Boom vang on a Maramu


Lance Leonard
 

It looks like the previous owner of Minerva may have removed the boom vang and replaced it with a short piece of 3/4” triple braid. A preventer maybe? It seems like the purchase for the mainsheet is pretty far aft. I have decent sail shape until I get to about a broad reach. As I start to run the boom rises and the sail shape goes to hell.I was wondering if the boat was originally delivered with a boom vang (1983, before in-mast furling). Normally I would just take her out sailing, play with the mainsheet attachment points on the boom or kludge together a temporary boom vang. Unfortunately the boat is on the hard with the rig off for the winter.


 

A lot of us call it a Boom Vang but is more accurately described as a downwind kicker.
20mm 3-strand nylon L = 145cm eye center to eye center
image.png


CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
Address: 720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
View My Training Calendar

On Wed, Nov 10, 2021 at 12:36 PM Lance Leonard <Elscubano@...> wrote:
It looks like the previous owner of Minerva may have removed the boom vang and replaced it with a short piece of 3/4” triple braid. A preventer maybe? It seems like the purchase for the mainsheet is pretty far aft. I have decent sail shape until I get to about a broad reach. As I start to run the boom rises and the sail shape goes to hell.I was wondering if the boat was originally delivered with a boom vang (1983, before in-mast furling). Normally I would just take her out sailing, play with the mainsheet attachment points on the boom or kludge together a temporary boom vang. Unfortunately the boat is on the hard with the rig off for the winter.


Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
 

Hi, It is not the racing yachtsman boom vang I found it strange for a start but as with all things Amel it works. I would caution against fitting a powerful, non flexible vang. Rigidity leads to breakage. The three strand nylon has a good stretch under shock load preventing this shock load being transferred to the mast and rig. In storm conditions this is critical, because with the best will in the world things go wrong and that is when these design features matter.

Kind Regards

Danny

SM 299

Ocean Pearl 

On 11 November 2021 at 07:50 CW Bill Rouse <brouse@...> wrote:

A lot of us call it a Boom Vang but is more accurately described as a downwind kicker.
20mm 3-strand nylon L = 145cm eye center to eye center
image.png
 


CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
 
Address: 720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
 
View My Training Calendar

On Wed, Nov 10, 2021 at 12:36 PM Lance Leonard < Elscubano@...> wrote:
It looks like the previous owner of Minerva may have removed the boom vang and replaced it with a short piece of 3/4” triple braid. A preventer maybe? It seems like the purchase for the mainsheet is pretty far aft. I have decent sail shape until I get to about a broad reach. As I start to run the boom rises and the sail shape goes to hell.I was wondering if the boat was originally delivered with a boom vang (1983, before in-mast furling). Normally I would just take her out sailing, play with the mainsheet attachment points on the boom or kludge together a temporary boom vang. Unfortunately the boat is on the hard with the rig off for the winter.

 

 


Dennis Johns
 

Hi Lance,

First thing you do is get rid of your topping lift if you haven't already.  Then install a Boomkicker (https://www.boomkicker.com/) plus a regular boom vang with a jamb cleat.  They have a picture of my installation: 7 photos down on the right.  They specify their K1500 product for boats up to 38' but that equates to the main sail of the 46 ketch just fine.

I've had it installed for about 15 years with no signs of fatigue.

Dennis Johns
Libertad
Maramu #121

On Wed, Nov 10, 2021 at 10:36 AM Lance Leonard <Elscubano@...> wrote:
It looks like the previous owner of Minerva may have removed the boom vang and replaced it with a short piece of 3/4” triple braid. A preventer maybe? It seems like the purchase for the mainsheet is pretty far aft. I have decent sail shape until I get to about a broad reach. As I start to run the boom rises and the sail shape goes to hell.I was wondering if the boat was originally delivered with a boom vang (1983, before in-mast furling). Normally I would just take her out sailing, play with the mainsheet attachment points on the boom or kludge together a temporary boom vang. Unfortunately the boat is on the hard with the rig off for the winter.


Bill Kinney
 

Lance,

What you are seeing is the original design from Amel.  A traditional boom vang is of very limited utility on an Amel.

On an Amel, the traveler is so long, and so effective, that the traditional vang is not needed.  You  should use the traveler to adjust the angle of the sail to the wind, and the mainsheet to adjust the height of the boom and the twist of the sail.  The length of the traveler on the Amel design ensures that you have total control of the position of the boom over a VERY wide range of sailing angles without the need for a vang.  When you are VERY far off the wind, you use the tackle on the rail to pull the boom down and control twist. 

Do NOT install a traditional vang from the base of the mast to the boom. It will apply MUCH higher loads downward on the boom in a place where it was not designed for.  This is a VERY dangerous idea.  Breaking or bending your boom is absolutely possible.

So what is the purpose of that three strand line?  It is (primarily) there to prevent the boom from rising too high when you are unfurling the sail.  There is no reason to have an adjustable vang. It is not a control used when sailing, it just allows the sail to unfurl without issue.  On a "normal" boat the vang has to be adjusted "just right" to have a mast furled sail unfurl properly.  This simple fixed line is one of the under-appreciated reasons that the Amel main sail furling system is so reliable.

Moral of the story here:  Use your traveler!  It will give you much better control of sail shape and angle than you'll get from a vang and mainsheet alone.  Remember, most racing boats really only use their traveler when close hauled, becasue they are so short.  They NEED a vang to control twist.  You have an awesome traveler system that controls twist without the high stress loadings from a vang.  I have seen a lot of broken booms.  EVERY single one was at the vang attachment point.

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Brunswick, GA, USA


Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
 

Hi Bill, 

in total agreement with you.

Danny

SM 299

Ocean Pearl

On 11 November 2021 at 14:07 Bill Kinney <cruisingconsulting@...> wrote:

Lance,

What you are seeing is the original design from Amel.  A traditional boom vang is of very limited utility on an Amel.

On an Amel, the traveler is so long, and so effective, that the traditional vang is not needed.  You  should use the traveler to adjust the angle of the sail to the wind, and the mainsheet to adjust the height of the boom and the twist of the sail.  The length of the traveler on the Amel design ensures that you have total control of the position of the boom over a VERY wide range of sailing angles without the need for a vang.  When you are VERY far off the wind, you use the tackle on the rail to pull the boom down and control twist. 

Do NOT install a traditional vang from the base of the mast to the boom. It will apply MUCH higher loads downward on the boom in a place where it was not designed for.  This is a VERY dangerous idea.  Breaking or bending your boom is absolutely possible.

So what is the purpose of that three strand line?  It is (primarily) there to prevent the boom from rising too high when you are unfurling the sail.  There is no reason to have an adjustable vang. It is not a control used when sailing, it just allows the sail to unfurl without issue.  On a "normal" boat the vang has to be adjusted "just right" to have a mast furled sail unfurl properly.  This simple fixed line is one of the under-appreciated reasons that the Amel main sail furling system is so reliable.

Moral of the story here:  Use your traveler!  It will give you much better control of sail shape and angle than you'll get from a vang and mainsheet alone.  Remember, most racing boats really only use their traveler when close hauled, becasue they are so short.  They NEED a vang to control twist.  You have an awesome traveler system that controls twist without the high stress loadings from a vang.  I have seen a lot of broken booms.  EVERY single one was at the vang attachment point.

Bill Kinney
SM160,  Harmonie
Brunswick, GA, USA


 

Bill,

Extremely well explained. Thanks.

I still want to know why the management of Amel decided to have nothing on the 54. It must have been a Henri vs Us situation. I think I know who won those arguments before Henri retired. You can see that the attachment points on the A54 boom and mast are there, but the Vang/Kicker is not.
image.png
Bill


CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
Address: 720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
View My Training Calendar

On Wed, Nov 10, 2021 at 7:07 PM Bill Kinney <cruisingconsulting@...> wrote:
Lance,

What you are seeing is the original design from Amel.  A traditional boom vang is of very limited utility on an Amel.

On an Amel, the traveler is so long, and so effective, that the traditional vang is not needed.  You  should use the traveler to adjust the angle of the sail to the wind, and the mainsheet to adjust the height of the boom and the twist of the sail.  The length of the traveler on the Amel design ensures that you have total control of the position of the boom over a VERY wide range of sailing angles without the need for a vang.  When you are VERY far off the wind, you use the tackle on the rail to pull the boom down and control twist. 

Do NOT install a traditional vang from the base of the mast to the boom. It will apply MUCH higher loads downward on the boom in a place where it was not designed for.  This is a VERY dangerous idea.  Breaking or bending your boom is absolutely possible.

So what is the purpose of that three strand line?  It is (primarily) there to prevent the boom from rising too high when you are unfurling the sail.  There is no reason to have an adjustable vang. It is not a control used when sailing, it just allows the sail to unfurl without issue.  On a "normal" boat the vang has to be adjusted "just right" to have a mast furled sail unfurl properly.  This simple fixed line is one of the under-appreciated reasons that the Amel main sail furling system is so reliable.

Moral of the story here:  Use your traveler!  It will give you much better control of sail shape and angle than you'll get from a vang and mainsheet alone.  Remember, most racing boats really only use their traveler when close hauled, becasue they are so short.  They NEED a vang to control twist.  You have an awesome traveler system that controls twist without the high stress loadings from a vang.  I have seen a lot of broken booms.  EVERY single one was at the vang attachment point.

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Brunswick, GA, USA


Lance Leonard
 

Thanks Bill, That makes sense. I had completely left the traveler out of the equation.


Lance Leonard
 

I was hoping to get rid of the topping lift as well. Lots to think about. Thanks for the information.


Bill Kinney
 

Lance,

I am curious, why the desire to get rid of the topping lift?  

I don't know exactly how that is set up on the Maramu, but on the SM it it completely functional, and requires NO input from the user.  It is just there, doing its job of holding up the boom when needed, and can be completely ignored when trimming sails. No adjustment, no tweaking. I can not imagine any arrangement that would be more function or
easier to deal with and require less interaction from the crew.

If yours does not work like this, it might just be in need of maintenance or repair, or maybe just a return to the original design?

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Brunswick, GA, USA.


Dennis Johns
 

Bill,

Early Maramus had a flaking mainsail not in-mast furling.  On my Maramu, the leach of the sail rubbed against the topping lift and would also get hung up on it.    So it was necessary to slacken the topping lift so the mainsail would tack properly and even then it could get hung up.  You had to remember to tighten the topping lift before dropping the sail.  In addition, the topping lift would prevent flattening the sail downwind, so it had to be slackened then as well.

Most early Maramu owners can attest to the annoyance of this condition unless they had a new mainsail cut so this would not be an issue.

Dennis Johns
Libertad
Maramu 121


On Fri, Nov 12, 2021 at 12:14 PM Bill Kinney <cruisingconsulting@...> wrote:
Lance,

I am curious, why the desire to get rid of the topping lift?  

I don't know exactly how that is set up on the Maramu, but on the SM it it completely functional, and requires NO input from the user.  It is just there, doing its job of holding up the boom when needed, and can be completely ignored when trimming sails. No adjustment, no tweaking. I can not imagine any arrangement that would be more function or
easier to deal with and require less interaction from the crew.

If yours does not work like this, it might just be in need of maintenance or repair, or maybe just a return to the original design?

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Brunswick, GA, USA.


Bill Kinney
 

Dennis,

 Got it! There is always an issue with topping lifts interacting with sails with horizontal battens and a lot of roach.  

I had that issue on my old boat.  The solution I installed (which might not work on a Maramu, depending on the exact geometry!) was to take 4 feet of bungee cord, lash one end to the line of the topping lift, then stretch it out to 7.5 feet, and lash the other end to the topping lift line again. (Note:  lengths might need adjusting depending on rig) If the bungee gets long enough, you sometimes have to lash it to the lift in the middle as well to avoid excess slack flopping around. The bungee pulls the "sloppy slack" out of the topping lift when the sail is up without having to constantly adjust its length.

Operationally, you set topping lift to hold the boom at the lowest possible angle that is safe to raise or lower the sail.  The bungee is now stretched out full length by the weight of the boom, and the topping lift line carries the weight. Raise the sail. The sail lifts the boom to its normal operating angle, and the bungee contracts, keeping the topping lift from going slack and flopping around, but not so tight that the sail can't push it out of the way as you change tacks. Depending on a lot of things, it might not pop around to windward, but it shouldn't interfere with sail shape even it it is on the leeward side.

With that system the only time I adjusted the topping lift at all was when it was time to put the sail to bed. I had a mark for "Sail down" and "Sail up" so it was pretty simple.

Again, not at all sure it will work for you, but it might make things a lot less frustrating. It's worth fussing with bungee sizes and lengths to come up with a combination that works.  You might need a considerable length of bungee cord, depending on how much the boom rises with each reef. Overall I think it is a much better solution (when it works) than cutting roach out of the sail.

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Brunswick, GA, USA


Lance Leonard
 

The main spar has been replaced so I don’t know what the original configuration was. Keep in mind Minerva was built before in-mast furling and the topping lift needs to be eased to get the correct sail shape. On our boat the topping lift fouls on the main backstay when we are on a port tack. I tried to get a picture of this with my drone but I couldn’t get close enough to show the attachment points at the top of the mast. They cross at the top, the farther you ease the boom out the more it lifts the end of the boom. I put a shackle on it and ran it back to the mizzenmast when the sail is up to keep it out of the way (saw this trick on the YouTube channel Sailing Panda). I would be more inclined to keep the topping lift if I could use it as a spare halyard. Unfortunately it is wire with a block on the end as is the mizzen topping lift. After raising the mizzen and easing the mizzen topping lift it fouls around the mizzen backstay. This is always a fun project after dropping anchor for the day as it tends to foul around the insulator for the shortwave. Unfortunately presently I am 3000 miles from the boat (getting a new Beta marine 62T in Maine this winter). We had already left for California when the yard removed the rig, so I was unable to look at the masthead. Our Maramu was a huge step up in size for us. We went from a 28 foot sloop rig to a 46 foot ketch. That being said there are sure to be some things that are going to be straight up operator’s error. Any and all input is welcome and appreciated. 

Lance 
Minerva 
Maramu #135