Boom vang hardware

Thread starter #1
Ok, I'm in the process of installing my Boomkicker and I found that the previous owner had set the vang eye on the mast much higher than the Capri specification of 6" above bottom of the mast.

This got me to looking at how the vang eye is attached to the mast; on my 2001 Capri Mod 3 is it an eye welded to a stainless steel cylinder (approx. 3/8" diameter) that has two holes drilled (but not tapped) that accept 1" 10x24 screws which actually screw into the forward section of the mast which was drilled and tapped for these. (See the picture attached.)

Thus, the vang eye can only be placed at this position, which is clearly too high according to the Capri specs and also according to all I've read about the boom vang angle which should be around 40-45° to the boom & mast.

Now, it would be simple to just position it correctly, drill two new holes in the mast. However, as I learned looking into other ways boom vangs are attached on different boat, I find that most folks think that is is important that the vang eye attachment not be rigid, but rather able to articulate a little as the boom is moved port and starboard. Also, they seem to say that it is better to have forces perpendicular to the screw axis rather than along its axis. As you can tell, my vang eye setup violates both ideas -- the eye can't articulate at all and the boom vang will tend to pull the screws directly out rather than pull across the screw axis.

Some rather simple solutions I find: use a boom vang bail, which is a U-shaped strap that puts the screws perpendicular to the vang force; the vang then attaches via a shackle to the U-strap, and the shackle can slide easily along the U.

This seems to be the solution also for replacing the vang eye attached to the boom; that is, the other end of the boom vang.

Here's a link to such a solution on a Flying Scot:

I'll upload two of their pictures and a picture of my vang eye.

My question: do you guys also have a similar vang eye and attachment? Also, has anyone had problems with their boom vang.

I am aware of this thread here: (just wanted to get newer responses)

And lastly, has anyone used any of the traditional vangs by Harken? Some folks at other forums for other boats really like the Harken H447 15:1 Dingy Vang (what's not to like at almost $200!). Link below: (and a pict of the H447)

Anyway, I'm interested in your thoughts, troubles, fixes, and things you've thought to do.


Thread starter #4
That's great -- thank you rayhas.

This confirms what I thought -- first, the vang eye was indeed stripped or even replaced since mine actually screws into the rather thin aluminum of the forward part of the mast, thus the screws are not tapped into the vang eye at all and don't grab onto the open edges of the sail track.

Second, I can see that your vang eye is centered on the lower horn of the cleat which is, according to the Capri 14.2 Handbook specifications at 5" above the base of the mast. My vang eye was about 1 1/2 or 2 inches above that, so the angle of the vang was wrong.
That Flying Scot Vang arrangement if you notice is off axis, as the Boom swings outward it would proportionally increase vang tension , flatteninng the main for downwind performance.

Using a Bail on the boom would be a stronger method of attaching the vang , my current boat had no vang when I purchased her and I made one up with a bullet block and an old fiddle block ( w/ V-cleat ). While the 16 to 1 is cool, I dont think its necessary on the 14.2

You could use a Doubler with the current vang if you want a little easier pulling power. from the sound of it you could use your current attachment to anchor to the mast and install a new vang attachment in the correct location .

a side note: I eliminated the wire pendant on my vang . the stock arrangement puts that upper block face high, not fun for my crew during tacks .

Thread starter #7
Boom Vang Update

Thanks to all.

As an update, I'm not going to use a boom bail or a mast bail on either end of the boom vang; perhaps if and when the boom eyestrap pulls out, that will get replaced with a bail.

I was able to tap the two holes in the vang eye (fits in the luff track) so that 12-24 screws now can hold it properly to the track. (you are right, Rob, that Flying Scot vang attachment at the mast will create more tension on the vang as the boom swings -- maybe they designed it that way so that the tension on the foot stretches the leech when on a broad reach?).

As an aside: if anyone needs some pointers on tapping a #12-24 thread into 1/2" of stainless steel, I can now help! It takes an hour for two holes.

My next task is to make sure that the boom is fairly perpendicular to the mast -- it now, with the gooseneck at the right height, is about 8 inches higher at the aft end. I've read that can be fixed by setting up the mast rake, shroud and forestay dimensions, in combination with the correct vang tension, and correct sail head height (my main halyard shackle was tied with a rather large loop so when the knot was right at the main sheave, the head of the sail was still pretty low).

I also have a feeling my mainsail may be stretched and/or deformed a bit, so perhaps a new one is in my future.

Thanks again guys! What a wonderful group of sailors you are.