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Sailing Tips: How to Sail Faster on Reaches!

Another sailboat for sale and there it was. Bare, naked and neutered. How did this person sail the boat on reaches without this critical appendage?

Beats me. It’s sort of like driving a car in first or second–without the ability to accelerate. Make sure your sailboat has this vital sailing gear for maximum sail power.

What happens when you fall off the wind to a reach or run? Your mainsheet no longer has as much ability to pull down on the boom. Indeed, it’s now at an angle to the boom. Without some help, the end of your boom will begin to lift. In a seaway, your boom will bounce around.

That’s tough on the boom and boom fittings. And the mainsail leech? It’ll belly out like a pregnant whale–dumping lots of wind. Your boat will be tough to control as weather helm increases.

Which brings us back full circle to the intro of today’s article. My burning question. Why would any responsible sailboat manufacturer sell a sailboat without a boom vang?

The vang must be installed onto the boom at a specific location to avoid excessive loads and distortion. In general, the upper vang bale (“U” shaped fitting) will be located about 1/3 of the way aft of the gooseneck along the boom.

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About John Jamieson

I'm a 20+ year Coast Guard veteran, where I served as a search and rescue coxswain, ship driver and certified master training specialist, with tens of thousands of sea miles under my belt. I am a published maritime author, certified (by the CG) professional maritime instructor to teach up through 100 ton masters level licenses, a nationally certified sailing instructor, and a licensed captain under power or sail.

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