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Robert Levi

November 10, 2017 “My rigid boom vang on my Catalina 42 has broken 3 times. The problem occurs sailing close hauled. The toggle fitting at the base of the mast buckles, then the compression load from the sheet and vang spring side load the vang end fitting, breaking it. What’s the explanation? How can the toggle be stable in compression? I converted back to a soft vang!”

David Flynn

November 16, 2017 Quantum Expert Answer

That is frustrating! It sounds like your solid vang had an engineering issue. Typically solid vangs are attached to the mast via a swiveling fitting which allow it to turn with the boom as it is eased out. See if it is possible switch the fitting before giving up completely on the rigid boom vang. Of course, a soft vang (provided it has enough purchase) works just fine for pulling down on the boom, it just doesn’t hold the boom up in light air. 

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