Boom vang solution

The mainsail on Summer Dance is showing and acting its age. I don’t know how old it is, but it’s getting on in years and is getting a little baggy. We had a few unexpected roundups last summer, so I planned to add a boom vang while I was refitting her this winter.

Rather than buy a pre-assembled kit, I purchased the parts a la carte consisting of:

  • Two used fiddle blocks, one with a becket and cam cleat
  • Jaw snap shackles to attach to the ends of both fiddle blocks to make the rig quick to attach and detach
  • Garhauer BT-2 boom tang screwed to the boom
  • Garhauer BB-2 boom bail held by the mast step bolt
  • 30′ x 5/16″ New England Ropes Sta Set, eye spliced to the becket and whiplocked on both ends. This line is solid blue in keeping with the rigging color scheme that I will describe in a future post.
Upper fiddle block attached to the boom tang

Upper fiddle block attached to the boom tang

The vang should be mounted at a 45 degree angle between the mast and boom. The C22 boom rests about 39″ up the mast with the main sail at full hoist, so attach the boom tang 39″ from the mast. The Garhauer boom tang comes with straight legs. You’ll need to bend them carefully to fit the combination of the boom curvature and the tang angle. When the fit is right, drill 5/32″ pilot holes and use #10 x 3/4″ pan head stainless steel machine screws.

In its simplest form, the fiddle block with the cam cleat and the standing end of the line hangs over the companionway hatch and doesn’t need to be led farther aft. You can just reach up and trim it when close hauled. But I purchased the line 16′ longer than necessary on purpose, which makes it long enough to lead aft by running the standing end from the boom back down through a turning block at the mast base, over the cabin roof, through a deck organizer, then aft to a cleat over the bulkhead. The advantage of this setup is that it’s easier to work with on a reach when the boom has swung forward, especially if the bimini frame is in the way of easily reaching the line.

Lower fiddle block attached to the mast bail

Lower fiddle block attached to the mast bail

The vang works great in combination with the mainsail outhaul and the boom downhaul to flatten the sail in medium to heavy winds.

The bottom line

Suggested price: $173.70
$tingy Sailor cost: $106.07
Savings: $67.63

What do you like most about your boom vang rigging?

2 thoughts on “Boom vang solution

  1. You may find it more convienent to reverse the way you have your vang mounted in the pictures. By placing the cam at the mast base you can adjust vang tension at any boom position. Also, this would eliminate the need for a turning block if you do decide to run the line aft.

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