Ask Sail: Vanged if You Do

One thing I need to install is a liferaft, and I may want to put it on the coachroof right behind the mast, but the solid boom vang prevents this.
Author:
Publish date:


 You can also control mainsail twist with a vang led from mid-boom to the toerail

You can also control mainsail twist with a vang led from mid-boom to the toerail

Fred Roslyn of Brunswick, Georgia, asks:

I sail a 1995 Catalina 42 that I’m now preparing for a long bluewater cruise. One thing I need to install is a liferaft, and I may want to put it on the coachroof right behind the mast, but the solid boom vang prevents this. Can I remove the vang and instead control the shape of my mainsail with tackles led to the caprails on either side? Any other options you can think of?

Win Fowler replies:

The short answer to your question is, yes, you can certainly control mainsail twist with a tackle to the rail once the boom is no longer over the traveler. However, don’t forget that your rigid vang also supports your boom when the mainsail isn’t doing so—as in when you are reefing. If you remove the vang, you will have to fit a topping lift if there isn’t one already. The drawback to a topping lift is that it can chafe the leech of the mainsail. This isn’t much of a consideration in coastal cruising, but during long offshore passages it can become a significant problem. In our loft we have seen topping lifts abrade completely through the stitching on leech seams. These leech seams carry a considerable load, and if the stitching goes, the sail could come apart from leech to luff, which would seriously ruin your day. 

If you do install a topping lift, use slippery low-stretch Dyneema cordage rather than wire and keep a watchful eye on your leech seams. 

Got a question for our experts? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com

Related

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com No chafe, safe stay  If you’re leaving the boat unattended for a longish period, there’s a lot to be said for cow-hitching the shorelines, as this sailor did. They’ll never let go, and so long as the ...read more

belize600x

Charter Special: Belize

It would be hard to imagine a more secure spot than the Sunsail base on the outskirts of the beachside community of Placencia, Belize. The entire marina is protected by a robust seawall with a channel scarcely a few boatlengths across. It’s also located far enough up Placencia ...read more

DSC00247

DIY: a Top-to-Bottom Refit

I found my sailing “dream boat” in the spring of 1979 while racing on Lake St. Clair in Michigan. Everyone had heard about the hot new boat in town, and we were anxiously awaiting the appearance of this new Pearson 40. She made it to the starting line just before the race ...read more

01-oysteryachts-regattas-loropiana2016_063

Light-air Sails and How to Handle Them

In the second of a two-part series on light-air sails, Rupert Holmes looks at how today’s furling gear has revolutionized sail handling off the wind. Read part 1 here. It’s easy to look at long-distance racing yachts of 60ft and above with multiple downwind sails set on roller ...read more

HanseCharles

Video Tour: Hanse 348

“It’s a smaller-size Hanse cruiser, but with some big-boat features,” says SAIL’s Cruising Editor, Charles J. Doane. At last fall’s Annapolis Boat Show, Doane had a chance to take a close look at the new Hanse 348. Some of the boat’s highlights include under-deck galleries for ...read more

amalfitown

Charter Destination: Amalfi Coast

Prego! Weeks after returning from our Italian flotilla trip last summer, I was still feeling the relaxed atmosphere of the Amalfi Coast. It’s a Mediterranean paradise, with crystal-clear waters, charming hillside towns and cliffside villages, plenty of delicious food and wine, ...read more

image005

Inside or Outside When Sailing the ICW

Last April, my wife, Marjorie, and I decided to take our Tartan 4100, Meri, north to Maryland from her winter home in Hobe Sound, Florida. This, in turn, meant deciding whether to stay in the “Ditch” for the duration or go offshore part of the way. Although we had both been ...read more

MK1_30542

SailGP: There’s a New Sailing Series in Town

San Francisco was the venue of the biggest come-from-behind victory in the history of the America’s Cup when Oracle Team USA beat Emirates Team New Zealand in 2013, so it seems only fitting that the first American round of Larry Ellison’s new SailGP pro sailing series will be ...read more