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Mainsail Control

Steve, What do you think of the idea of putting the main boom vang on a circular track so the boom angle and boom height (sail twist) can be controlled. I guess this is the sort of system you would have had in your cats many years ago. I guess it would alssuito roachy mainsails. Do you think it could be an effective and efficient means of mainsail control for a large yacht with a shorthanded crew?
We used the same approach on Beowulf for both main and mizzen. If you have space for the track, it reduces compression on the boom and mast and offers much better trim control.

Posted by Steve Dashew  (September 30, 2009)




2 Responses to “Mainsail Control”

  1. Ryan Says:
    Steve I had a couple more thoughts: This seems to be a common setup on boats where the boom is too low for conventional vang geometry to work. From a sailing/boat owner standpoint, I can’t really think of a reason a circular track is better than a conventional vang unless the alternative is no vang at all, and even then, if you had a long mainsheet track you can get away with temporary vang to the rail when conditions warrant. Cars are a maintenance item, especially on tight radius tracks. If it’s a big boat, they’re potentially really expensive too. The track is obtrusive and a tripping hazard unless the deck is totally flat (not likely). Also, you’re putting a potentially huge lifting load on the deck in a place that the designer may not have have planned for.

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    Steve Dashew Reply:

    Ryan: A complex subject with many tradeoffs. If the boat has suitable structure and layout for a full width traveler, it is a big advantage in terms of control and reduced load on vang and gooseneck fittings. The boom can be lighter, and the cost overall is comparable to a hydraulic vang.The other benefit is improved sail control.

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