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Old 04-05-2014, 14:11   #1
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Is a Vang a Good Addition to an Offshore Cruising Boat?

I have never owned a cruising boat, all my boats have been race oriented.

I purchased a cruising cutter 6 months ago and have been doing an extensive refit. Now I am rearranging the deck hardware to make the loads more manageable and the rigging more efficient and configured in a manner that I am used to.

This boat has never had a vang, but utilized a rail mounted preventer for off the wind sailing. I have never had a boat that did not have a rigid vang, but if I install one, I won't have room for a hard dinghy under the boom. The reefing winch would have to be moved aft to make room for the vang and the dinghy would then sit on top of the reefing winch as well.

Anyone's thoughts on the subject would be appreciated.

Thank-you for your contributions!
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Old 04-05-2014, 14:25   #2
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Re: Is a vang a good addition to an offshore cruising boat?

IMHO soft 4 part vang with shackles. Double use as a preventer. With shackles both ends you can even take it off and use as a barber hauler on the staysail. Done this quite a few times and like it.
Many staysail tracks are well inboard. If you are beam reaching and want the staysail up the barber hauler to the toe rail gets the shape perfect!
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Old 04-05-2014, 16:59   #3
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Re: Is a vang a good addition to an offshore cruising boat?

I'd vang it.

You didn't mention what boat you have.
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Old 04-05-2014, 17:33   #4
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Re: Is a vang a good addition to an offshore cruising boat?

There are some factors to consider:

If you don't have a rigid vang, you will need either a topping lift or a gallows to support the boom whilst reefing or with the sail down.

Having preventer/vangs rigged to each side provides more than adequate vanging action, and we have found them to be very useful, indeed preferable to other type vangs or preventers. But, we also have a rigid vang fitted. We use it mostly to support the boom, letting the v/p tackles take care of the vanging forces.

Guess that you have to weigh the disadvantages of a topping lift against your other specific issues.

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Old 04-05-2014, 18:28   #5
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Re: Is a Vang a Good Addition to an Offshore Cruising Boat?

I'd put a vang on it... I didnt know boats came without vangs.
You could take it for a sail and see how efficient the preventer system works. But really, wont a vang be better? What does the boom do when you ease the preventer? What happens when you gybe? Does the boom the not want to gybe because of the leach belly?
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Old 04-05-2014, 18:43   #6
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Re: Is a Vang a Good Addition to an Offshore Cruising Boat?

Grew up in the days of deck mounted four purchase tackle vangs. Have continued with them because can't afford the lost real estate from a rigid vang. Rigid vangs are nice if you can take the lost deck storage from them sweeping everything at the forward end of the boom but haven't owned a boat that would accommodate one. Yes you need a topping lift but have always had one without trauma and can make reefing easier.

Current boat has a double vang from each side led back to either side of the cockpit. Vang acts as a preventer as well as a vang. They are cleated by a smallish cam cleat. Figure if the boom dips, want the cam cleat to blow, not the boom.
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Old 04-05-2014, 18:53   #7
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Re: Is a Vang a Good Addition to an Offshore Cruising Boat?

Let's say a vang might buy you an extra 1/10th of a knot, which might get you into port two hours sooner on a five day passage. (You'd need to run your own numbers.)

Is it worth two hours to not keep a dink on deck? Could be, if that means getting in before sunset instead of after. Or getting the last mooring.

No one "needs" a vang, much less a hard vang, but given the choices and alternatives (including a topping lift) that's your choice.
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Old 04-05-2014, 20:09   #8
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Re: Is a Vang a Good Addition to an Offshore Cruising Boat?

A vang is an important sail control; if it can double as a preventer all the better. Boats are all compromises and cruising boats more so but I never considered cruising an excuse to sail badly so, yes, a vang is a good idea...
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Old 04-05-2014, 21:32   #9
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Re: Is a Vang a Good Addition to an Offshore Cruising Boat?

You might want to contact Selden about their Gnav system and see if it would work for your boat. It does the same thing as a vang but attaches on top of the boom and pushes down.
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Old 06-05-2014, 22:47   #10
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You might want to contact Selden about their Gnav system and see if it would work for your boat. It does the same thing as a vang but attaches on top of the boom and pushes down.
Had not heard of it before, and I'm not surprised. That system will really impair on your mainsail reefing. I would never want it on my boat.


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Old 06-05-2014, 23:49   #11
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Re: Is a vang a good addition to an offshore cruising boat?

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
IMHO soft 4 part vang with shackles. Double use as a preventer. With shackles both ends you can even take it off and use as a barber hauler on the staysail. Done this quite a few times and like it.
Many staysail tracks are well inboard. If you are beam reaching and want the staysail up the barber hauler to the toe rail gets the shape perfect!
I had the exact issue and solved exactly as cheechako suggested
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Old 07-05-2014, 09:25   #12
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Re: Is a Vang a Good Addition to an Offshore Cruising Boat?

soft vang and topping lift is probably the easiest/simplest solution. just make sure you don't blow the topper by accident...
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Old 14-05-2014, 14:15   #13
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Re: Is a Vang a Good Addition to an Offshore Cruising Boat?

I used two 4 part soft vangs , one on each side , tails led to cleats at the helm . Never had to change from side to side and had complete control of the boom when sailing tourists around the BVI .
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Old 14-05-2014, 14:44   #14
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Re: Is a Vang a Good Addition to an Offshore Cruising Boat?

I like a vang plus preventers. So that is what's on TN.
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Old 14-05-2014, 17:46   #15
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Re: Is a Vang a Good Addition to an Offshore Cruising Boat?

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I like a vang plus preventers. So that is what's on TN.
Me too. Whatever it takes to prevent an accidental jibe in force 7 or higher.
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