We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Boom Vang?

By M. Walker
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
WikiMotors is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WikiMotors, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A boom vang is a device that is attached to a sailboat’s boom, the horizontal beam that runs along the bottom of the sail. Sometimes referred to as a kicking strap or martingale, the boom vang is usually a strap, but it could also be a metal pole, rope, or pulley system. Its purpose is to pull the boom down and in toward the mast to ensure that the sail is getting a full and proper amount of wind.

Generally, the structure of the boom vang is arranged so that it connects the bottom portion of the mast to a point on the boom that is about one third of the way out from the mast. The resulting shape is a right triangle, and the vang strap forms the hypotenuse. This configuration allows for the best control of the boom while still optimizing the space in the boat so that the crew can move freely.

The boom vang is typically used when sailing downwind, where the wind is coming from behind the boat. During this situation, the wind will often billow the sail, lifting it slightly upwards with larger gusts of wind. This lifting motion can sometimes create inefficiencies because it causes the sail to luff and lose wind. The main sheet has much less involvement in controlling the boom’s motion when sailing at this angle, reducing its normal stabilizing downward pressure on the boom.

On downward points of sail, which include broad reaches and runs where the wind is at least 45° behind the boat from the centerline, sailors can tighten the sail and boom using the boom vang. This reduces the luffing motions, keeping the boom at a more horizontal angle so that it catches the maximum amount of wind. Sailors occasionally will tighten the boom vang while sailing on a beam reach, where the wind is directly perpendicular to the sail. This practice is usually best if the sailboat lacks a traveler, which is a device that can adjust the sheet’s position along the boom.

When sailing on light wind days, the boom vang should be loosened on downwind points of sail because the wind is less likely to lift the sail upward. The added wind in the sail is usually a greater benefit than the smoother motions of the boom. Similarly, heavy wind days can create extra pressure on the sail, so the vang should be loosened to release the added tension.

WikiMotors is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.