Catalina Direct Discussion Topics / Catalina 22 Discussion Area / Sails / Total Newb - Mainsail/Boom rigging
Author Total Newb - Mainsail/Boom rigging
Austin, TX

Boat Name: ??

Model/Year: 1974

Hull No.

Hailing Port:
09/27/2013 3:39 PM Pacific Time

Howdy folks,

I have a new to me C22 (1974) that hasn't been sailed in a long time. The previous owner I bought it from had now idea how to rig it, so it's been a learning experience. We've finally gotten the mast up and are just having an issue nailing down the boom configuration. The nearest I can tell there is a short cable attached to the backstay that holds the aft portion of the boom up, but this prevents the boom from swinging much to port/stbd. Am I correct in assuming this should be detached once the main is up? I've been a bit nervous to try it but don't se another way this could work.

Apologies for the simplistic question.

Kevin M. Morton
Sacramento, Ca

Boat Name: Serenity

Model/Year: 1976 C27SR

Hull No. 2366

Hailing Port: Richmond, Ca
09/30/2013 10:00 AM Pacific Time

That wire is called a pigtail. Its purpose is to support the boom while raising or lowering your mains'. There are three ways to support the boom, and the pigtail is the way I like the least. One of the problems with a pigtail is this:

Picture the boat in irons, so you can raise/lower the main. If the boat drifts off course or if the wind shifts during this task, the boom will want to re-align to point into the wind. The pigtail would prevent the boom from moving more than about a foot or so to either side. Once the boom has traveled as far as the pigtail will allow it, the next thing that might happen is the boat could be knocked over into a capsize. At the very least, the boom is now pulling tight against the pigtail/backstay, and is difficult (and unsafe) to disengage under that load.

The second method for supporting the boom is to use a boom topping lift. The advantage of a topping lift is it allows the boom to move freely through its entire range of motion. The drawback is that now you have one more line to handle.

The third (and my favorite) method is to use a Boomkicker. It is essentially a pair of bent fiberglass rods that act as springs to push the boom up. Your boom vang is trying to pull the boom down, so the two work together to position the boom. The beauty of this system is that you get better control of the boom without adding any additional lines or complexity. The only drawback is that this is the most expensive option.

I have the Boomkicker on my own boat, and am very happy with it.
Catalina Direct Discussion Topics / Catalina 22 Discussion Area / Sails / Total Newb - Mainsail/Boom rigging