boom vangs

Any suggestions for a boom vang? I have been using a sling w/ b&t to the rail but would like something more efficient and possibly rigid.


HI Tom I have a boom bail through bolted on my boom just forward of the dodger so it will not hit the dodger while tacking. I also attached a shackle to the middle of the lower aft shroud turnbuckle. I also have a cleat with a permanent short line and a ring attached to the bottom, forward end of the boom, near the gooseneck This is where I keep my boomvang attached. So let me explain how it works as long as you understand the items I have installed. The end of my boomvang, where it attaches to the bail has a heavy rubber snubber to take any shock if the boom’s end were to dip into the water. So, I have the boom cam cleats etc attached to this snubber which is attached to the bail. The other end of the vang has a snap shackle that is attached to the ring under the boom forward. So the boomvang is permanently stored under the boom. When I want to use the vang, I loosen the line at the cam cleat at the snubber and boom bail. I unhook the snap shackle at the forward end of the boom where it is attached to the ring on a short strope of line. I pass the lower end of the boomvang over the lifelines and attach it to the shackle on the turnbuckle. I then adjust as necessar and run the excess line back to the cockpit so I can realease it in a hurry if necessary. This is explained on page 409 in my book.

I personally have had a problem attaching the boomvang to the midship cleat. The reason is it lifts the cleat which is under compression. In time I finally broke the seal or bond and it began leaking inside the boat. I know others have not had a problem using this cleat. If you want any further explainations on this contact me directly at

Roger Olson

I have always used a block and tackle with cam-cleat on the lower block pair. Maybe not as convenient as a Garhauer solid type vang but very simple all the same.

About the same set up as Roger discribed except I use a strop under a section of the bulwark to attach the lower end of the tackle too.

I’ve never had a problem with a leak using this system and I really don’t like the idea of attaching a side load to the center of a turnbuckle as Roger has.

Here is a Garhauer site:

On Itchen we use exactly the same sort of setup described by Stan, a Harken tackle with cam cleat at the bottom. Snap shackles at each end give some flexibility in moving the attachment points around. I rigged a strop under the bulwarks port and starboard aft of the shrouds, for convenience when jibing when rigged as a preventer. When used as a simple vang it just attaches to a shackle at the foot of the mast. When rigged as a preventer, in really heavy weather offwind I would be worried about bending the boom if it got caught by a wave when rolling, but so far have not had to deal with such extreme conditions. I think the conventional wisdom is to move the boom attachment farther aft under such conditions. However on a run or broad reach it can’t go too far aft before the lead angle loses mechanical advantage and becomes ineffective.

Thanks all for the great information! It was exactly what I was looking for. I had noticed on recent sail from Victoria that I was rolling more than usual with Terrier on a run. The movement would frequently spill the wind as the boom would lift and now I think I can more effectively remedy the situation. Cheers,