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Vang or no Vang?


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I carry an 8:1 vang most races on ZAX although it is possible to sail ok without it. Sailing sloop or with the squaretop sail I don't use it as it is better to tack downwind rather than going square.

Cat rigged we tend to sail more square downwind and you soon run out of traveller when the boom is touching the side stay. therefor the traveller does nothing to keep the boom down at that point. Thats mostly why I use the vang. I use 8:1 just so it is easier to pull on when required. Sometimes I use it on a reach when I feel too lazy to use the traveller. On a beam reach sometimes it is necessary to use it when the traveller is all the way out. It also can take some of the load off the mainsheet at times. the other thing I find it useful for is that it helps stop the mast rotating backwards when the breeze picks up on a work.

Most people at Mannering Park Sailing Club don't seem to bother much with the vang but I like to use it. Some of the other Cat rigged mari's at Mannering Park sail less square downwind than I do and even tack downwind. If I sailed that style I would not use the vang.

I also take it off when sailing with a crew.

The only other boat I know of that uses it is Coolit. Coolit was always a strong wind specialist and seemed to make good use of the vang.

Other Cat rigged boats such as Wild Thing sailed by Darren Bundock did not have a vang at all so it really is personal preference.

I would recommend to anyone to have a good and easy to use downhaul system prior to considering a good vang.

cheers !

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