Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 29-04-2024, 21:27   #1
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Aug 2023
Posts: 75
Are Boom Brakes a good idea? Still need Preventers?

They seem to be pretty rare, but something that will produce a gentle gibe seems like a good idea.
aberglas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-04-2024, 22:26   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2024
Posts: 252
Re: Are Boom Brakes a good idea? Still need Preventers?

I think that boom brakes are a good idea when, like anything else, is used appropriately. I think they are a good tool in the toolbox except for one fatal flaw that probably disqualifies them from my boat. All designs I have seen require you to vary tension according to wind intensity, and you must do so at the boom.

So, if you realize you have too much or too little friction, someone must go forward and make that adjustment. Obviously, you don't do this on a dead run when an accidental gibe is most likely. You would really should turn all the way upwind, or at least to a point where you can have the mainsheet holding the boom to center.

This isn't really a flaw - it's just knowing how to use the tool safely and avoiding the temptation to just run up there and make the adjustment.

I have seen a design that allows you to adjust the tension/friction from the cockpit, but these require more rigging than I am willing to devote to this mostly avoidable problem.

As to whether you need preventers as well as a boom brake, I would say this depends on how conscientiously you use the boom brake. If you keep it appropriately tensioned and don't get lazy, and you understand that it only slows the boom down and you still need to stay out of the way, then preventers seem redundant.

Conversely, if you use preventers, the boom brake is redundant.

I would use one or the other. Putting more rigging out there means the chances are higher that someone will need to go forward and sort out issues.

Myself, I try to avoid sailing at tenuous points of sail except in exceptionally light winds. If I must, then I prefer the clarity and control of preventers. It does exactly what it looks like it does. If winds get stronger or lighter - the system works exactly the same - no adjustments.
Foswick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-04-2024, 00:51   #3
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Aug 2023
Posts: 75
Re: Are Boom Brakes a good idea? Still need Preventers?

Good point about having to adjust the tension.
aberglas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-04-2024, 01:25   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Boat: Island Packet 40
Posts: 6,501
Images: 7
Re: Are Boom Brakes a good idea? Still need Preventers?

I use a DIY boom brake mostly for going down wind wing and wing. Tension is adjusted in the cockpit on a single line.
__________________
Satiriker ist verboten, la conformité est obligatoire
RaymondR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-04-2024, 07:56   #5
Registered User
 
The Yacht Rigger's Avatar

Community Sponsor

Join Date: Apr 2023
Posts: 303
Re: Are Boom Brakes a good idea? Still need Preventers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foswick View Post
I think that boom brakes are a good idea when, like anything else, is used appropriately. I think they are a good tool in the toolbox except for one fatal flaw that probably disqualifies them from my boat. All designs I have seen require you to vary tension according to wind intensity, and you must do so at the boom.

So, if you realize you have too much or too little friction, someone must go forward and make that adjustment. Obviously, you don't do this on a dead run when an accidental gibe is most likely. You would really should turn all the way upwind, or at least to a point where you can have the mainsheet holding the boom to center.

This isn't really a flaw - it's just knowing how to use the tool safely and avoiding the temptation to just run up there and make the adjustment.

I have seen a design that allows you to adjust the tension/friction from the cockpit, but these require more rigging than I am willing to devote to this mostly avoidable problem.

As to whether you need preventers as well as a boom brake, I would say this depends on how conscientiously you use the boom brake. If you keep it appropriately tensioned and don't get lazy, and you understand that it only slows the boom down and you still need to stay out of the way, then preventers seem redundant.

Conversely, if you use preventers, the boom brake is redundant.

I would use one or the other. Putting more rigging out there means the chances are higher that someone will need to go forward and sort out issues.

Myself, I try to avoid sailing at tenuous points of sail except in exceptionally light winds. If I must, then I prefer the clarity and control of preventers. It does exactly what it looks like it does. If winds get stronger or lighter - the system works exactly the same - no adjustments.
Whenever we install boom brakes we run the control line aft to the cockpit to a clutch, it's easy enough to setup on almost all boat's we've worked on. We recently did an install on a Leopard 50 and lead the control line right to the helm too.
The Yacht Rigger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-04-2024, 10:27   #6
Registered User
 
deblen's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Bay of Fundy,Grand Manan,N.B.,Canada N44.40 W66.50
Boat: Mascot 28 pilothouse motorsailer 28ft
Posts: 3,459
Images: 2
Re: Are Boom Brakes a good idea? Still need Preventers?

No personal connection or experience with this :
https://dreamgreen.org/component/tag...don-boom-brake


Cheers/Len
__________________
My personal experience & humble opinions-feel free to ignore both
.
deblen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-04-2024, 17:06   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2021
Location: Alabama
Boat: Pearson 385
Posts: 52
Re: Are Boom Brakes a good idea? Still need Preventers?

We have a boom brake fitted to our boat. It is rigged in such a way as when the vang tension is increased, so is the brake tension. Vang control is in cockpit.

I would not be comfortable using the brake as a preventer though. I believe the brake is meant to slow the boom, not prevent it from moving. The brake mount is pretty far forward on the boom. I should think a powerful backwinding of the main would lead to a bent or broken boom.
MWGDVC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-04-2024, 17:24   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Gold Coast, Australia
Boat: Farr 43`
Posts: 503
Re: Are Boom Brakes a good idea? Still need Preventers?

Brake control line attachment points would seem most effective mounted near to the gunwales.
This creates an impediment to moving forward on the side decks or even over the coach house.
Is there a solution that does not impede crew movement?
Rucksta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2024, 09:49   #9
Registered User

Join Date: May 2020
Location: SoCal
Boat: 35' Alden Design Cutter
Posts: 567
Re: Are Boom Brakes a good idea? Still need Preventers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by deblen View Post
No personal connection or experience with this :
https://dreamgreen.org/component/tag...don-boom-brake


Cheers/Len
That's really just a descender design. You can buy aluminum descenders rated at 30kn on Amazon for like 10 bucks, 50kn for 17.00. I think they would work just as well.

A couple of years ago, I watched a video of a French (or Italian) sailor rigging a descender, a 10mm line, and a couple of carabiners for an effective boom brake controlled at the cockpit.
Iron E is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2024, 10:53   #10
Moderator
 
hpeer's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Between Caribbean and Canada
Boat: Murray 33-Chouette & Pape Steelmaid-44-Safara-both steel cutters
Posts: 8,705
Re: Are Boom Brakes a good idea? Still need Preventers?

we have a Dutchman style broom break on the big boat. That runs to a cabin top winch and I can adjust it from the cockpit. 520 sq ft.

I would say that with this style you can pretty much do away with a preventer. The boom may go over but the force will be greatly reduced.

If you are single handing this boom break, for me relieves a lot of stress and anxiety about an accidental jibe, it make the voyage much more relaxing.

It is a bit more money and rigging but worth it.

Now on the small boat I have a different rig which also works OK. But much less sail area.
hpeer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2024, 07:11   #11
Registered User
 
svbravo's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Annapolis, MD. USA
Boat: Boreal 52
Posts: 117
Images: 2
Re: Are Boom Brakes a good idea? Still need Preventers?

We use both traditional preventers (boom end to bow LFR and back to cockpit) in addition to a Dutchman boom brake. The preventers are the primary safety against an accidental jibe. The brake can be kept loose, so the mainsheet tension can be easily adjusted. We tension the boom brake before a planned jibe. The idea is to allow the boom to jibe slowly and in control while it's in the zone where the preventers lose their effectiveness.....about 20 degrees or so from centerline on each side. Especially in big seas, the brake gives the security of a nice controlled jibe every time.
svbravo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2024, 07:21   #12
Writing Full-Time Since 2014
 
thinwater's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Deale, MD
Boat: PDQ Altair, 32/34
Posts: 9,787
Re: Are Boom Brakes a good idea? Still need Preventers?

There are many variables. I had one on my cruising cat and removed it.
  • How wide is the traveler? On a cat it is wide and we can practically pull the main through a jibe. Even on a broad reach, we don't have much sheet out.
  • How deep do you run and how much sheet is out? Again, multis don't run deep and the sail is constrained by the backward swept cap shrouds.
  • Do you have another continent way to set up a preventer?
  • And by the way, I've seen images of two boats that broke booms using a boom brake. Presumably, they cranked it down pretty well to use as a preventer, as is occasionally suggested.
I found it was practically impossible to adjust for smooth jibes. Every time the wind changes strength, the settings change. The setting for starboard vs. port jibes is not exactly the same (rope stretch). I had much smoother jibes by using my wide traveller and keeping the sheet short. Perhaps if you sail a river, sail DDW, and jib a lot, there is a purpose. I didn't find one.

It has nothing to do with money. Yes, there is more rigging, and that never helps. But mostly it was more fooling around for jibes that were worse than just controlling the boom with the traveler and vang. As I said, I took it off.


Another trick is to use a nylon traveler control line (not sheet). Some shock absorption. Never Dyneema.
__________________
Gear Testing--Engineering--Sailing
https://sail-delmarva.blogspot.com/
thinwater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2024, 07:28   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Cruising, now in USVIs
Boat: Taswell 43
Posts: 1,045
Re: Are Boom Brakes a good idea? Still need Preventers?

FWIW, we installed a Dutchman Boombrake, and had it onboard for about 5 years.....it is no longer there! It MAY slow the boom down, but the force in the middle of the boom is just asking for a bent/broken boom (in mt opinion). We rigged a 2-step preventer...we use a dynema line (one on each side of the boom) from the aft end to the boom front, held in place by an elastic bungee and with a loop on it. Then we have a preventor line with a hook on the end already rigged and laying in place on the caprail. when we feel the need, I simply go the the boom, unclip the fwd end on the dynema line and hook it to the preventor line, pull the preventor tight and put it on a cockpit winch. Let out the boom, tighten the preventor (on the winch), and it's done. Works well, and quick/easy to rig/stow.
sailcrazy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2024, 08:20   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Dartmouth, Ma.
Boat: Cape Dory 33
Posts: 3
Re: Are Boom Brakes a good idea? Still need Preventers?

The Dutchman is a big help jibing in heavy winds. Especially sailing alone.
SailCD33 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2024, 08:22   #15
Registered User
 
Seadarer's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Canada
Boat: Jeanneau 51
Posts: 21
Re: Are Boom Brakes a good idea? Still need Preventers?

I have a Waldron boom brake on my boat and use it more like a preventer than a brake. I ran sheets back from it to my cockpit through dedicated clutches so that it is completely operable from there. When jibing, I never use it to slow the swing of the boom as that to me is too scary. I prefer to center the main and let it out again after jibing as that seems much more sane. I also only use it on light winds and thus it becomes essentially a safety device in case of an accidental jibe. The other benefit of it is that it acts as a boom vang when tightened and can be instantly released by opening a clutch making depowering a breeze.

Hence, I only get a partial preventer, a bit of a safety if an accidental jibe happens, and a more peaceful sail as I don't have to be at attention quite as much. And as it is so easy to employ, I use it quite often while coastal sailing.
__________________
Don
SeaDarer
Seadarer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
boom brake

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
DIY Boom brakes mtompson Deck hardware: Rigging, Sails & Hoisting 6 20-08-2019 05:00
Do boom brakes work? Dr. Sea Monohull Sailboats 37 25-08-2016 13:09
Boom Brakes Neptune's Gear Vendor Spotlight - Great Deals for CF Members! 0 25-03-2014 17:52
Any experiences with boom brakes? cabo_sailor Deck hardware: Rigging, Sails & Hoisting 6 15-08-2008 21:25

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:29.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.