with a simple kicking strap or multi-part vang but unnecessary complicates the later, rigid vang, technology.

Here Homer Nods...
 
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