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Old 06-11-2012, 07:49   #46
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Re: Do I really need a Vang?

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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.
Spot on! Never understood when peole say boom topper is a hastle. Something is not rigged correctly. Should be able to leave it in a fixed position and forget about it.
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:49   #47
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Re: Do I Really Need a Vang?

I can see a ridgid vang, bottomed out and having the mainsheet pulled tight against it pulling the gooseneck out of the boom.
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:50   #48
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Re: Do I Really Need a Vang?

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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.
It sounds like the sail was stowed and the mainsheet cranked hard down against the vang. This would put upward torque on the gooseneck. Add some metal fatigue from repeated cycling, and....
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:04   #49
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Re: Do I Really Need a Vang?

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Never understood when peole say boom topper is a hastle. Something is not rigged correctly. Should be able to leave it in a fixed position and forget about it.
It depends on the rig and the mainsail. A larger roach, especially with full battens, can hang up on the topper when you tack. This is a PITA and causes chafe, so if you're beating to windward you might choose to ease off the topping lift. Then in light air you need to re-tension it so the weight of the boom doesn't over-tension the leach. It gets old, hence the rigid vang or boom kicker. It doesn't mean that you need one, but for many boats it's nice.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:12   #50
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Re: Do I Really Need a Vang?

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I can see a ridgid vang, bottomed out and having the mainsheet pulled tight against it pulling the gooseneck out of the boom.
Shouldn't be possible. If it is, either the vang is too large or it was rigged wrong.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:28   #51
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Re: Do I Really Need a Vang?

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Shouldn't be possible. If it is, either the vang is too large or it was rigged wrong.
The J-37 I raced on this was quite possible. But not with the sail up. When the sail was flaked, the boom could easily be cranked down to the limits of compression of the vang. This boat had no topping lift (they're not fast), but when the sail was down the halyard was moved the the end of the boom.

The post that referenced separating the gooseneck was also stopping the boom from swinging with the sail down.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:29   #52
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Re: Do I Really Need a Vang?

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It depends on the rig and the mainsail. A larger roach, especially with full battens, can hang up on the topper when you tack. This is a PITA and causes chafe, so if you're beating to windward you might choose to ease off the topping lift. Then in light air you need to re-tension it so the weight of the boom doesn't over-tension the leach. It gets old, hence the rigid vang or boom kicker. It doesn't mean that you need one, but for many boats it's nice.
Sorry, but a properly rigged topper should be slack when main is raised to full hoist. Full roach mains may hang up on the back stay when tacking in light air.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:39   #53
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Re: Do I Really Need a Vang?

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The J-37 I raced on this was quite possible. But not with the sail up. When the sail was flaked, the boom could easily be cranked down to the limits of compression of the vang. This boat had no topping lift (they're not fast), but when the sail was down the halyard was moved the the end of the boom.

The post that referenced separating the gooseneck was also stopping the boom from swinging with the sail down.
I also manage a J-133 race program and the only topper we have is the main halyard rigged aft when main is down.
Cruising and racing boats are two different animals and configured differently for each event. Vangs are a must on both as are preventers to be properly 'rigged' for all kinds of needs. Lots of people make due with what they have, and that's not wrong. A properly, fully rigged sailboat helps to eliminate wear and tear on the entire rig.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:40   #54
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Re: Do I Really Need a Vang?

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The J-37 I raced on this was quite possible. But not with the sail up. When the sail was flaked, the boom could easily be cranked down to the limits of compression of the vang. This boat had no topping lift (they're not fast), but when the sail was down the halyard was moved the the end of the boom.
I see what you're saying. What I meant is that it shouldn't be possible to bottom it out when the sail was raised. The leech should stop the boom from descending before the vang bottoms out.

Once the sail is flaked, all bets are off, and the mainsheet could indeed bottom out a rigid vang on many boats. That's when turning the main halyard into a boom topping lift is a smart idea, as you've pointed out.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:47   #55
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Re: Do I Really Need a Vang?

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Sorry, but a properly rigged topper should be slack when main is raised to full hoist.
No need to apologize. In light air I often take the weight of the boom off the sail so it's trimmed better. This means using the topping lift if I don't have a rigid vang or kicker. And sure, for cruisers who aren't overly concerned with light air sail trim, they can just cleat the topping lift and not worry about it. Also, good point about full roach mains and the back stay, but that's a different topic.
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Old 07-11-2012, 00:28   #56
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Re: Do I really need a Vang?

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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..
Jeff...When the mainsheet is pulled down the vang spring is compressed, pushing the boom away from the mast. In hind sight, I should have taken the tension off by pulling the vang block and tackle down also. I should also mention, it was a wood spar with the gooseneck track laged on. The main was not up and as SkiprJohn is my witness, this is what happened.
Regardless...it was pilot error on my part. I should have kept the gallows.
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