Vang Hardware

Thread starter #1
Reading the Class Rules and Specifications, section 3.1 states that "...deviation from original configuration...shown on class specifications Drawings 1 through 4, are not permitted." Am I correct in interpreting this to mean that I cannot modify my boom vang hardware from the original components at all and still be class legal?

The only thing I don't like is that, if you have the vang on hard going upwind and forget to release the tension before easing out on a reach, it's really hard to uncleat. I think it was the Quantum tuning guide that addressed this by suggesting that you be careful not to forget. It would be really nice, and perhaps a bit safer, if we were allowed to change the vang to use a cam cleat. Is something like this allowed?

Mike Shadley
I have one with a cam cleat. I don't know if it was original, but it looks old. It is missing a one wheel on the block, and I need to replace it. I bought a new boom vang from Catalina, but I don't like the cleat. I prefer the following style.

Harken Dinghy Vang

It is a bit more expensive, but it looks like a much better design. Since I don't have a fleet to sail with, I'm not worried if it is legal. ;)

Ed Jones

Secretary/Vice Commodore

The factory design uses a cam cleat. In fact, I've never seen one that doesn't.

The main thing about the vang rule is to keep the mechanical advantage the same with all the boats.
This is the one I just bought from Catalina. (I called to confirm that they sent the correct part, and I was told that this is what is now being used.)

Boom vang side shot

Boom vang end shot (with "V" shaped cleat)

It looks similar to the micro Harken Vang, except that the Catalina b.v. is a 3:1 and the Harken is a 4:1. However, I really don't like the design. In my opinion, it looks cheap. I may return it and buying a boom vang from either first Harken I showed or a Ronstan vang. (My boat has the retaining pin and bracket as I showed with the first Harken b.v.)

Thread starter #6
Yes. That's the one, all right. Just a V cleat on the fiddle block. I'm glad to hear we're not stuck with it.

I'd be interested to see pictures of, or part numbers for, what other boats have. Thank you for yours Dave. Probably a tad over 3:1, but would sure be sweet.

Is there a cam-based vang that is pretty universally used for racing, or are there a fairly wide variety of vangs in use?

Mike Shadley
That looks like the vang that came with my boat too. Bought it used earlier this summer. This is the first boat I've sailed that hav a vang and I haven't really figured out how to use it yet. I've just been taking the slack out of the line and forgetting it. Maybe I hven't been out in strong enough winds yet to really need it. Any tips on using the vang would be appreciated. Thanks.
Thread starter #8
How to use the boom vang is described pretty well in the tuning guides of the various sailmakers (see the Web Links -> Sail Links page on this web site). I have a long way to go in learing how to put that information to proper use.

But I find that the vang helps a lot when I'm close hauled and the wind speed has reached a point where I have to ease out the main to keep the boat flat in a puff (that's not a whole lot of wind, especially if my 155 pounds is singlehanding). Without the vang, the leech of the sail flutters and the rig rattles around when I ease out the mainsheet in a puff. Then, in a few seconds when the puff has let up, I have to sheet in again. Since I sail on an inland lake, this repeats over and over again with a fairly high frequency. And each time I sheet in, a lot of the force I'm exerting is going toward bringing the boom down tight to flatten the sail out. With the vang on however, the boom stays down and the sail stays flat when you sheet out, which is generally what you want if you are overpowered, and you don't have to pull the boom back town tight again when you sheet in. Plus, with the leech tight and the mainsail flat, the boat just behaves a lot better while you are waiting for the puff to pass.

Of course, to make this work, you need a considerable amount of tension on the boom vang. With that much tension and that stupid cleating mechanism you get these days, it's hard to release the vang when you ease the main out to go on a reach or run. You pretty much have to head up into the wind, pull the mainsheet in tight, and then release the vang tension. A real pain in the rear if you forgot to do this prior to rounding the windward mark in a race.

I think this is mostly in line with what the tuning guides say, although not as complete. Take a look at those for more complete (and accurate) guidelines.

Mike Shadley
Thread starter #9
If anyone is interested, I ended up getting a Harken Little Fiddle block (H057) to replace the fiddle block that came with the boat. Picture is attached (I hope). Much nicer, but kind of pricey. I found one at a good price on eBay, but MSRP is $96.75.

It doesn't do anything to change the mechanical advantage or improve the process of tightening the vang, but it uncleats ever so much better when under load.

It was easy to install. I ended up using the shackle that came with the original fiddle block since it connected to the fitting on the mast better. Other than that, it was a simple, direct replacement for the original part.

Mike Shadley