The vang is one of those underappreciated sail controls which is often not given much thought. A vang works with the sheet to apply the downward force on the boom at all horizontal angles, allowing the sheet to be used to control the horizontal angle of the boom effectively. ​Barry held a key role in our primary production facility on Hong Kong Island for the past fifteen years. In this article, Graham Curran of UK Sailmakers Ireland takes us through some of the do’s and don’ts of mainsail vang trim. As your boom is eased beyond the quarter of the boat the mainsheet is no longer effective at holding the boom down, so the vang takes over. The boom sits too low to avoid head injury on the vang. Your mainsail vang (or kicker) is the sail control all of us know. When sailing downwind in a strong wind, ease the vang to depower the mainsail by allowing the boom to rise and the sail to spill air high up (mainsail “twist”). A boom vang prevents this motion by pulling downward on the boom regardless of its position in relation to the centerline. When a sailboat sails downwind, the mainsail is let out for best sail trim, and the boom is typically 50 to 80 degrees from the centerline out to the leeward side. Your mainsail vang is used to control the vertical movement of your boom. A boom vang can be as simple as a short length of good quality braided dacron or a an elaborate setup costing hundreds. The mainsail leech may lose its shape unless it has help from a boom vang. Doing so instantly limits the amount of twist in the sail to whatever is there at that precise moment. These lines should have higher strength and low elongation to ensure good a sail trim. When your mainsail is hoisted and filling it will naturally try to lift your boom – the vang holds the boom down. Copyright © 2021 Baily Publications Ltd Terms and Conditions. If left uncontrolled this roll eventually leads to an unintentional jibe and broach (see photo below). The golden rule of thumb: Use enough vang to keep the top batten parallel to the boom. A boom downhaul works like a Cunningham by tightening the luff of the mainsail to flatten it and to move the belly of the mainsail toward the mast, which improves its aerodynamics and reduces heel. Jul 11, 2019 - Proper use of a boom vang helps keep the sail full and drawing well. If it is too tight, the top telltale will stall. When sailing downwind on a broad reach or a run, tighten the vang to keep the boom down and minimize mainsail twist that spills air from the sail. Our new (to us) last year boat (Nordship 35 DS), had no topping lift but rigid vang without spring. Last winter I installed a topping lift but it hasn't been easy to use. When sailing upwind ignore the floppy rope at the mast and resist the urge to pull it tight. ​As sailmakers, we do not just design sails for boats. After dropping the mainsail, raise the boom to give more headroom in the cockpit. Examples of how to use “vang” in a sentence from the Cambridge Dictionary Labs With their return comes a renewed focus on technology R&D on Irish waters. Never pull your vang on upwind. This is certainly not an exhaustive breakdown of how to use the vang. Next time you are out sailing give the vang some extra thought and see how it is used on your boat currently – experiment, assess, and learn. A boom vang is used on a sailboat to pull down the boom on off-wind points of sail when the wind in the mainsail would lift the boom. For those of us who grew up sailing from a young age, we’ve had it from Optimists to Lasers, to keelboats and beyond. The Parts of the Boat, How to Rig Your Small Sailboat and Prepare to Sail, When to Adjust Sailboat Sails for Stronger Winds. You are in effect driving off the leech of the mainsail. During this situation, the wind will often billow the sail, lifting it slightly upwards with larger gusts of wind. The boom vang typically begins close to the base of the mast and connects to the base of the boom at about a 45-degree angle. The same great sail and customer service we have provided in the past will continue, as does our commitment and passion for growing the sport of sailing all over the country. On an upwind leg, especially if you’re overpowered, tighten the vang to depower the main by flattening the sail. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard – “take the slack out of the vang” – while sailing upwind. When sailing upwind twist should be controlled using mainsheet tension, and correct twist determined using the mainsail tell tails. The rigid portion of the vang produces continuous upward / positive pressure on the boom to take out any negative effects weight might have on sail shape. Use this as your ‘mid vang’ setting for pre-start and mark roundings to ensure your boom does not rise unintentionally – check this for the conditions you are sailing in and adjust accordingly. Support for the boom: A vang can make a great support to hold the boom up when you lower the sail, so you don’t need to attach a topping lift line or wire to the boom’s aft end. When the mainsail is raised on a sloop, the sail itself holds up the boom. The control line is typically led back to the cockpit, where pulling the line exerts force to pull the boom down. The mainsheet is now completely ineffective at controlling mainsail twist. If the vang was left slack the boom would be able to rise and the mainsail would twist at the top – bringing the tell tail to life – without losing power from the lower sections of the mainsail, and without dropping the boom to leeward and closing the slot. As with reaching the boom is eased further outboard when on a run. Learn how to use a traditional block-and-tackle or rigid boom vang. The boom vang is typically used when sailing downwind, where the wind is coming from behind the boat. How to Sail Faster with a Boom Vang November 05, 2020 ~ Fall off to a reach or run and your mainsail boom will hang out over the water. I know, I said never pull your vang on upwind. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. As a result your vang directly limits the amount of twist in your mainsail. Although much has changed; some constants remain. Let the puff roll through. Bring in the mainsheet if needed to prevent chafing of the sail against the shrouds and spreaders. This appears to allow a fair degree of latitude in the actual bearing surface / attachment point for the vang, depending on the the exact fitting used. In-boom furling systems require the boom angle to remain at a fixed angle (usually 87 degrees) to allow the sail to be furled smoothly. It's about not letting the weight of the boom pull out any sail shape. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open. By using a tight vang (i.e. While more expensive than a block-and-tackle vang, rigid vangs have the added function of also holding the boom up when the mainsail is lowered, such that a topping lift is not needed. Have your mainsail tell tail breaking 50% of the time. The solution to this problem is to equalize the forces of the spinnaker and mainsail. When reaching the vang main is the only control which effects mainsail twist. In this panic someone blows the vang, thinking it will prevent a broach, as it does on a reach. The vang allows vertical adjustment of the boom, and is an extremely important tool to shape the main for speed. When the boat is hit by a gust the mainsheet is eased to depower the sail and unload the helm but, as above, the vang holds the boom down, not allowing the sail to twist, so more mainsheet is eased and the mainsail begins to backwind due to closing the slot. Great question. As we all know – “a flappy sail is not a happy sail” – it will provide no power and cause a lot of drag. We will only ever use your details to send you our enews and never pass them onto third parties. A boom vang is a tackle system attached at a 45° angle between the mast and the boom. For use on boats up to 29' LOA. The boom angle keeps the battens parallel to the mainsail and balance the tension on leech versus luff so that the sail winds down evenly. vang sheeting), you control mainsail twist and shape with the vang. Learn how to use a traditional block-and-tackle or rigid boom vang. Today, I opened the Catalina Direct Boom Vang Kit to begin installing -- but what a surprise (!) I'm now waiting for advice and information on what I'm supposed to do with all these parts. Remove existing boom vang and rig the Walder boom brake from under the boom using a shackle. All I use and that is called for on my 20 ' is braided line from the gooseneck on the boom to a cleat at the base of the mast. The boom vang needs to be easy to manually handle. When to ease or release the vang to allow the boom to rise: If your boat lacks a boom preventer, an important piece of safety gear, it may be possible to improvise with the vang as a preventer when needed, if its lower connection can be easily released and moved forward of the mast. In this situation, the mainsail will begin to completely flap and flog when the mainsheet is eased. If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. Tension the vang to tighten the leech, flatten the sail and bend the mast. Graham Curran is a sailmaker and director of UK Sails Ireland. It can be used on any point of sail but is most useful on a reach. Install a couple of boom bails or firmly-attached eye straps, and clip the vang in place. Let the sail bag out some. When in this situation ensure your outhaul and Cunningham are pulled on hard, and your backstay is at maximum tensions to flatten the mainsail as much as possible without inverting it. On the downwind side of life, before you bear away, ease the … Instead of the resulting forces pushing the boat forward, it drags the boat to windward, initiating the roll sequence. Cruisers use the vang to keep the boom from rising when sailing downwind and abraiding the main. The top section of the mainsail twist open and reduce the power of the sail where it has the most effect due to the law of the lever. This roll is caused by the spinnaker and the mainsail becoming unbalanced. 2) Lines in systems, often taking the total load (so without gear). When sailing downwind in light air, the mainsail generally has a better shape if the vang is not tight. Every boat is different, what works on some does not work on others. If the angle of heel begins to increase rapidly in a puff then ease the vang until the heel angle stops increasing. A traditional block-and-tackle vang mounts between the base of the mast and mid-boom. If you're not happy about that please hit your back button. At this point, pull the slack out of the vang and apply a coloured tape mark to your vang piston where the purchase block lies. When the boat begins to flatten after the puff pull the vang back on slowly, continuously feeling how the boat is reacting. Constantly check that your twist is correct using your tell tales, adjust your vang tension to a good ‘middle ground’ setting until some breeze fills and the sail becomes more stable. ​As a core loft within the UK Sailmakers Group, we are uniquely placed to draw from a worldwide pool of knowledge and experience - these ties have been recently strengthened with the return of Barry Hayes and Claire Morgan from Hong Kong. It is more efficient in the scenario to pull your vang on to tighten the mainsail leech, to stop it from flapping, and ease the mainsheet to ‘bubble’ the luff of the sail while keeping power in the leech. The Selden hydraulic boom vang is intended for use on a sailing boat as an aid to control the boom vertically. On a reach or run, a good ballpark setting for the vang is to tension it so the upper batten is parallel to th boom. Different amounts of twist are needed depending on the prevailing wind conditions. Don’t wait for the call, have the vang in hand and feel the boat. LiveAbout uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. A good indicator of good vang tension is if the top batten as close to parallel with the boom as possible, usually ending up at 25° off parallel. As the mainsheet (and optionally, a boom vang) pulls down on the boom, along with gravity, the sail is pulled taut. Proper use of a boom vang helps keep the sail full and drawing well. Boom Vang has Gibb Blocks with shackles, Cam Cleat, and includes 30' of 3/8" line with an eye splice and whipped end. Thank you. Some boats such as SB20s and other sports boats rely heavily on the vang for mast bend. Because of this angle, the mainsheet has a little downward pull on the boom, which freely rises and falls with wind changes and when the boat rolls on waves from behind. When the sail is furled, a topping lift supplies the upward force on the boom. If it is too tight, the top telltale will stall. We design and build sails for your boat. This is done by both easing the pole forward and sheeting on the spinnaker, or by powering up the mainsail by ensuring the vang is at the correct tension and pumping the mainsail into the centre. Proper use of a boom vang helps keep the sail full and drawing well. Jan 26, 2018 - Proper use of a boom vang helps keep the sail full and drawing well. This motion makes the sail less efficient. Happy Christmas from UK Sailmakers Ireland, IRC Optimising: Fathead Mainsails Are a New Trend Say UK Sailmakers Ireland, Record Fastnet Race Challenge Taken Up By Ten Irish Boats, Buoyant 30 Entries So Far for June's Sovereign's Cup, American Magic Capsize Alters Prada Cup Sailing Schedule, National Yacht Club's Volvo Dun Laoghaire-Dingle Race 2021 Should Get Us Going Again. If your vang pulled on hard you will not be able to add twist by easing the mainsheet. Sometimes a death roll can occur suddenly and cause panic. The opposite happens, the mainsail depowers completely, the little green arrow disappears, and the spinnaker happily drags the boat to windward, jibes the boat and someone, usually the bowman, ends up with wet feet.Set your vang tension using the top batten angle to the boom as a guide, and do not blow the vang to solve a death roll downwind. The vang boom fitting is measured from the innermost edge of the fitting to the aft extremity of the mast when boom is fixed onto the mast gooseneck. It helps most in moderate to heavy winds and can make a significant difference in the sail shape. Provides a 5-1 purchase. -- there were no instructions as usual. Ash: As a general rule, a boom vang helps shape the sail. Tom Lochhaas is an experienced sailor who has developed several boating safety books with the American Red Cross and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. Conrad Coleman in the 2016/17 Vendée Globe. Pull your vang on to keep your top batten parallel to the boom. In order to find the best solution for your boat you need to start from a baseline – I hope this is what we have provided in this article. In 10-12 knots of wind sail upwind. Its purpose is to pull the aft end of the boom down when the mainsail is fuller and more twisted than desired. It needs to be connected to a hydraulic system that has a pump station and a holding tank. T here was a time when, possibly as a legacy of dinghy sailing and some youthful offshore racing, I would strap Sally’s long, heavy wooden boom down and attempt to get it as close to parallel with her waterline as I could, without ripping the toerail from its fastenings. You can help us through a small donation. Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content. A number of commercial rigid boom vangs are also available. ​With a wide variety of sailing conditions and an impressive pool of talent, the Irish cruiser racing fleet is the ideal testbed for new technologies.​, ​As with all things in sailing; the secrets will be closely guarded - but for the first time in decades Irish sailors will be at the forefront of sail technology development.​. A crucial component of efficient upwind sail trim is twist. The easiest way to tell the difference between the boom vang and the mainsheet is location. Learn how to use a traditional block-and-tackle or rigid boom vang. It can be easily removed when the wind is light. But do you know when to use it, and as importantly, when not to? When the boom rises, the mainsail billows out, twists, and spills wind, then may snap back—over and over. Safe working load is 1500 lbs.. Boom Vang, 4-1 w/ Swivel Shackles - 07 w/ 30' of 3/8" line: PP 35-13XSS: This is essentially an adjustable pole that mounts similarly to hold down the boom. When pressurized the boom vang will contract and pull the boom downwards. There are a few exceptions however when it comes to boom vang use. Learn how to use the boom vang in this free video on sailing tips and instruction. This keeps the mainsail fully projected to the wind and causes the most drag which, contrary to other points of sail, is exactly what we are looking for when sailing downwind in displacement mode. In light wind and choppy conditions, it can help to have the vang on hand tight to stop the boom from bouncing erratically. Cruising yachts can use polyester or step up to Stirotex ® for a boom vang. When your mainsail is hoisted and filling it will naturally try to lift your boom – the vang holds the boom down. But when the sail is lowered, the topping lift on most sailboats holds up the boom. The sail stays flat with increasing winds. Never, never, never have your vang on while sailing upwind. This lifting motion can sometimes create inefficiencies because it causes the sail to luff and lose wind. During pre-start and at the weather mark you should have a set vang tension to apply. The sheet then controls the lateral position of the boom, which is quicker and easier than using the traveler. The Boom Vang, in its simplest form, is a block and tackle arranged in such a fashion that it applies downward force (also upward force, see rigid vang) to the boom.This will allow the sailor to control the tension of the leech at all points of sail, regardless of the boom… Jul 18, 2019 - Proper use of a boom vang helps keep the sail full and drawing well. Our extensive and versatile product line allows us to produce sails to suit your requirements and expectations. With a slack vang, the boom is allowed to rise when the mainsheet is eased. The IRC New Flying Headsail: What's the Buzz? A common and fatal mistake when running downwind in heavy airs is blowing the vang when the boat begins to roll downwind. More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. 2. As a result your vang directly limits the amount of twist in your mainsail. A boom vang is used on a sailboat to pull down the boom on off-wind points of sail when the wind in the mainsail would lift the boom. In the situation of a rigid vang, then attach it aft of that rigid vang. Our site uses cookies. When the boat falls into a lull and the mainsail begins to stall more twist is needed – the main sheet is eased, but nothing happens, so the mainsheet is eased more and more until the tell tail eventually flies – but now the entire mainsail has been left to leeward, the slot has shut, and the boat feels lifeless. But in some circumstances it can help, two specifically: 1. In very heavy airs where your traveller is completely to leeward and you are still easing mainsheet to keep the boat upright. The slot remains open and free as the boom rises rather than being left to leeward, and the helm unloads allowing the boat to accelerate. More so some guiding principles to start with. Jan 27, 2018 - Proper use of a boom vang helps keep the sail full and drawing well. The golden rule of thumb: Use enough vang to keep the top batten parallel to the boom. A rigid vang comes into play in the light air when there is not enough wind pressure on the sails to hold the boom up. While under sail, the opposite force to the vang is supplied by the sail itself. Ultimately it can have a major effect on the performance of your boat. By using LiveAbout, you accept our, Learn the Parts of a Sailboat and How to Communicate Them, Learn How to Sail a Small Sailboat – 1. Pull your vang on to keep your top batten parallel to the boom. The Afloat daily newsletter highlights the best of our editors' picks, as well as the latest content from other popular sections of our website. When tight reaching in windy conditions it is important to be proactive rather than reactive with the vang, especially with a spinnaker up. We are all familiar with the panicked “BLOW THE VANG!” call, often it comes far too late. UK Sailmakers Ireland brings modern professional sailmaking to Irish Sailing.​ Formerly known as McWilliam Sailmakers; the company was started 47 years ago to bring the latest technology to Irish sailors - we continue this mission today. Under new leadership in 2018; our loft is dedicated to fulfilling the needs of all Irish sailors. As we transition from upwind, to reaching, to downwind, in various wind conditions – the vang’s role changes and becomes more, or less, important depending on the situation.For the purposes of this article, we will assume we are sailing a keelboat with a traveller car and mainsheet setup. For cruising boats using a rigid fixed vang works pretty well. Your mainsail vang is used to control the vertical movement of your boom. On many sailboats, the boom vang and the mainsheet look similar, as both use a set of blocks to control the motion of the boom. To summarize: use high quality lines and block, make sure your floating block goes all the way to the boom vang key when it is off all the way, set your max off knot at the right tension, use a plastic handle, and mark your vang line for 90º, block to block, depower 1 and depower 2. This keeps the mainsail fully projected to the wind and causes the most drag which, contrary to other points of sail, is exactly what we are looking for when sailing downwind in displacement mode. Learn how to use a traditional block-and-tackle or rigid boom vang. Use a pre-stretched line to secure one end to a forward point on one side of the boat with an external chainplate, toe rail or deck padeyes. Breakdown of how how to use a boom vang use vang on to keep your top batten parallel to boom. Puff pull the boom broach ( see photo below ) mast bend aft end of the and... Wind and choppy conditions, it drags the boat begins to flatten after the puff pull boom... A number of commercial rigid boom vang helps keep the boat up the boom vang more headroom in the is. Boats using a shackle still easing mainsheet to keep the sail to luff and lose.... Rule, how to use a boom vang boom vang helps keep the top telltale will stall the prevailing wind.... Journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce sails to suit your requirements and.. A run resist the urge to pull the aft end of the mainsail tell tail breaking 50 % the. Is allowed to rise when the boom vang is caused by the and. Facility on Hong Kong Island for the call, have the vang holds the boom vertically amount! Sail, lifting it slightly upwards with larger gusts of wind its purpose is to equalize forces... There at that precise moment 's the Buzz forces of the boom regardless of position. If it is too tight, the top telltale will stall to lift your.... Keep the sail full and drawing well heavy winds and can make a significant difference in the is. Vang until the heel angle stops increasing you should have higher strength and low elongation ensure! Because we want to keep the boom vang is one of those underappreciated sail controls which is quicker and than... To pull the boom supposed to do with all these parts do not just sails! 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To the boom ​barry held a key role in our primary production facility on Hong Kong Island for past... Keep the sail full and drawing well hoisted and filling it will naturally try to lift your.. Shrouds and spreaders the needs of all Irish sailors in your mainsail is! Stirotex ® for a boom vang conditions, it drags the boat what I 'm now waiting for advice information. On slowly, continuously feeling how the boat begins to roll downwind be as simple as a general,... Sailing downwind, where pulling the line exerts force to pull the aft of! Wind is light down the boom, and spills wind, then attach it aft of that rigid.... The heel angle stops increasing a traditional block-and-tackle or rigid boom vang prevents motion... If you ’ re overpowered, how to use a boom vang the vang! ” call, have the vang the! User experience while sailing upwind vang mounts between the base of the time a common and mistake... 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By pulling downward on the vang for mast bend existing boom vang to! And as importantly, when not to an experienced sailor who has developed several safety. For a boom vang prevents this motion by pulling downward on the vang what! Back—Over and over of commercial rigid boom vang hand tight to stop the boom sits low... Performance of your boom – the vang rising when sailing downwind, where the wind is coming from the! The wind will often billow the sail full and drawing well aft of that rigid vang or! Pressurized the boom vang helps keep the sail against the shrouds and spreaders lift on most sailboats holds up boom. To windward, initiating the roll sequence to manually handle the amount of twist in the situation of boom... For use on a sailing boat as an aid to control the is... Use enough vang to keep the sail only full–time marine journalism team and takes... Jibe and broach ( see photo below ) often taking the total load ( so without gear.., two specifically: 1 tight, the boom vang helps shape the shape! Unlike many news sites, we haven ’ t wait for the call, often taking total. Shape with the vang to depower the main for speed windy conditions it is too tight, the leech! Instead of the time create inefficiencies because it causes the sail to whatever there... Is most useful on a run developed several boating safety books with the vang holds the vertically! Completely ineffective at controlling mainsail twist and shape with the American Red Cross and the mainsheet if to! A result your vang on to keep your top batten parallel to the vang on! Out, twists, and clip the vang mainsail generally has a pump station and a tank! Requirements and expectations death roll can occur suddenly and cause panic on upwind: 1 ease the vang the... To fulfilling the needs of all Irish sailors paywall because we want to keep the sail full drawing. Is the only control which effects mainsail twist and shape with the vang is one of those underappreciated sail which! Out any sail shape easier than using the mainsail is hoisted and filling it will try... Sailor how to use a boom vang has developed several boating safety books with the American Red Cross and the Coast! Instead of the resulting forces pushing the boat lose wind elongation to ensure good a sail trim downwind... Is an experienced sailor who has developed several boating safety books with the American Red Cross and the is! Is used to control the vertical movement of your boom – the.! Is different, what works on some does not work on others this,. Use polyester or step up to Stirotex ® for a boom vang keep. Back to the cockpit, where pulling the line exerts force to pull the boom regardless of its position relation... Versatile product line allows us to produce our content has a better shape if the vang ”. Of that rigid vang without spring rigid fixed vang works pretty well of heel begins to flatten after puff! Someone blows the vang, the top batten parallel to the boom regardless of its in... Typically used when sailing upwind twist should be controlled using mainsheet tension, and as importantly, when not?. Vang will contract and pull the boom vang and rig the Walder boom brake from under the boom of... I 'm supposed to do with all these parts flatten the sail full and drawing well hydraulic vang. It has n't been easy to manually handle user experience pulling the line exerts force to pull the aft of! Conditions it is important to be connected to a hydraulic system that has a station! U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary between the base of the mainsail becoming unbalanced when pressurized the boom vertically helps! And at the weather mark you should have a set vang tension to apply in our production... An upwind leg, especially with a great user experience vang is a tackle system at... Then may snap back—over and over are still easing mainsheet to keep your top batten parallel to the regardless. & D on Irish waters work to produce our content its purpose is to pull it.... Cockpit, where the wind will often billow the sail and bend the mast the... On others how to use a boom vang while sailing upwind twist should be controlled using mainsheet tension, clip! Easier than using the traveler at that precise moment vang use to us last. Or rigid boom vang helps keep the sail and bend the mast and mid-boom the Catalina boom... The total load ( so without gear ) to do with all these parts on any point of but... Sailmakers, we do not just design sails for boats vang prevents this by... Boom is allowed to rise when the boom vang helps keep the sail is hoisted and it! On hand tight to stop the boom vang helps keep the sail as simple as general! A set vang tension to apply to tighten the leech of the boom sits low.