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pkeyser's picture
pkeyser
Last seen: 11 hours 36 min ago
Joined: 5/18/13
Posts: 403
Rigid Boom Vang and Toping Lift

Until First Light, we never owned a boat with a rigid boom vang. Is our topping lift still necessary with the vang? In the 4 years we've owned her, I've never made an adjustment to either the vang or the toping lift. The mainsail shape seems fine, and we don't have issues rolling it in or out with the in-mast furler so I presume the boom is at a good angle. 

Paul & Wendy Keyser
"First Light"
Newburyport MA/Rye NH
2005 C36 MKII #2257
Wing, M35B

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Paul & Wendy Keyser
"First Light"
Newburyport MA/Rye NH
2005 C36 MKII #2257
Wing, M35B

knotdoneyet
Last seen: 6 days 8 hours ago
Joined: 7/27/12
Posts: 249

If you release the topping lift will the spring in your hard bang keep the boom high enough when back at the dock?  Mine does not.

Keeping the boom at one angle won't impact your motoring but it will impact your sailing.  Often, when I am wondering why my sail shape is so bad, making me slow, it's that I forgot to release the topping lift.

The vang is quite useful in adding or removing  twist in the sail and keeping the boom from lifting off wind.  If you wonder why everyone seems to be going faster, go search the web on sail shape and racing.  There's tons of excellent videos.
 

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2000 C36 MKII 1825

pkeyser's picture
pkeyser
Last seen: 11 hours 36 min ago
Joined: 5/18/13
Posts: 403

My vang is not influenced by the topping lift one way or the other. If I slacken or apply tension to the topping lift, the boom has no movement up or down. I don't have a vang manual, so am unsure how to adjust it, or if there is a means to adjust it. There is a single pin (or bolt?) that passes through the Vang at its mid point. Perhaps if that is removed, it will allow me to lengthen or shorten it? 

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Paul & Wendy Keyser
"First Light"
Newburyport MA/Rye NH
2005 C36 MKII #2257
Wing, M35B

William Miller
Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 10/4/08
Posts: 291

You should be able to do away with the topping lift if your rigid vang is working right I bought mine from gauhauer and installed it per their instructions and it holds the boom up with no problem.Most of our rigging is from gauhauer .If yours willnot hold up the boom call them I belive they can send you a stronger spring

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Bill Miller
S/V Lorraine
Pacific Northwest,Sound Sound
Grapeview,Wa
1990 Mk1

pkeyser's picture
pkeyser
Last seen: 11 hours 36 min ago
Joined: 5/18/13
Posts: 403

Thanks Bill. I believe mine is Garhauer model also. It supports the boom perfectly. The PO seems to have set it up well. 

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Paul & Wendy Keyser
"First Light"
Newburyport MA/Rye NH
2005 C36 MKII #2257
Wing, M35B

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TomSoko
Last seen: 4 days 22 hours ago
Joined: 2/15/07
Posts: 978

Paul,
There were some Catalina's delivered around the 2005 era with a rigid vang (my C400 was one of them), and not an adjustable vang.  I was told by Mark at Garhauer they were an experiment that didn't pan out well. Both the adjustable and rigid vangs were made by Garhauer (and also the soft (rope) vangs). The rigid vangs are a large SS tube with threaded ends, and can be adjusted (somewhat?) by twisting the SS tube, but not easily while sailing. The adjustable vangs have a series of cascading blocks on the outside, and a stiff spring on the inside.  The spring supports the weight of the boom, and are easily adjusted while sailing to change sail shape. The only situation I can think of where a rigid vang is called for would be if you have a roller furling boom, which requires a precise boom/mast angle to work properly. Most owners I know with rigid or adjustable vangs use the topping lift for other purposes, or take them off, to avoid sail chafe. Hope this helps.

PS-I installed an adjustable vang for better sail shape, use the topping lift to help support the engine end of my dinghy davits, and use the rigid vang during winter storage to support the boom for an over-boom cover.

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Tom Sokoloski
C36/375IA Past Commodore
Noank, CT

pkeyser's picture
pkeyser
Last seen: 11 hours 36 min ago
Joined: 5/18/13
Posts: 403

Tom-
Now its all begining to make sense- why I can't figure out how to easily adjust it, why I might be a little slower than the 36 next to me, and how I can use my topping lift for something practical like hoisting a string of pennants.
Thanks for solving the mystery.
Paul

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Paul & Wendy Keyser
"First Light"
Newburyport MA/Rye NH
2005 C36 MKII #2257
Wing, M35B

TomSoko's picture
TomSoko
Last seen: 4 days 22 hours ago
Joined: 2/15/07
Posts: 978

Paul,
These pix aren't the greatest, but if you look closely, you can see the adjusting lines on one, and not the other. You can't see it, but in the middle of the rigid vang is the "pin" which you mentioned.  I have no idea what it's for. 

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Tom Sokoloski
C36/375IA Past Commodore
Noank, CT

mrmac's picture
mrmac
Last seen: 3 weeks 3 days ago
Joined: 12/7/14
Posts: 28

Can you tell me what the block that I have circled does?  It appears to me that adjusting the line that goes through it would change the angle of the boom.

Thanks,
Dick (AKA mrmac)

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Image icon Catalina 36 boom block.jpg108.79 KB
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Southern Comfort #1881
Tall rig, Wing Keel
Potomac River/Chesapeake Bay

pkeyser's picture
pkeyser
Last seen: 11 hours 36 min ago
Joined: 5/18/13
Posts: 403

Tom-
The vang in top picture is the same as mine. Our boat is put away for the season, but in the spring when the cover is off, I do plan on examining the vang closer. It seems odd that they would design a product with 0 adjustment possibilities....but maybe they did, as one of the above posts noted.

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Paul & Wendy Keyser
"First Light"
Newburyport MA/Rye NH
2005 C36 MKII #2257
Wing, M35B

TomSoko's picture
TomSoko
Last seen: 4 days 22 hours ago
Joined: 2/15/07
Posts: 978

Dick,
I have a roller furling mainsail, and the block you have circled in the picture is for the mainsail inhaul. Above the boom, out of the field of view in that same pic, is the mainsail outhaul.  Hope this helps.

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Tom Sokoloski
C36/375IA Past Commodore
Noank, CT

pkeyser's picture
pkeyser
Last seen: 11 hours 36 min ago
Joined: 5/18/13
Posts: 403

I called Garhauer today and spoke to Mark regarding their rigid vang "experiment" in the 2005 +/- era. The product was designed for the in-mast furling system and not meant to be readily adjsutable while under sail. As Tom Sokoloski pointed out in the above thread, the vang length adjustment is achieved by rotating the barrel. This unit is essentially just a big turnbuckle. The allen screws on either end simply hold the end caps on the barrel, and do not serve as set screws to lock the length after adjusting. Mark also revealed the pupose of the mysterious pin at barrel's mid point- it has no purpose.He said you can remove it and insert a screwdriver if you need more torque leverage to rotate the barrel.
Today, I extended the vang length slightly to raise the end of the boom a lttle higher than  horizontal, and the outhaul works with less effort. Should have taken Tom's advice a while back. 

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Paul & Wendy Keyser
"First Light"
Newburyport MA/Rye NH
2005 C36 MKII #2257
Wing, M35B

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