R 22

Rhodes 22

 

Boom Vang

Can someone tell me the added advantages to having a boom vang? If we are only cruising, maybe we do not need one. If we were racing, the pop-top would surely be down; make a regular boom vang system that attaches to the bottom of the mast. Have a shackle that you can release from the boom and the bottom of the mast when you want to cruise with the pop-top up.

Steve


Thanks, I can visualize the setup. I would probably use a mast stop and the car or a combination if I could find one. I can see how the lower block could beat the crap out of the hatch cover. May buy or build a purchase just to see what improvement I can get.

Larry
s/v "Sailsman's Bounty"
Cincinnati


My 1976 Rhodes 22 was delivered with a 4:1 Ronstan boom vang.

The lower end snap-shackles onto a ring on the mast car that the forward end of the pop-top is attached to. The upper end snap shackles onto a HD eye strap on the underside of the boom. When the pop-top is down, there is a hitch pin that goes thru a pair of holes in the mast slot just above the mast car. This hitch pin is what holds the mast car down against the tension on the boom vang.

Similarly, when the pop-top is up, there is another pair of holes in the mast slot for the hitch pin to support the mast car and pop-top in its raised position. I must remove the boom vang in order to raise my pop-top, which only takes a few seconds with the snap shackles. It all works so smoothly, I assumed it was factory stock. It was only after I read the article in Practical Sailor magazine last summer that I learned most Rhodes 22ís donít come with a boom vang.

The only problem Iíve ever had with this boom vang is under conditions where the boom is not vanged down tight. Under those conditions, the lower stainless steel fiddle block tends to flop around and gouge little chunks of fiberglass out of the front corner of the pop-top and companionway hatch cover. I fixed this problem by making little stainless steel sheet metal "bash plates" and gluing them onto the pop top and hatch cover with 3M 5200 urethane adhesive. Iíve been sailing with this setup for nearly 10 seasons now.

Roger Pihlaja
S/V Dynamic Equilibrium


I've been thinking about how to add a vang and decided maybe a short loop of cable secured with a pin to keep it in either the "up" or "down" positions might work. The lower end of the vang would attach via snap shackle directly to the cable or to a ss ring on the cable. I would have the cable swaged into a loop.

Another issue is rebuilding the pop-top slider strong enough to take the vang load. Even if the mast slot is strong enough (and I don't think it is), the plastic in the slider doesn't look like it could take the loads.

The cable loop would put the stress toward the front of the mast rather than on the track slot.

Gary Sanford


The wire vang bail is a good thought, but the trick to a vang is that the mast pivot point is in alignment with the mast gooseneck, otherwise it will change the boom plane. The blocks (spring loaded u-joints) placed on the forward section and along the side, very close to the mast slot. A wire clamp might be needed at the mast slot. The force on the side blocks would be great. Through-bolting them should help, putting some type of stopper (swage/clamp) on the wire either side of the side blocks should keep the wire in place, leaving the opening on the blocks facing up should permit the wire to be free to open the pop-top.

MJM


I've thought of one way to get the boom vang set up with pop-top up. Why not a bail on the pop-top itself? You would need safety cables inside the cabin to help support any upward pressure the vang would produce. The trouble with this might be the near vertical angle this arrangement might have. BTW, I'm considering safety cables for the pop-top anyway. I'm thinking of adding latches too.

I had a Chrysler 22 that had safety cables on the pop-top, along with latches inside to keep things under control in rough seas. Theory was that large waves could rip the pop-top assíy right off the boat, if not secured with cables and latches. Don't know if there were incidents of boats loosing pop-tops or not but better safe than sorry.

Alex Bell


I have not yet added a boom vang to my boat due to questions about a good way to attach the vang at the base of the mast, so as not to interfere with the pop-top attachment to the mast. I'd appreciate ideas in regards to this.

Pamela Vana


I attached my vang to a 6" SS backing plate, the other end of which is attached to the mast bolt. The whole thing tilts upward on the side of the mast and out of the way of the pop-top. I also ran the vang control line back to a cam cleat on the cabin roof aft so I can control it easily single-handed. To do this I had to remove the cam cleat that came on the vang block. No big deal.

Peter Douglas


A voice of reason. What you are saying will most likely be added. But I want it all. You missed my idea of moveable weight in boom i.e. water or lead to change down pressure or the idea of an inverted vang, along the line of a gas shock pushing down from above.

MJM
29 May 1998


The inverted system sounds good. Has anyone tried releasing the traveler to leeward and then sheet down the main when running with the wind?

Steve
05 Jun 1998


I read and remembered your e-mail from before and I do thank you for it. The Rhodes would not be what it is without "Thinking outside the box".

As you can tell, both the weight idea and inverted did not last long, the ideas do have their problems. I am also not happy putting it on the pop-top slider. That part and the sail track were not designed for the amount and the force vector in play, and my 30-watt solar panel would prefer not to get banged up.

Could the slider be changed? Sure. Could it spread the load on the sail track? sure. Can it be kept out of the way? Sure. Would it also be a "more conventional" system? Sure.

And all kidding aside I do thank you.

MJM
02 Jun 1998

P.S. I also would like it thru-bolted to the mast, less chance of pulling out in heavy weather, but this might lose out to convenience. To get the pop-top up, the vang bail would have to be removed (and put somewhere)


I hear what you are saying when you want to thru bolt the lower attachment point of your boom vang thru the mast. But, consider that the boom vang setup on my boat, with the boom vang attached to a ring on the pop-top slider, has been absolutely bullet proof for at least 10 sailing seasons and I sail my boat pretty hard on the Great Lakes. The forces involved are directed such that they are really trying to pull the pop-top mast car out of the mast slot as opposed to snapping the hitch pin that holds the pop-top down. It's a simple system that works very well.

Roger Pihlaja
S/V Dynamic Equilibrium


There are two issues with the vang and preventer.

The preventer first:
I was always taught/told to stay away from them. It is an easy way to broach and/or break a boom. The sail needs to move, and it will or the boat will or the boom will (for the last time). What about a boom brake? Iíve seen them, like a "governor" that controls how fast the boom can cross the boat, one line attached on each side of the boat with a limited-slip block on the boom. The block can be attached on or near the vang. I like it.

The vang has a few issues: high main/pop-top up, high main/pop-top down, high main/pop-top back half up, low main/poptop down. After read this I think I want a string to check locations on the boat. But the basic thought is a 3:1 system rigged like the main sheet, through-bolted with a sleeve on the boom and the mast step. Boom location would be aft of the poptop. I do not think the pop-top hardware and sail track can handle the forces over the long term. This only works for a high main/pop-top down scenario - Iím working on the rest.

MJM
29 May 1998


I've been sailing with a 4:1 Ronstan boom vang on my Rhodes 22 since 1987. I've reprinted my description of it from an earlier letter to this group. No, I can't use it with the pop-top up. However, my experience is that the pop-top adds so much windage that you wouldn't (or shouldn't) sail with it up under any conditions where you would need to vang down the boom.

The boom vang is used for flattening the main sail shape by holding down the boom. The traveler can be (should be) used for this function when sailing close hauled or up to a close reach. But, when the end of the boom pivots out beyond the end of the traveler bar, the traveler becomes ineffective at holding down the boom. This is when you need the boom vang (i.e. for anything further off the wind than a close reach).

My 1976 Rhodes 22 was delivered with a 4:1 Ronstan boom vang. The lower end snap-shackles onto a ring on the mast car that the forward end of the pop-top is attached to. The upper end snap shackles onto a HD eye strap on the underside of the boom. When the pop-top is down, there is a hitch pin that goes thru a pair of holes in the mast slot just above the mast car. This hitch pin is what holds the mast car down against the tension on the boom vang.

Similarly, when the pop-top is up, there is another pair of holes in the mast slot for the hitch pin to support the mast car and pop-top in its raised position. I must remove the boom vang in order to raise my pop-top, which only takes a few seconds with the snap shackles. It all works so smoothly, I assumed it was factory stock. It was only after I read the article in Practical Sailor magazine last summer that I learned most Rhodes 22's don't come with a boom vang.

The only problem I've ever had with this boom vang is under conditions where the boom is not vanged down tight. Under those conditions, the lower stainless steel fiddle block tends to flop around and gouge little chunks of fiberglass out of the front corner of the pop-top and companionway hatch cover. I fixed this problem by making little stainless steel sheet metal "bash plates" and gluing them onto the pop-top and hatch cover with 3M 5200 urethane adhesive. I've been sailing with this setup for nearly 10 seasons now.

Roger Pihlaja
S/V Dynamic Equilibrium

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