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Old 01-04-2016, 18:28   #1
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Do boom brakes work?

I have heard conflicting views on the value a a boom brake vs. a preventer. Some people say that a boom brake doesn't soften a crash jibe enough to be worthwhile. I suppose that might depend on the brand and design of the boom brake. Does anyone have experience with a boom brake that they think is great?
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Old 01-04-2016, 18:49   #2
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Re: Do boom brakes work?

I've yet to rig our boom brake (just acquired), but to my understanding, they two are not identical in function. I plan to install our brake, but I will definitely continue to rig the preventer.

A brake helps control and soften a jybe, but it won't prevent one.
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Old 01-04-2016, 19:08   #3
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Re: Do boom brakes work?

We love ours (walder), but on long passages still use a preventer too. We'll typically just come through the wind on the other tack, let the main backwind, and have the boom swing over itself.

I'm not sure there is a production brake that would work with your mainsail size.
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Old 01-04-2016, 20:41   #4
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Re: Do boom brakes work?

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Originally Posted by Dr. Sea View Post
I have heard conflicting views on the value a a boom brake vs. a preventer. Some people say that a boom brake doesn't soften a crash jibe enough to be worthwhile. I suppose that might depend on the brand and design of the boom brake. Does anyone have experience with a boom brake that they think is great?
Dutchman Boom Brake

I have used it, I like it.
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Old 01-04-2016, 21:13   #5
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Re: Do boom brakes work?

We used a Dutchman boom brake on our Hunter and it worked great. I just wish there had been a way to rig it on our Oyster.
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Old 01-04-2016, 21:16   #6
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Re: Do boom brakes work?

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We used a Dutchman boom brake on our Hunter and it worked great. I just wish there had been a way to rig it on our Oyster.
Can you install padeyes with backing plates on the coach roof?
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Old 01-04-2016, 21:50   #7
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Re: Do boom brakes work?

well I think you're missing the point that boom brakes and preventers are very different things and serve different purposes. a boom brake is to soften the impact of a crash jibe, but you gotten understand that while they do soften the impact they don't take all the force out of a crash jibe. A preventer on the other hand keeps the boom from jibing all together, so you have the safety factor of the boom not accidentally jibing and taking someone out but make no mistake if you "jibe" with a preventer rigged, you now have a backed mainsail winged all the way out and it will absolutely spin your boat out of control.
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Old 02-04-2016, 03:15   #8
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Re: Do boom brakes work?

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Can you install padeyes with backing plates on the coach roof?
That's a good idea, but I already sold my Dutchman two weeks ago to a lucky CF member. My problem was more due to the Duchman causing chafe with the main sheet as it hung off the boom. Your way would have probably worked.

Keep the good ideas coming.

Ken
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Old 02-04-2016, 03:44   #9
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Re: Do boom brakes work?

I've been pretty impressed with most of the boom brakes I've used on smaller boats. With a bit of tweeking ive been able to control a gybe quite well, and even get them to sort of work as a preventer. Though I still lile to rig a proper preventer on long offshore runs.

It does take a fair bit of fiddling with wraps and tension to get them working properly.

I like to be able to tension down on both sides, not just one side like they normally show.
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Old 02-04-2016, 03:51   #10
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Re: Do boom brakes work?

I have a Dutchman but would now prefer the Walder. Even though, it has saved my ass a few times and the inexperienced crew as well! But I still use the preventer to keep out the backlash of downwind sailing.

It's just a controller, not a preventer. The bigger the boat, the more important.
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Old 02-04-2016, 06:56   #11
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Re: Do boom brakes work?

If you are going run a preventer ensure that it goes from the boom end to a block on the foredeck to a cleat / sheet stopper in the cockpit. A boom vang tacked to a toe rail is just one very bad idea. It is hard on the boom and the toe rail.

Neither a boom brake or a preventer stops a an accidental jibe from occurring. One slows the jibe down; the other stops the the boom from flying across the cockpit, you end up hove-to.
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:00   #12
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Re: Do boom brakes work?

To me, a boom brake and a preventer are two different concepts. A boom brake "controls" a planned tack/jibe while a preventer is rigged to prevent an accidental tack/jibe. We do use a boom preventer when running downwind in sloppy conditions or light/inconsistent winds but see no use for a boom brake as we implement controlled tacks/jibes with our mainsheet, in strong conditions, from the safety of our cockpit. Although this has been a successful practice on a 34', light/medium displacement boat, it may not be practicable on larger, heavy-displacement vessels. Good luck and safe sailing.
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:28   #13
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Re: Do boom brakes work?

[QUOTE=delmarrey;2087495]I have a Dutchman but would now prefer the Walder.


Why would you prefer the Walder?
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:35   #14
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Re: Do boom brakes work?

We love our Wichard Gyb’Easy.

We run an end to a block and tackle by the cockpit so we can tighten it easily. We can make it work more like a preventer (we can make it tight enough the boom won't swing at all but of course it is then also acting like a boom vang by pulling the boom down) or to operate like a normal boom brake right from the cockpit. Setting the tension somewhere in between allows us to make slow or fast jibes without having to change the setting on the brake itself.

Except for the block and tackle - which isn't necessary for operation, there are no moving parts.
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:46   #15
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Re: Do boom brakes work?

I have a Wichard "Gybeasy". It works well to control planned and unplanned gybes.

For night sailing without a preventer, regardless of the conditions, I put it on its third setting making it safer to use than a preventer.

After an accidental gybe, when using the preventer, it is a big help to get the boom over and keep the boat under control by letting you ease, rather than release the preventer.

But, you need to plan to use both, sometimes together.
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