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Old 03-11-2012, 09:46   #16
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Re: Do I really need a Vang?

Fair enough, I will keep the Vang. It was asked earilier why shorten the foot of the main. I went from 16 feet to 14 feet full battened, and now the boat will sail upwind for extended (hours) periods keeping its own course. Also, with just the main up, it used to overpower the tiller in some conditions (with a strong weather helm) Still has a weather helm, just not as strong.
And I would really like the boom and mainsheet out of the cockpit- I'm still sore ya know.
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:42   #17
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Re: Do I really need a Vang?

I just dont see the need for a rigid vang on a cruising boat. Frankly, even my soft vang got used very little as a vang. Some people will differ for sure.... but it's not a "must have".
Yeah I hate weather helm. I love when a boat gets in the groove with a neutral helm. My Passport used to do that well with the staysail and a double reefed main. Fast , Flat and neutral!
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Old 04-11-2012, 19:19   #18
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Re: Do I really need a Vang?

Newt, I dont have a lot to say about vangs, since I didnt use mine very much, but about the Gallows I have a lot to say. A Gallows is a wonderful thing on a cruising boat. It makes the boom rock solid at the times it needs to be solid. I have no faith in topping lifts and the thought of being in rough weather with the main down for any reason is scary. If motoring, or sailing with twin jibs and the main furled or worse yet, under trysail the natural tendancy is to tighten the main sheet to keep the boom from swinging back and forth. The worse the weather gets, the tighter you need to pull the mainsheet to keep things steady. If you are the helmsman and the topping lift lets go, your head will look like a watermelon dropped on a sidewalk. A so called rigid vang still depends on relativly small line and blocks, and many small screws or rivits to keep the boom up. If one link in that chain of small parts lets go, so goes your head. If you have a gallows you only get a scare from that sort of failure. One other place where a Gallows is worth its weight in gold is reefing. I always dropped the boom into the gallows (which ever notch it landed in) to tie in a reef. It gave a solid hand hold while I was getting the job done and didnt have a swinging boom trying to knock me overboard. You may use reef lines to the cockpit, but then that means you are depending on a topping lift or a rigid vang to save your head. Another advantage of a Gallows is in port or at anchor. I would put the boom in one of the side notches away from the side that I would be boarding on, and it made life a little easier. I built Gallows for all 3 of my cruising boats, 26 foot, 37 foot, and 44 foot, and consider them to be just below a windvane on the list of equipment for a real comfortable cruising boat. I better stop before I sound like an advert._____Grant.
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Old 04-11-2012, 19:37   #19
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Re: Do I really need a Vang?

Ditto what gjordan said. I personally will never own a boat without a gallows. As for vangs, I've never had one and never wished for it. It would interfere with the only place on a boat you should ever stow a dinghy. When going downwind, I rig a piece of line as a preventer, but by no means leave it hanging around when it's not in use.
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Old 04-11-2012, 19:40   #20
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Re: Do I really need a Vang?

Thanks Grant. For those with gallows on their boat, do they need a topping lift or rigid vang? Or do you just rest it on the gallows everytime you adjust your main? Cheechako- do you use either?
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Old 04-11-2012, 20:06   #21
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Re: Do I really need a Vang?

To my way of thinking, rigid vangs, rather than side-deck vang-preventers* , are often the real culprit when booms break at the vang point.

Here's the thing about rigid vangs, used as a substitute for boom gallows and topping lift:

In order for the boom to be stable, the mainsheet has to be snugged up against the rigid vang when the sail comes down. The problem is that the mainsheet is WAY too powerful for the purpose. Even if the person who initially snugs it has a gentle spirit, everyone who walks past for the duration of the sail being stowed is likely to see no reason not to give it a bit more, not being able to see or feel that it's already been resnugged half to death.
This is especially true if there are no lateral lines to prevent the boom slewing, in which case overtightening the mainsheet, if the topping lift is absent or slack, is a virtual certainty.

This tends to end in tears, IME, because it's almost inevitable that a small crumple, or at least a crack, will be quite quickly generated at the aft extent of the tang for the vang, or more specifically in the boom extrusion at that point.

A wee 'smile', which at the slightest provocation (perhaps from a side-deck vang which is not rigged with a 'progressive fuse' such as a rip-web) turns into a cracking great, wrap around grin.

* I've said my piece elsewhere about how to safeguard both the boom and the crew with such a preventer, using a progressive fuse such as a rip-web stack.
Given that this is reliably and self-evidently feasible, I can't help wondering if those who continue to dismiss them out-of-hand might either be refuseniks or idealogues.

Re vang-preventers to the rail, I recommend they be permanently rigged on each side, preferably to dedicated tangs on the sides of the boom, and not necessarily level with the underboom vang tang.

In the context of discussing gallows, snugging up both purchases against the topping lift or rigid vang, stabilises the boom in the same way as a gallows.

Certainly a topping lift needs to be really well installed and maintained: preferably Spectra, certainly premium Dacron braid with fair chafe-proof leads at the mast head and exit box.
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Old 04-11-2012, 20:16   #22
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Re: Do I really need a Vang?

When broad reaching or running I can stop a lot of rolling by tightening the vang !!!
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Old 04-11-2012, 20:21   #23
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Re: Do I really need a Vang?

Be cautious when taking the mainsheet forward. Firstly, the boats designer put load points in for the existing traveler. Secondly. the further forward the main sheet, the greater purchase you need on the Main sheet blocks. Obviously, the further aft a mainsheet, the more "lever action" the sheet has over the boom and the lesser the loads on the sheet and traveler. Naturally, the reverse will occur when you take the traveler forward. This will put much heavier loads on your deck/coachhouse!!!

Of course, your boom is going have heavier loads with the sheeting moved forward. Even with a reduced foot.

Personally, I would prefer a longer boom with the sheeting right at the end. It makes sheeting on so much lighter -especially in a blow.
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Old 04-11-2012, 20:24   #24
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Re: Do I really need a Vang?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gjordan View Post
Newt, I dont have a lot to say about vangs, since I didnt use mine very much, but about the Gallows I have a lot to say. A Gallows is a wonderful thing on a cruising boat. It makes the boom rock solid at the times it needs to be solid. I have no faith in topping lifts and the thought of being in rough weather with the main down for any reason is scary. If motoring, or sailing with twin jibs and the main furled or worse yet, under trysail the natural tendancy is to tighten the main sheet to keep the boom from swinging back and forth. The worse the weather gets, the tighter you need to pull the mainsheet to keep things steady. If you are the helmsman and the topping lift lets go, your head will look like a watermelon dropped on a sidewalk. A so called rigid vang still depends on relativly small line and blocks, and many small screws or rivits to keep the boom up. If one link in that chain of small parts lets go, so goes your head. If you have a gallows you only get a scare from that sort of failure. One other place where a Gallows is worth its weight in gold is reefing. I always dropped the boom into the gallows (which ever notch it landed in) to tie in a reef. It gave a solid hand hold while I was getting the job done and didnt have a swinging boom trying to knock me overboard. You may use reef lines to the cockpit, but then that means you are depending on a topping lift or a rigid vang to save your head. Another advantage of a Gallows is in port or at anchor. I would put the boom in one of the side notches away from the side that I would be boarding on, and it made life a little easier. I built Gallows for all 3 of my cruising boats, 26 foot, 37 foot, and 44 foot, and consider them to be just below a windvane on the list of equipment for a real comfortable cruising boat. I better stop before I sound like an advert._____Grant.
The above gets my vote for sensible comment of the month!
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Old 04-11-2012, 20:49   #25
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Re: Do I really need a Vang?

Newt, I eventually quit useing the topping lift on all three of my cruising boats. The 26 footer was easy since there is not much strain on the leach of that light of a sail /boom combo. The 37 footer, I started with a wood boom until it delaminated and I bought an aluminum boom. About then I built a Gallows and never used the topping lift again. On the 44 footer I had heard horror stories about how not useing the topping lift to raise the boom before hoisting the main would strech out the leach so much that your main would be ruined. In my personal experiance, I consider that a bunch of horse pucky. I did buy a new main for the 44 footer because it was bellyed out and the leach was shot from years of a topping lift chaffing against it. It was not streched, but the stiching was shot from chaff. I must move a gallows down to number 3 for comfortable cruising behind #1 really heavy ground tackle, #2 a good windvane and then#3 a gallows. I guess I am getting into my 4 cents worth now.____Grant.
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Old 04-11-2012, 20:58   #26
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Re: Do I really need a Vang?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
To my way of thinking, rigid vangs, rather than side-deck vang-preventers* , are often the real culprit when booms break at the vang point.

Here's the thing about rigid vangs, used as a substitute for boom gallows and topping lift:

In order for the boom to be stable, the mainsheet has to be snugged up against the rigid vang when the sail comes down. The problem is that the mainsheet is WAY too powerful for the purpose. Even if the person who initially snugs it has a gentle spirit, everyone who walks past for the duration of the sail being stowed is likely to see no reason not to give it a bit more, not being able to see or feel that it's already been resnugged half to death.
This is especially true if there are no lateral lines to prevent the boom slewing, in which case overtightening the mainsheet, if the topping lift is absent or slack, is a virtual certainty.

This tends to end in tears, IME, because it's almost inevitable that a small crumple, or at least a crack, will be quite quickly generated at the aft extent of the tang for the vang, or more specifically in the boom extrusion at that point.

A wee 'smile', which at the slightest provocation (perhaps from a side-deck vang which is not rigged with a 'progressive fuse' such as a rip-web) turns into a cracking great, wrap around grin.

* I've said my piece elsewhere about how to safeguard both the boom and the crew with such a preventer, using a progressive fuse such as a rip-web stack.
Given that this is reliably and self-evidently feasible, I can't help wondering if those who continue to dismiss them out-of-hand might either be refuseniks or idealogues.

Re vang-preventers to the rail, I recommend they be permanently rigged on each side, preferably to dedicated tangs on the sides of the boom, and not necessarily level with the underboom vang tang.

In the context of discussing gallows, snugging up both purchases against the topping lift or rigid vang, stabilises the boom in the same way as a gallows.

Certainly a topping lift needs to be really well installed and maintained: preferably Spectra, certainly premium Dacron braid with fair chafe-proof leads at the mast head and exit box.
G'Day Andrew,

I think that we've gone over this in another thread recently, but at any rate, your comments are astute. In fact, this is exactly how we broke the boom on Insatiable II in Tasmania last February (ie from overtightening the sheet against the rigid vang with an attendant crack forming at age 22 years). As said before, I have used "vang- preventers" on my last three yachts, cumulative mileage of over 150K, and that is the first time this "inevitable" failure has occurred.

A gallows may indeed be useful, but in many designs it is severely in the way of motion around the cockpit. I've whacked my head on OPB too many times... When one has permanent vang-preventers rigged, it is practical to control boom motion with them without great mainsheet tension or a gallows.

So, Newt, I'd say keep the rigid vang, keep the vang-preventers, use webbing strops to connect them to the boom, and don't worry about the gallows.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 04-11-2012, 21:03   #27
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Re: Do I really need a Vang?

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I am shortening my boom to update my Valiant. Already have a main with a shorter foot and she sails a lot better. With the boom two feet shorter it makes sense to move the mainsheet forward of the dodger. This puts it close to the Vang. Since they are both tackles that go to the boat, should I get rid of one?
Absolutely not! Different functions. Vang keeps constant pressure on the boom to maintain proper sail shape. Preventers, while they also keep the boom down, should only be used to prevent a gybe and not to hold the boom down on a beam reach etc. If you use the preventer as a vang you can't maneuver (tack or Gybe) properly if you have the boom nailed down in place, preventing... Bad idea on a windy day. Cheers!

I do like 'Cockpit controlled' preventers (3:1) rigged when I go sailing. Both sides simply hang loose when not in use. When you are done, remove the deck tackle and bring it forward to the goose neck, to an attaching eye for stowage along the boom on each side.
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:42   #28
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Re: Do I really need a Vang?

I liked the gallows I had on 2 boats, I always had a topping lift also. My bigger boats had a plastic coated lifeline cable for the topping lift with a 2 part block at the bottom. However, I didnt miss the gallows that much on other boats. One nice function of a gallows is when at anchor, you can move the boom to the side out of the way and secure it. You can also secure the boom using that 4 part soft vang/preventer set on the opposite side of the mainsheet down to the traveler end.. (that's another vote for that soft vang!) You need both a gallows and a topping lift because when you are reefing, you need to keep the boom from banging on the gallows until you get the halyard reset.... unless you are one of those people who can reef perfectly in all conditions!
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:02   #29
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Re: Do I really need a Vang?

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Thanks Grant. For those with gallows on their boat, do they need a topping lift or rigid vang? Or do you just rest it on the gallows everytime you adjust your main? Cheechako- do you use either?
Topping lift is really a must, especially when reefing (and if you have any kind of a dodger)
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:09   #30
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Re: Do I really need a Vang?

OK, a gallows is used to keep the boom up when the sail is not up. The topping lift and the hard Vang have the same function. Getting rid of the hard Vang (and leaving the soft one makes sense to me. And if your main never tore I guess you could go without a topping lift if you used your gallows for all mainsail changes.
Let me ask one more question ( I promise last one) Does anyone use adjustable lazy jacks instead of a topping lift?
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