Westsail Owners Alliance - Thread: "Boom Lenth"
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Thread: "Boom Lenth"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012


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Boom Lenth

Chuck and Pam Cannon

i want to cut my boom about two feet to just past the dodger. put a harkin traveler midships, build a new main with full battens, i think this would give better sail shape and modernize the rig. any comments?????

Norm Rhines

The cut will do you good.
I cut 22" off mine, and had the foot cut back to 14'-0" and what an improvement, handeling, and sailing it was.
One addition I included was to get rid of the boomkin and moved the stay to the hull.

A Item to look at for this mod (Boom gallow location) the gallowing of the boom in rough seas is always a good thing.

Best of luck:

Dave King

Ahoy Chuck and Pam,
I have a number of thoughts on this subject but will only address 2 of them, or maybe 3.
Most of us W-32 veterans are aware of the pros and cons of shortening the boom and Mainsail foot. It is often overlooked, however, that the reduction of Mainsail area with a 2' foot reduction will equal about 13.2%. This is no small amount. It also equals about 6.3% of the total working sail area of the boat. Loading up head sail area to make up for the reduction is not always a comfortable option. Your boat will certainly look more modern - and frequently sail slower.
There is another option to the full batten Mainsail and one that works better on a cutter. You might consider full length battens on the top 2 battens only and then 1/2 length battens on the lower 2. The top 2 are above the Staysail and establish the sail shape. Below the Staysail the Main will be allowed to luff in the normal fashion. With full length battens you can not see, on the Mainsail luff, that you may be under sheeted on the Main, or oversheeted on the Staysail. This is the type of Mainsail on Saraband. It has proven itself to be very effective.
Good luck with your choice.

Norm Rhines

Back again with more detail

As Dave said you will loose area.

In my case (Old sails, no battens at all, and originaly 15'-3" foot) I lost 1'3" in the foot which balanced a smaller 205 ft jib = Better balanceing = better speed on my boat with my old sails. So all my speed gain is on the improved balance.

All that said I will look into Daves recomendations. if I get the $$ for new sails I will look very hard into the top battens, But still, I do like the shorter foot 14'-0" (also I have a bridge deck travler) I still like it as it allows good sheeting angles and My vang works well with this arangement.

I hope this helps explain my enthuasiam on the shorter boom. Lastly I gained a bit of sun on the pannels due to the shorter boom.

So best of luck on your choice

Dave Kall

Beware of adding a mid boom traveler. Unless you upgraded the boom section an accidental gybe you may have two booms. I've known it to happen. Not my boat but when I had the 32 I maintained end boom sheeting.

Chuck and Pam Cannon

thanks guys, the boat is new to me. i have sailed on more mod sloop rigs and of course i am transfering ideas. i am planing to head to new zealand in two years, so i am starting my lists. i know i will have a thousand questions with this great new boat

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