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Old 24-03-2015, 01:52   #1
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How to Use a Dutchman Boom Brake?

Last year I bought a Dutchman boom brake and had the opportunity to use it several times. But I can't seem to get it to work as a brake - it is either a preventer (meaning solid lock or it is too loose to brake anything). Here's my setup

I've got a 46 sq. meter (approx. 500 sq ft) mainsail. so I'm using 12mm line through the brake. I've affixed the one end to my port side shroud turnbuckle, from there up through the Dutchman (attached midboom at the same eye as the rodkicker), down to a block attached to the starboard side shroud turnbuckle, then back to the cockpit where it goes through a locking block.

So it seems no matter how I adjust the tension on the Dutchman (handle) it won't seem to work correctly as a brake. If I tighten it up completely and then put the line on a winch and tighten the line, it acts as a preventer.

Any ideas? I've tried using 16mm line- but that simply won't fit through the Dutchman (and Dutchman says use 12mm). I tried calling Dutchman for advice but wasn't too impressed with their (lack of) help.

carsten
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Old 24-03-2015, 03:20   #2
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Re: How to Use a Dutchman Boom Brake?

I do not have one but looked into it. I believe you should yse 12mm as directed and add twists at the device as needed. Look up online. I dont believe shroud turnbuckle attachment is appropriate or safe. I would not do it.

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Old 24-03-2015, 05:00   #3
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Re: How to Use a Dutchman Boom Brake?

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Originally Posted by rgleason View Post
I do not have one but looked into it. I believe you should yse 12mm as directed and add twists at the device as needed. Look up online. I dont believe shroud turnbuckle attachment is appropriate or safe. I would not do it.

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HI,

I guess I miswrote. The line is attached to the chainplate under the turnbuckle, not to the turnbuckle itself.

I hve tried followign their instructions but seem unable to find the correct amount of tension to get this to act as a brake, not a preventer.
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Old 24-03-2015, 06:09   #4
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Re: How to Use a Dutchman Boom Brake?

its a bit of a balancing act to get it to brake, but it can. i have the line go back to the cockpit to an unused winch, and can tension it there, as well as the knob on the unit. I primarily use the tension at the winch to control the friction.

I have it down to 3 settings - loose=swings, tight=brake, supertight=preventer mode.

If I take the sheet out of the winch and loosen it, when its locked up, it will start to 'brake', slow to fast, depending on how much I let out the sheet. Doesn't take much (talking an inch or 2 maybe) to get it to brake.

The manual shows a block and tackle set up to tension the line (IIRC), I use a spare winch, which seems to work.

It takes some practice to get it 'just right'. It is a combination of knob tightness and line tightness.

When you get used to it, you will wonder how you ever sailed without it!
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Old 24-03-2015, 06:13   #5
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Re: How to Use a Dutchman Boom Brake?

Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomracer View Post
its a bit of a balancing act to get it to brake, but it can. i have the line go back to the cockpit to an unused winch, and can tension it there, as well as the knob on the unit. I primarily use the tension at the winch to control the friction.

I have it down to 3 settings - loose=swings, tight=brake, supertight=preventer mode.

If I take the sheet out of the winch and loosen it, when its locked up, it will start to 'brake', slow to fast, depending on how much I let out the sheet. Doesn't take much (talking an inch or 2 maybe) to get it to brake.

The manual shows a block and tackle set up to tension the line (IIRC), I use a spare winch, which seems to work.

It takes some practice to get it 'just right'. It is a combination of knob tightness and line tightness.

When you get used to it, you will wonder how you ever sailed without it!
Thanks maybe I just need play it some more
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Old 24-03-2015, 07:02   #6
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Re: How to Use a Dutchman Boom Brake?

Finding the sweet spot between friction (number of turns at the brake) and line tension can take some time to get right.

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Old 24-03-2015, 07:33   #7
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Re: How to Use a Dutchman Boom Brake?

We have ours set-up like a boom vang with the brake's friction line firmly attached to both chainplates. We then have a block on the boom that runs forward to the mast, down to the deck, and back to the cockpit next to the mainsheet control on our cabin top. To tension, you just raise the brake closer to the boom and you can actually see how high you need to pull to make it brake or prevent.

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