The vang: taking one purchase out. Then what?


Active Member
Thread starter #1
First, let me skip the part if it’s good/no good to take one purchase out. Let’s assume that you’re going that route.

When you take one purchase out from the becket block down, you can tie the secondary line to the lower vang assembly with a bowline. But then, there's a chance that the edges of the assembly will rub against the secondary line and damaging it.
Second option I've spotted is the same line not tied around the upper part of the vang assembly, but 'luggage tagged' around the upper block of the assembly. Again, there's a chance of damaging the line.
Third option was something I spotted this afternoon on YT. On a video by Robert Scheidt, he showed that he'd taken one purchase from the primary line! It was tied to the lower assembly block, then upwards around the block under the boom and down again (few inches) for the becket block and the attachment of the secondary line.

Now, what it your experience/do's and don'ts/ideas about the way one should take out one purchase?

Last edited:


Well-Known Member
I assume that the title means going from 15:1 to 12:1. I've thought of doing the same just to have less line to pull at the leeward mark.

Robert Scheidt has had a 10:1 (2x5) ever since he finally changed to the "new" vang cleating fitting. I understand he just tried to emulate the former 8:1 (4x2) as he's really an "old school" guy when it comes to technology. Paul Goodison used a 9:1 (3x3) when he won gold in 2008. Etc.

You can get creative with the vang. 7 turns, two lines, no triple blocks, and you can have any purchase with those (in fact, the practical maximum is as high as 20:1). No arrangement will be free of chafe, even the originally intended ones don't line up perfectly. Eventually, the lines need to be replaced anyway. Different types & sizes of block and different ways of knotting/splicing may help. (Hint: a figure 8 often beats a bowline.)

I actually have had ever since 2001 a 5x3 instead of a 3x5, and it runs very smoothly. One might think it doesn't have enough range of adjustment, but I have had no problem with that, and neither has anyone else who has tried it. I also have the "new" Allen cleating fitting, which is probably more versatile than the Harken in this sense as all the sheaves are vertically oriented.

I'll try a 4x3 later in the season, and if it works better, I'll probably rig a 2x2x3 from scratch, to minimize friction.