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Which one, Harken vang or Holt vang?

JuanCH

Member
I know it's been discussed but I am deciding to upgrade my vang system and I need to know the pros and cons of each one. I ve read something on the ropes getting crossed in the Holt model. Your thoughts will be much appreciated!
Juan
 

Kratos

Member
I've used both and I have to say I prefer the Holt. I like the way the cleat swivels. The top block is also beefier.

Yeah, the lines cross at one point, but if you're using good line, it's not really an issue.
 
I had both at one point in my upgrading of hulls, I like harken better.

Plus, Harkenized is a pretty sweet word, that I like being able to use to describe my boat.
 

AlanD

Former ISAF Laser Measurer
To put things into perspective, at the Worlds held last year in Australia (Standard Open and Masters) and New Zealand ((Radial, Mens, Womens and Youths), a total of about 800 competitors, there were a handful of the original vangs and none of the new Holt vangs, essentially everyone was using the Harken vangs. From a popularity aspect the Harken Vang is the most popular of those attending the Worlds.
 

Sailorchick

Member
HARKEN

The holt is useless, fails and has additional friction. The Harken works perfectly and lasts for years (I only got a new one this year as some twunt stole mine and it was 6 years old and going strong)
 

jeffers

Active Member
HARKEN

I have 1 of each on my boat at the minute (Harken on the 8.1 bottom section, Holt on the standard).

The Harken one does what it says on the tin. The Holt one seems to let go at the most inopportune moments. I have also heard stories of the Holt ones failing under load but never a Harken one failing.

As soon as I have some spare cash the Holt bottom assembly is being replaced with a Harken.

The fact that pretty much every top guy (and gal) (Robert Schiedt being an exception, he used the 'old' style vang) uses a Harken vang should tell you all you need to know.
 

AlanD

Former ISAF Laser Measurer
The fact that pretty much every top guy (and gal) (Robert Schiedt being an exception, he used the 'old' style vang) uses a Harken vang should tell you all you need to know.
Robert Schiedt + Michael Blackburn, Brett Beyer (from memory) (multiple apprentice champion) etc.
 

Braecrest

Member
HARKEN or Original

I have had both Harken and Holt, one on each boat, and the Holt suffered a complete failure during a heavy pounding upwind leg. It would have been awesome to watch if it wasn't my brother's, parts just went everywhere. So now we have my Harken and the original with spectra line jury rigged old shool stlye on my Fiancee's boat.
 

torrid

Just sailing
Just because the hotshots sail with a certain rig doesn't mean everyone should copy it verbatim. A gold medalist may find that a gajillion-to-one vang work well for him, but other may find that the excess line gets tangled in thier mainsheet. You need to invest the time to find what works for YOU.

That being said, the Harken vang rocks.
 

Sailorchick

Member
Very true. My husband has the harken vang but has adapted it to have slightly less purchase as he is strong enough he doesn't need it all so why have all the string in the cockpit. A few of the guys at my club have done similar.
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
It does seem that Mr Holt has to go back to the drawing board :eek:

PS: Happy with my Harken vang system.
 

jeffers

Active Member
Very true. My husband has the harken vang but has adapted it to have slightly less purchase as he is strong enough he doesn't need it all so why have all the string in the cockpit. A few of the guys at my club have done similar.
Sailorchick,

Any chance of a couple of pictures of what he has done?

Paul
 

AlanD

Former ISAF Laser Measurer
Sailorchick, you might want to consider moving your handle 30cm further away from the cleat, but put a stopper knot where the handle is currently located to prevent the vang being released to far. By doing this you won't need to stretch as far forward when pulling the vang on. However, be careful how far away you move it as it may then limit how far you can use the handle to pull the vang on.
 

Sailorchick

Member
The pics are Lasernuts kicker, set up how he likes it.

Mine is left as standard with all the purchase in it. I don't tie my handle to the daggerboard as I have never been able to get on with that set up. I do have a stopper not so the handle is slighltly away from the block to make it easier to reach. Does mean I very rarely actually use the handle though as I'd be lying on the transom at times to get tension with the amount of string
 

AlanD

Former ISAF Laser Measurer
I can understand that, the 15:1 system requires a lot of line. For what it's worth, Lasernut's system is a 12:1. I use a 10:1 system as pictured below.
 

Attachments

LASERNUT

Member
Just to let you know I've changed it again from those photos ;) I'll take some photos on the weekend and post them on Monday.
 

StJulian

Member
I think the Harken looks better but I have used the Holt for about 4 years racing every week and never had a problem with it. I am just noticing now that the cleat is starting to wear the sheet a little.
The many club owned Lasers I have sailed in the USA have all had Harken vangs (or else the original fittings). I may be wrong here but the Harken vangs used seemed to be slightly different in design to the ones I have seen in the Uk. I assumed they were just a cheap imitation and I certainly did not like them very much. I now take my own gear with me.
If these were indeed the genuine article I am pleased I bought Holt.
 

Nathan Omand

New Member
Out of interest, why would you change the purchase to a 12:1 or a 10:1 when there is the opportunity for 15:1 which 15:1 which is better?
 

fat-n-old

Member
Out of interest, why would you change the purchase to a 12:1 or a 10:1 when there is the opportunity for 15:1 which 15:1 which is better?
The issue is the length of the control line. The 15:1 is very easy to apply and, as a consequence of the additional turning points and distance between them, you have to pull more line through the cleat to get the same tension on the vang. This leaves a long line in the boat when you're going upwind which needs to be managed (not a big deal but it usually ends up over the leeward side when I need to adjust it).
Most adult men dont need a 15:1 purchase to apply full vang, 12 or 10:1 is plenty easy enough and halves the amount of loose line in the boat which is slightly more convienient.
 

LASERNUT

Member
Also it only takes one go to pull the the kicker on when you go round the leeward mark. Every time you lean in to go for you kicker you loose a bit of hight on the beat. One pull and your done!
 

Sailorchick

Member
If you have the 15:1 thats a lot of line to pull when you are tensioning the kicker. I need to take 2 goes as the handle reaches the back of the cockpit almost when fully on. However, if you reduce it to a 12:1 or 10:1 thats a lot less string and so one pull will get the kicker on (assuming you are strong enough that you don't need all the purchase).
 
Nathan. Excess friction in light conditions. Excessive line and having to pull more than on grab. Gradually remove parts it until you find your like. Of course if your very weak the 15.1 is necessary. Make sure you pull with your body and arm stiff, not with your arm alone.
 

Elessar

Member
I've used both in my past, and I definitely prefer the Holt system...
I know the lines cross over at one point, and they aren't as well separated as the lines in the Harken system, but the angle of cleating is better, the cleat swivel is much better and if you are using good line the crossover doesn't matter. (I have been using my Holt kicker for over 2 years with out any wear from the line).
 

Elessar

Member
I've used both in my past, and I definitely prefer the Holt system...
I know the lines cross over at one point, and they aren't as well separated as the lines in the Harken system, but the angle of cleating is better, the cleat swivel is much better and if you are using good line the crossover doesn't matter. (I have been using my Holt kicker for over 2 years with out any wear from the line).
 

Matt B

Member
I think the Harken looks better but I have used the Holt for about 4 years racing every week and never had a problem with it. I am just noticing now that the cleat is starting to wear the sheet a little.
The many club owned Lasers I have sailed in the USA have all had Harken vangs (or else the original fittings). I may be wrong here but the Harken vangs used seemed to be slightly different in design to the ones I have seen in the Uk. I assumed they were just a cheap imitation and I certainly did not like them very much. I now take my own gear with me.
If these were indeed the genuine article I am pleased I bought Holt.
thats funny maybe we do get a different quality of parts because i dont know of anyone in the uk that uses a allen (holt) vang apart from the laser centre on their training boats the harken ones are the best they work and look good and the allen (holt) ones just seem cheep and i've heard they like to un cleat themselves however the harken vang is £195 as apposed to the £135 for the allen (holt) vang and you can sell a used harken vang but the allen (holt) vang's are hard to get rid of unless you sell it with a boat. thats why i baught a harken vang and mine has remained standard and works perfectley although i have heard from a lot of people that they like to rig them in different ways
but i think the standard way is the best way.
 
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