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Boom Vang Gooseneck (Destroyed)

Dick and Cate Frankenheimer, Ménage, #22

My gooseneck litterally snapped and tore out its rivets on a routine jibe in modest air with normal tension on vang, Albeit almost 10 years old and sailed/motored 25,000+ miles; having examined the "remains", I believe the attachment rivets were inadaquate (in furling mast) and casting may have had flaws. New, EXTRUDED unit with straps is ~$250.00...seems like a safer alternative to me.

Following is info from Charleston Spar (CS):
Original fittings were CAST aluminum, riveted in place on aft, flat mast section by CS after customer decided between in-mast furling or normal luff track. Sometime(?) in 2005, fitting was redesigned to be EXTRUDED aluminum; as some small(?) number of cast fittings had experienced cracks/breakage. Extruded fittings were approved by Catalina & Island Packet; however, IP specefied an option where the fitting is attached to mast by straps that "embrace" the mast and are tapped and bolted in place rather than the riveted method. IP has specified the strap for all their boats.

I shall be installing one of the new, strap, extruded fittings on Ménage this week and can eventually send photos of the dammaged/broken OLD unit and install of NEW unit to those interested.

(Click on picture for full size)

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Following is the note I sent to Warren Pandy in reply to his note to me.

Hi Skip,

I have attached some photos showing the NEW gooseneck (vang) fitting supplied by Charleston Spar (CS). While not admitting any design flaws in the original design/installation; Charleston indicates they changed their design in 2000 from a cast piece to an extruded design and later added the option of the extrusion being welded to mounting bracket that is tapped and screwed into the mast. CS acknowledges they had failures from the cast piece and now recommend the welded bracket as well (CS claim Island Packet uses the new design on all their masts). Despite the age of Ménage (#22), they charged a "nominal" $250.00 for a new assembly...seemed pretty good to me. I installed the new gooseneck (great fit around mast) and found it necessary to add washers for snug pivot point. Clearly!!!! the new assembly is stronger and a better design all around. I recommend you advise other owners of boats (before switch to Selden 2 part mast) to replace their vang gooseneck with this new one before they encounter the same problem I had. (Believe me, they WILL have the problem and might have much more collateral damage than occurred on Ménage)

Thanks for your reminder of our memorable times together...I too recall them fondly!

All the best to YOU and "The Gang" in Largo.

Boom Vang

 

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