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Details about  Stainless Steel 316L Sail Boat Boom Brake - Sail With Confidence

Stainless Steel 316L Sail Boat Boom Brake - Sail With Confidence

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US $79.95
Approximately C $97.30(including shipping)
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32 sold
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Last updated on  Apr 16, 2015 16:35:21 EDT  View all revisions

Item specifics

New: A brand-new, unused, unopened, undamaged item in its original packaging (where packaging is ... Read moreabout the condition
Brand: Captain Don
Country/Region of Manufacture: United States Manufacturer Part Number: BB05

Capt. Don Stainless Steel 316L  Boom Brakes. Sail any size boat with confidence.

Safety first, right? We have flares, life jackets, EPIRB's, life rafts, etc. but why not a boom brake?

A boom brake is a great device for controlling the boom swing during an intentional or unexpected gybe and a critical safety device when sailing downwind, in poor conditions, at night or short handed. It reduces your work load, stress on your rig and it could save someone's head or life. Sure, a preventer can stop the boom swinging but they are notorious for breaking booms and require attention when gybing unlike a boom brake.

 See the video of use on a Bristol 32:  http://youtu.be/yCkFUGl12xw

Complete parts list and larger images of the above Bristol 32 installation.

I have always dreamed of sailing the world and started the journey to fulfill my dream by going to sea full time for over 3 years on commercial vessels and getting certified as a M5 Captain and engineer. Friends asked me to make a boom brake that did not ruin a cruiser's budget. Well, after about a year of testing various hand made samples I am happy to say that I can now offer a boom brake that is made from highly polished ½ in 316L stainless steel, not aluminum. It is also about 20 % bigger than a climbers 8 being 6 ¾” long and 3 3/4” wide with a center pin for increased friction if required like the Wichard. Remember that the mast and boom absorb most of the sail loading so this boom brake can be used on a sail with a loading far in excess of the approximate 9800 pounds yield strength of the boom brake.

It is also better value compared to typically $300 or more for other options. These are not available in stores although I have had numerous requests but that means I would have to raise the price and eliminate many buyers who are also on a shoe string budget. Your support goes directly to helping my wife and I fix our boat and hopefully fulfill our dream of sailing and kick starting our non profit: http://dreamgreen.org/

The brake can be attached directly to the end of the Vang at the boom or to a bail in the boom track aft of the Vang or to a line wrapped around the boom but the best is to rig the way that serious racers attach boom preventers, by running a line under the boom or on the side of the boom between both ends and attaching the boom brake to that. This eliminates any boom point loading and keeps the boom under compression. See images of a Catalina 27 rigged this way.

It is often easier to attach the friction line to the top of the shroud turn buckles. see images. This provides the clearance to prevent the friction line rubbing on the coach roof which can cause changes in line length thus changes in tension and friction. One side can be run back to the cockpit for adjustment via a block and clam cleat at one shroud base. To avoid that extra line back to the cockpit a set of blocks with cleat can be attached to a shroud turn buckle and to one end of the friction line to provide tension adjustment. See the Bristol 32 installation link above. Once set it should require little adjustment for changes in wind strength.

I put together a short video of our boom brake used on a Catalina 27 and of course included some dolphins. http://youtu.be/GGWI9OqsDFk

1/ You do not need to use the winch to tighten the friction line, hand tighten is often enough.

2/ A change of only an inch in the friction line tension makes a big difference. As the boom swings the friction line length will change and thus the location of the boom brake is important to minimize this change. If in doubt about position please do not hesitate to contact me and I can do some calculations in a spreadsheet to show what impact your vang, shroud, boom arc and boom brake locations will have.

3/ If you find that you have a nice moving boom swing in one direction but not the other then try tying both ends off at the top of the shroud base turn buckles or put a block and cam cleat on one side. It seems some folk have a line with too much stretch and when the one side leads back to the cockpit via a block more stretch occurs on this side causing this problem. This problem has also occurred when the boom brake was placed too far aft on the boom, typically attaching about one third aft the length of the boom is good.

4/  If the brake jams, you might have too many friction line loops in the brake, change to match the images above, the geometry needs to be adjusted or your friction line is too thick. Start with a friction line that is approximately 3/8" diameter or even less on small boats that are in the low 20 ft range or smaller. It is always best to begin with a low friction setup and if it works but is loose try a slight change in tension before changing to a thicker line.

I created a free spreadsheet that can help optimize your boom brake placement.

All you need to input is these dimensions in inches:
1/ Height of boom above anchor pt such as aft shroud turn buckles
2/ Horizontal Length between anchor pts
3/ Attach pt of vang to boom from gooseneck
4/ Distance of anchor pt aft of gooseneck

If you need any help interpreting the data IM me. The file can also be opened with Open Office.

Hope this helps.

Capt. Don

Joe Anshien 2014-05-01 : Used the boom break on delivery from Martinique to Annapolis. Worked well.

Rodney Wood 2014-8-20 : I have an old IOR 1 ton warhorse with a fractional rig (rather long boom).   
The Boom Brake worked great during the Summer Social buoy races with novice/passengers on board on the down wind legs.

Peter Puky : Don, suspending your brake from the boom ends turns the entire boom into a "compression post"! This makes the boom bullet proof! A very strong method of diverting the energy. As a rigger (historic = 25 years ago) I love it!! I purchased 3, one for me and the others for members of the WORLD CRUISING CLUB team.

Steve Kratchman: I only went out the day before pulling for winter but come spring I will experiment with my line sizes, however, I do have a 3/8 line now and that did work well enough. The mainsheet went over quickly but did not bang against the stops as it would have normally. So I am very pleased with my setup although now I have it tied off at the strbrd inboard shroud turnbuckle and am using the cam cleat block at the port inboard turnbuckle. It does make it quicker for testing tensions. 

I am going to place pics on my Pearson list but am listed on a cruisers list as well. I might suggest you make contact with Practical Sailor and Sail zines as they both have pages for   Interesting and new items, especially at reasonable prices. 
I will keep you informed.
'87 39-2 Pearson, SOLOMONS MARINA, MD

Ed Martin: After some initial difficulty and testing I followed Don's calculations and rigged the boom brake 48 inches aft of the Gooseneck on my Bristol 32 and it works great with the same friction when the boom swings  both sides, slowing it down nicely to a comfortable speed where no one is going to get hurt but not too tight so avoiding any excess load on the boom.

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Item location: Weirton, West Virginia, United States
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