Lightningflash

Benefits of a solid vang in light air

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Been thinking about winter projects on the J/80 now that the season is  sadlyover.   Was thinking that I could very easily save 5 pounds and some windage by ditching the Hall quik vang and just switching to a soft cascade vang.  Simply switch and I have the block and dyneema already.  I am aware of the boom support benefits when it come to dropping the main, but not worried about that.

Before I switch,  I want people's opinion on the what if any benefits a properly tuned (spring) solid vang has in supporting the weight of the boom in light air.  does it support the weight of the boom and help promote twist  in super light conditions where the traveler is all the way up to weather and the sheet is eased to try to get the top  batten open.  I may be overthinking this, but wanted to hear people's thoughts or opinions.

Thanks

Brian

J/80 USA1001

Blind Faith

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If you sail in a light air venue I believe it is worth having.  I do not have a number on how much of a difference it is but the mainsail looks a ton better when the boom is not weight its down.  I also feel the force pushing against the vang helps stabilize the sails when it is bouncy.  If you are worried about weight look at the boom kickers the small one is really light, or leave a few beers on shore when its not windy.

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I don't know about that, you need the beers most when it's light out.

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2 hours ago, fucket said:

I don't know about that, you need the beers most when it's light out.

Ha - true.  it is counterproductive to concentration levels needed to do well in light air, but "fucket" who cares.

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I liked the soft vang I had on my 80. Ease it off in light air and you are good to go. Rigid vang boats nearby would do the same, but without some tension, their vangs pushed their booms too high resulting in some fugly mainsail shapes. On a boat the size of the 80, wire/rope vang is fine. The only downside is when you drop the mainsail, without a topping lift or rigid vang, there is just you from keeping the boom from hitting the deck. 

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We had a Barton boom strut on ours, it weighs very little and is relatively inexpensive compared to other products but does a very good job. I think it’s essential for the J80 in the light airs

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A vang system that can push the boom up is vital in light air. I have an over-speced one on the 30 and love it in all conditions. Yes it's heavy, but the weight is relatively low in the boat. Worth it to me. 

I also built in some extra purchase power on the control line. So much easier than the standard vang on a 109, for example.

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A topping lift, esp now days of something light like dynemma, will lift the boom in light air just as effectively as a rigid vang will...

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I have a Boomkicker on my J-80.  Replaced the pneumatic rigid one whose seals had degraded. The fiberglass is light, tough, and simple.  No need to pump it up. There are two options that fit the J-80.  I got the thicker one. In retrospect, I would get the small one so it takes less force to pull against.  You can adjust the height that it holds the boom up if you are worried about it pushing the boom too high.  (I can't imagine putting a topping lift on a J-80 unless you just plan on cruising.) 

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I don't have much experience using topping lifts but would imagine they interfere with the roach profile of the main -- worse than the backstay issues discussed elsewhere unless you ease it right off in a light-air tack or gybe. Would love to know if that is incorrect. 

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If a boom kicker is class legal, I agree it’s probably best choice.

Rico, as long as topping lift is run back to cockpit or end of boom it’s pretty easy to slack it, then tack, then flip to upwind side and re-tension as needed.  Yes, boom droops for 30 secs or less, where as with solid band or kicker it would stay up thru the tack

 

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Why would you re-tension the the topping lift?  I just loosen it up once I raise the mainsail and leave it loose until I take the sail down then tension it up to hold the boom up.  Am I missing something?  Is this only a very light air technique to raise the boom end for more full main sail?

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Now that I think of it, I have seen older boats with a mini block fixed to the backstay through which the topping lift runs to keep it aft and out of the way of the roach. 

B dock, the point is to keep some twist and open leach in the main in light air, rather than choking flow due solely to the weight of the boom. Like in really light air. You need weight to leeward too to make this work at all. Sounds like you don't have this issue to deal with so I am envious! Ah ha...  I now see SF Bay as your location so totally irrelevant at least in the summer. Aquatic paradise!

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