After we got our traveller from Garhauer Marine, the captain got twitchy for a new boom vang. When we moved in next door to a fella named Doug who had an ultra tidy deck with a ultra sturdy boom vang, the captain succumbed. Jealousy is a powerful motivator. We made a sophisticated drawing using wire and some wet, dirty paper and mailed it off.
A few weeks later, this came in the mail.
The draw of the boom vang is that it was going to let us get rid of the topping lift and that it would hold the boom up. The boom is that big pole that the bottom of the sail is latched to that swings from side to side when you turn the boat. On Kenutu, the boom was held up by a couple of ropes so that it wouldn't hit people in the head when it swung from side to side and to keep the bottom of the sail level. The boom vang is basically a squishable metal pole that supports the boom from the bottom instead of the top. It has a pulley rig so you can tighten it or loosen it as needed, depending on conditions.
To install the boom vang, we had to drill screw holes using a tap bit. This was uncharted territory for us, but turns out tap bits are an awesome little invention. While Mack drilled the screw holes to the mast and the boom using the mounting plates as templates, I discovered the power of using your long bones as a frame for holding things up forever.
One thing we learned is that the angle that you drill the screw hole with is important if you want everything to line up. Our final holes were a smidge off, but we made it work and didn't have to drill extra holes in the mast. We dipped the screws in anti-corrosion Tef-gel, which we called sour cream, before placing them as an extra measure.
Boat time is like boat money. Everything takes 20 times longer than you expect. Everything except installation of the boom vang. The whole process, from drilling the holes in the mast and the boom to the final product, took less than two hours. I was floored that a) it went so quickly and b) it went so easily. We didn't even have to recharge the drill!
Take that, Doug.
Two people dumb enough to think anything is possible and smart enough to bumble their way into discoveries.