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Old 05-11-2012, 10:18   #31
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Re: Do I really need a Vang?

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Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
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?
While a hard vang should/may keep your boom up when reefing, I would not depend on it.
Depending on what kind of reef system you have and your expertise makes a lot of difference. Remember... You are reefing because you have breezy conditions as well as bigger sea states. Your boom will jerk violently while you are reefing. Keep the topping lift and go with which ever vang you already have. I never depend on my hard vang to properly support the boom. Especially with a dodger in the neighborhood
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:42   #32
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Re: Do I really need a Vang?

wanted to be clear...if I had a hard vang(kicker) and below was a solar panel, I would certainly have a proper, adjustable, topping lift. just sayin..
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:13   #33
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Re: Do I really need a Vang?

Thanks Jeffrey. The confusion is starting to clear. :-)
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:16   #34
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Re: Do I really need a Vang?

I rigged two soft vangs, one to each side with the tails led back to the cockpit. Besides freeing up the area under the boom for stuff, they work very nicely to fix the boom in position at sea and in the harbor. Pull one tight to move the boom outbboard on that side and then tighten the other one to stabilize it in position. Not quite a boom gallows but almost in conjunction with the dyneema topping lift.

When used as a vang, do have to remember to release it when tacking. On a jibe, they make easing the boom across a controlled maneuver rather than that club swinging wildly over. Yeah, I know, pull the mainsheet in tight before jibing. Even when you do that, the boom comes across with great force.
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:19   #35
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Re: Do I really need a Vang?

I have the Garhauer rigid vang, and the construction is such that, in order for it to fail the support the boom, you would need a massive mechanical failure. It is made out of a very stout tube inside another very stout tube. The brackets at the mast and boom are very substantial, and it's held on at mast and boom with rivets with a breaking strength of 2000 lbs each, qty 6 at each point.

You install it such that it is fully compressed when the boom is at the lowest point needed for sailing, so that it cannot fail to keep the boom at a safe height - unless it breaks.

If it failed, it would be on very windy beam reach with the vang on hard, not while reefing.
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:27   #36
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Re: Do I really need a Vang?

A rigid vang isn't a must have, but if I already had one I would keep it, unless I really needed the real estate. It's nice for light air sailing. I hate the way topping lifts snag the leech when you tack.

When I reef my main I'm heaved to with the main partially backed, not pointing directly into the wind with the main flogging, and the rigid vang stabilizes the boom just fine.

To secure the boom when the sail is down, I attach a simple preventer from the boom to the toe rail, and I tension the mainsheet against this. This lateral tension does a much better job of immobilizing the boom than if I snug the mainsheet against the vang spring.
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Old 05-11-2012, 14:36   #37
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Re: Do I really need a Vang?

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Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
To simplify this setup, loose the gallows. The rest works in concert to shape your sail.
On my Ingrid 38 I removed the gallows and installed a Garhaur rigid vang. When it was blowing 45kts. and 18' seas, we reefed the mainsheet down to stop the 16 ft. boom from swinging so much. The stress from the vang pulling outwards must have been enormous because at 5am., we ripped the gooseneck out of the mast. If we had the gallows and nested the boom with the mainsheet and vand de-powered, I doubt we would of had the problem.
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Old 05-11-2012, 14:53   #38
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Re: Do I really need a Vang?

From Hall Rigging:
Using Your QuikVang
• Beware of oversheeting the main. If the QuikVang bottoms out while
trimming the mainsheet, compression can bend the boom in reverse.
This situation can also cause the vang to fail in compression bending.
• Never lean on the end of the boom with a furled sail. Your weight
creates a great load on the vang if it bottoms out. The same
compression failure could occur as discussed in the previous caution
note.
• It’s always good practice to attach the main halyard to the end of the
boom after furling the sail. This procedure allows the tightening of the
mainsheet and removes the risk of damage to the QuikVang.

I might add that using the mainsheet to stop the boom from swinging (with the sail lowered) doesn't work very well. The tension is straight down, so there's little to keep the boom from swinging side to side. If you use a preventer you can stop those oscillations with just a little mainsheet tension, especially if you move the traveller to the opposite side from the preventer.
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Old 05-11-2012, 15:55   #39
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Re: Do I really need a Vang?

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On my Ingrid 38 I removed the gallows and installed a Garhaur rigid vang. When it was blowing 45kts. and 18' seas, we reefed the mainsheet down to stop the 16 ft. boom from swinging so much. The stress from the vang pulling outwards must have been enormous because at 5am., we ripped the gooseneck out of the mast. If we had the gallows and nested the boom with the mainsheet and vand de-powered, I doubt we would of had the problem.
Yeah, I've seen enough damage of one kind or another with rigid vangs I wouldnt have one on a cruiser.... just me I guess... I like things as forgiving as possible.
Newt, If I were rigging a new cruiser from scratch, I would go with a good strong topping lift and a 4 part vang. Simple and reliable. Both those things have multiple uses too. PS: you really hardly ever have to adjust the topping lift at all once it's set right. You might not touch it for months!
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Old 05-11-2012, 19:59   #40
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Re: Do I Really Need a Vang?

Yeah, I am getting a clearer picture on where I want to go with this, and it involves a gallows. I appreciate all the imput to help me. With my welding shop availabity, I think I am going to make a gallows- dodger combo that will be a strong part of the boat. The mainsheet will be in front of the dodger, but should not get yanked around very much due to my preventers on each side. I will keep the soft vang, and maybe the metal one, but the gallows will be where I tighten things down and change sails.
I think the most important change to my main sail will be in mindset. It will not longer automatically go up and remain as full as possible. Downwind it may often be put away completely. It will often be in the gallows. In other words, breaking my body has had a taming effect on the main :P You live and learn.
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Old 05-11-2012, 20:09   #41
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Re: Do I really need a Vang?

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Absolutely not. The vang should be led forward when running to prevent an accidental jibe.
Only on sailing dinghies. That's a dangerous practice on big boats.
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Old 05-11-2012, 20:16   #42
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Re: Do I really need a Vang?

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While a hard vang should/may keep your boom up when reefing, I would not depend on it.
Depending on what kind of reef system you have and your expertise makes a lot of difference. Remember... You are reefing because you have breezy conditions as well as bigger sea states. Your boom will jerk violently while you are reefing. Keep the topping lift and go with which ever vang you already have. I never depend on my hard vang to properly support the boom. Especially with a dodger in the neighborhood
Agreed. For those who like a "Belt + Suspenders" approach, a rigid vang PLUS a boom toping lift is ideal.

Besides, while the boom toping lift is sometimes an extra hassle, it makes sense to keep it as a spare main halyard.
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:02   #43
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Quote:
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Only on sailing dinghies. That's a dangerous practice on big boats.
Even in a 420 the thought of disconnecting the vang and running it somewhere else has never occurred to me!
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:30   #44
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Re: Do I Really Need a Vang?

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Even in a 420 the thought of disconnecting the vang and running it somewhere else has never occurred to me!
grew up racing 420-470-505-abd a whole lot more...and I would(should) never disconnect the vang on any sized boat.
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:42   #45
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Re: Do I really need a Vang?

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When it was blowing 45kts. and 18' seas, The stress from the vang pulling outwards must have been enormous because at 5am., we ripped the gooseneck out of the mast.
Not sure I understand how the vang was pulling 'outwards' to rip out the gooseneck. Nature of my business, I sail dozens of different boats and often see abused goosenecks from boats that have not used a preventer in light air, beam reaching with beam seas and no preventer used to stop the boom from banging back and forth. That is when your gooseneck is stressed and eventually you will rip it out. Preventers are used in more ways than preventing an accidental gybe. They prevent the boom from banging..
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