Boom Clearance



Thread starter #1
I'm a new 14.2 owner, my first sailboat. Where the boom connects to the mast, the piece (sorry, I don't know the name) slides in a track between two screws. There's a good 18" of play there which, depending on how you tension the mainsail and the vang, affects how high the boom rides.

It seems like you'd want the boom to ride higher to avoid getting knocked in the head. But obviously there has to be some trade-off, maybe with stability. Any knowledgeable comments?

Also, the same connector piece has hole with a line running through it. The line is stop-knotted on both sides of the connector. One side runs through the cam cleat on the starboard side of the mast. The other side is free. Is this for reefing, or am I missing something.

P.S. I've already mailed my check for the 14.2 handbook, which I'm sure answers these questions. I was just hoping for a quick answer before I take her out on the water for the first time.

Ed Jones

Secretary/Vice Commodore
Boom connection

The fitting is called a gooseneck. It can be used with the hole up or down. The handbook shows it with the hole up, with a line running from the gooseneck up through the upper grommet on the sail, called the cunningham, and back to one of the jam cleats on the mast. The cunningham serves as a good way to control luff tension, and is important for racing.

Another way to rig it is simpler, and I recommend it for non-racers. It has the hole on the bottom side, with the line going directly to the jam cleat. Thus it serves as a "downhaul". To rig, raise the sail all the way and cleat the halyard. Then pull the downhaul just enough to take out the big wrinkles on the luff of the mainsail. Small wrinkles are OK, even desirable. Now go sailing!


New Member


Thanks for the informative reply. The guy I bought it from had it rigged wrong. He had the vang tightened down so much that the gooseneck was sitting on the bottom screw. Therefore there was no downhaul capability.

Too bad I didn't have a chance to read this before I went out for my maiden voyage today. Everything went well, but I couldn't figure out why I had this persistent luff near the tack. Now I know.

About the boom clearance - is there an optimum level, or is it also determined by racing vs. non-racing? I pretty much have the gooseneck sitting halfway between the two screws.

One of the reasons I chose a 14.2 as my first boat was I knew about this group and thought it would be helpful. I was, happily, right.