Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thought process... Boom brakes

Since we have been in the wait for rain to depart mode the last couple of days on the mast project, I've been giving some thought to the boom brake arrangement for the new rig...

The Simplicity rig has twin boom vangs and Mark Smaalders is a fan of having a very controlled boom situation and the twin vangs are a great way to do that. Of course, there is more than one way to skin a cat and a twin tailed boom brake does pretty much the same thing. For most, the cost of boom brakes is somewhat off-putting as the prices for what amounts to simple friction are somewhat ouch making.

On "Loose Moose 2" and "So It Goes" we used a Heinson boom brake (apparently no longer available) which worked just fine and made gybing such an easy operation that it became simply a maneuver rather than something to be dreaded.

The various systems available (Walder, Dutchman, and Wichard) all work and work well but when looking at them it is very obvious that they just may be a bit pricier than need be... TFH!

Really, if you look closely at the various systems they all amount to very little investment if you were to go the DIY route... Well, truth be told I would suggest you DON"T try to DIY the Wichard sort as it is simply more than the average home builder can deal with but I might point out that the Wichard is simply a figure eight descender on steroids and as figure eight descenders are very cheap ($15-$25) why would you want to?

On the whole, I'm not one of those you-must-have guys but I'll make an exception in the boom brake or suitable means of controlling the boom... You really do need one!