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Boom Brake

Ron and Mary Blaul, Center of Effort, #121

I wanted to get a boom brake on Center of Effort, but there were several problems:

- 1st she carries the Schaeffer boom furler which has a rigid fixed "vang" that cannot be moved which holds the angle of the boom to the mast at a fixed angle to facilitate the mainsail furling smoothly. This vang AND the mainsheet turning blocks are attached exactly where the Dutchman Brake instructions indicates the brake should go.
- 2nd the mainsheet is a double line arrangement to facilitate being able to control the mainsheet from either side of the boat. This system hangs down below the boom so as to interfere with a brake attached directly to the boom and hanging down in the way of the sheets roved through the double blocks. Attaching aft of that puts the attachment point well aft of the manufacturers suggested point of 1/4 to 1/3 of the length of the boom back from the mast.
- 3rd I didn't want the brake lines to run outboard to the toerail where I'd have to step over them going forward, but I didn't want to attach to the chainplates as they seemed too far forward and all the way inboard against the coach room.
- Lastly, I wanted to be able to fine tune the tension on the brake from the cockpit using the existing stoppers and control lines.

(Click on picture for full size)

Boom Brake

The solution was to buy an extra bail for the Schaeffer boom track.

Boom Brake

 

Boom Brake

I moved the attachments for the main traveler blocks back and slid the third new one all the way against the vang. I put a block on that bail so the control line could be run through the block and down to the brake. This provides an added adjustment allowing the brake to sit below the mainsheet system.

Boom Brake

This still puts the brake a little further aft than the manufacturer's suggestions, but close to the 1/3 point.

Boom Brake

 

Boom Brake

For the brake line attachments, I bought a couple of "D" ring cars for the jib track. This leads the brake lines more fair over the coachroof which seems to be fine since those lines don't have a ton of tension on them anyway.

Boom Brake

 

Boom Brake

 

Boom Brake

All in all it seems to be working fine. I am still in the adjusting testing phase and as such all line attachments are bowlines. When I have it dialed in completely after a few more sails, I'll make those attachments to the jib cars something more permanent and quick release.

Boom Brake

Only problem is since the brake lines do not go out as far as possible on the boat, when running deep downwind with the main way out near the shrouds, the brake is not at an optimal position to slow a gybe and the boom will get some speed coming across to where the brake crosses over the outboard attachment point. In these circumstances, I rig a preventer fixed line from the boom end forward anyway.