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Boom vang on a catboat?
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9/9/2017 at 5:46:58 PM GMT
Posts: 5
Boom vang on a catboat?

Hello to all,

on my 17t. catboat I find that the boom whether in light or strong wind lifts up significantly. When reefed it is not so much an issue but especially in light wind, when it is possible to pull down the boom by hand, the then very slow speed increases directl by 20-40% ! Too much for not considering a boom vang! But a boom vang is not a typical attachment on a classic gaff rigged catboat. Anyone there who has installed a boom vang on his ? I am thinking of installing it with wooden fiddle blocks or so. Thank you for your opinion on this!!


Last edited Wednesday, September 13, 2017
10/18/2017 at 3:18:33 AM GMT
Posts: 10
To be truly effective the boom vang tackle should meet the boom and mast base at 45 degree angles. That would be difficult to accomplish on a catboat. Even if the tackle were connected at these angles it would connect to the boom at a very short distance from the mast. At least three fourths of the boom would extend beyond the attachment point of the boom vang. Because the catboat sail is so large, the upward pressure on 3/4 of the could bend or break the boom.

In light air the bending force would be negligible. In heavy air it would be destructive.

In very light air the topping lift is commonly used to lift the boom so as to create a fuller sail shape. A boom vang would do just the opposite.

As you noticed, if you look at the sails of catboats sailing a reach you will see the boom lifting, causing the sail to form a bigger pocket. Catboat sails seem to be cut this way to accommodate the lifting boom.

If you think your boat would achieve a 20-40% speed increase try mid-boom sheeting to hold the boom down or rig a temporary vang tackle from the middle of the boom to your midship spring cleat. But be prepared to unship the temporary vang tackle before tacking.

10/18/2017 at 1:20:51 PM GMT
Posts: 68
Another reason for not using a vang is help keep from tripping the boom in the ocean. Reaching or running in a seaway may cuase the boom to trip in the swells, which isn't pleasant . Under these conditions you may want to raise the boom, not hold it securely down!

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