bent boom - what to do next?

i was supervanging in heavy air and was late in loosening the vang at the windward mark; I now have a slight bend in my boom. the deflection measures only 1/2" but it is visually striking!
what to do? is it okay to just live with it for club racing? or, should i try to straighten it (seems like this might just weaken it further).
Is it legal to sleeve the boom and does anyone sell the sleeving kit?
thanks for any and all advice


If you race a little while and vang properly the boom will develop a permanent bend. Sleeving is not legal and attempting to straighten it is not advised. The mainsails have a big enough shelf that some bend has no effect on sail shape.

I recommend that you keep an extra boom. They are not too expensive and they don't break that often but when one breaks it is a hassle and shipping can be a fortune. Buy one with a group if you can and whoever breaks theirs first buys out the rest. The problem is that you may never use it but it is still good insurance.

Be sure to inspect your gooseneck very carefully as in my experience that is the weak link in the system. You can get replacement parts from Flying Scot. Gabor Karfiath FS 3512

I had a bent mast. Flying Scot sent me the instructions for straightening it out. I assume the boom would be similar and suggest contacting them. Flying Scot is an excellent resource. The process is not complicated though patience is helpful. It involves finding the mid point of the bend. You'll need a couple of saw horses, tape measure and pencil.

While there is a procedure for straightening the mast, please keep in mind that aluminum will work harden. I attempted to straighten a severely bent mast (after the previous owner had a mishap while parking the trailer). The mast snapped.
If you club race I would leave it or buy a new one from FS.

I had the same problem but my boom broke! Can a boom break just due to the vang being too tight? The break was near where the vang attaches.
Any idea where I could get a used boom?
Thanks much. Jack Riley 

FS5516's picture

The stress on the boom from excessive vang pressure over time will eventually cause the boom to break. Be sure to back the vang off when bearing off, as the wind lightens up, etc. Where are you located? I have a boom. I am in Connecticut