to common Boomkicker questions:
Q: Is buying a larger
Boomkicker model always better?
A: Not necessarily.
Using a larger model than needed can result in too much force making it
difficult to pull on the vang and mainsheet. If however the length of a
larger model will fit the area above the vang better, we can substitute
or exchange the standard spring rods for optional lighter ones.
Q: Do I need a vang with the new track fitting.
A: Although a vang is recommended for sail shape, there is usually enough travel
in the track compared to the original boom fitting, that a vang is not required.
Q: How do you get
the mast slide in the luff groove when the mast is stepped and the
gooseneck is in the way?
A: The slide
is removable from the fitting and can often be inserted where the sail
goes in above the gooseneck, then slid down into position. Using string
to lower the slide is one option. Dropping it is another, making sure the
slide can not go all the way to the keel.
Q: A round slide came
standard, the luff groove requires a flat slide, are these available?
A: We stock
flat slides from 1/2" to 1" wide depending on the model. Slides are 1/8"
thick stainless. Measure the inside of the existing groove or the sail slides
to determine the required width. Flat slides can be bought direct or the
standard round slide can be exchanged, the parts list included with the
Boomkicker has specifics.
Q: The luff groove
is not usable or does not exist below the gooseneck. How is the fitting
A: The mast
fitting bracket can be attached directly to the mast using the same drill
and tap provided for installing the boom fitting. Extra long screws are included
if needed. The slide goes unused. For unusual cases, for example where wiring
runs in the luff groove, we can supply custom brackets to span the luff
Q: There is a groove
on the underside of the boom, are there slides available for the boom
A: Yes. Contact
us with the required inside width. Slides are 1/8" thick stainless, drilled
and tapped for the fitting. Shorter screws are also included. Before ordering,
check for access.
Q: The existing gooseneck
is adjustable up and down the mast. Is this a problem?
A: The Boomkicker
works best with the boom gooseneck fixed at one location on the mast. After
installation, the Boomkicker boom attachment becomes a lever point. Raise
the gooseneck and the aft end of the boom drops. It is preferred
to select the best gooseneck position, when using the halyard or a cunningham
to tighten the luff. Use the downhaul/sailstops to fix the gooseneck in that position. We also sell slides separately as stops.
Q: The boom rolls
on a gooseneck pin. Is this a problem?
A: Not with
the smaller models, but as boats approach 30', to avoid undue stress on
the boom fitting, it is best if booms are fixed in the upright position.
If necessary we have a fitting which mounts on the mast, under the gooseneck
to hold the boom in the upright position.
Q: Does the Boomkicker
need to be installed parallel to the vang?
it looks best, but it is not essential. So long as there is room to flex
and it provides enough support, the installation is fine. For more see
Q: For installation,
is the best angle to the boom 45 degrees?
the farther out the boom the better the leverage for support. The best
angles to the boom for all models except the two smallest are
between 35° and 40° but customers often install them successfully
at angles close to 30°. If shortening the Boomkicker is necessary
to fit above the vang, shorten only the minimum amount required. The exceptions
are models K0312 and K0400. Both work best if installed between 40° and
45°, see their installation instructions for more.
Q: How high should I set the boom for installation?
A: With the new boom track fittings' extended travel, setting the boom
height is not as critical as the original fitting. Generally it should be
slightly above the normal sailing height with consideration given to reefing,
head clearance when in port, lifting the boom in light air to improve sail shape
and different mainsails.
Q: Can I install the Boomkicker upside down so
it flexes downward?
A: Yes, the Boomkicker works the same whether it flexes
up or down. Customers have installed it "outside" the vang, flexing it down away
from the vang but vang leads and interference with crew should be considered. We have also heard of
customers running the vang between the rods, one fitting outside, the other
inside the vang. The two smaller models which use a webbing sling at the boom
actually benefit by flexing down. As the rods flex, the sling becomes more
vertical, better capturing the boom.
Q: When leaving the
boat for an extended time, does the Boomkicker need to be left in the
A: No. Leaving
some flex in the spring rods is fine. If left heavily flexed in hot weather
for an extended period, some set could occur.
Q: How much travel
or flex is available?
A: If uncut,
the spring rods provide around 6 feet of travel at the aft end of the boom
depending on the setup. Most boats require only a foot or two of travel.
Shortening the spring rods reduces travel. At their minimum lengths, travel
is still around 3.5' at the aft end of the boom, again, depending
on the setup.
Q: Can the spring
rods wear out?
A: The indication
since 1990 is no.
Q: Once installed, the force is more than I like. Are smaller
diameter rods available?
A: Yes. If
uncut, the spring rods can be exchanged for an optional
set, see the parts sheet included with the Boomkicker for specifics. Rods can also
be purchased on line at the price list or by email and phone.
Q: After using the
Boomkicker for a time, I would prefer the boom higher. Do I need to order
longer spring rods or drill more holes.
A: No, not with the new track boom track fitting, just adjust the clevis pin
stop. Additional stop holes can be drilled for the 3/16" diameter pin using the
inscribed line along the track as a guide.
Q: Do I need to have
a block and tackle vang or increase the purchase of an existing one?
A: A vang
is recommended for holding the boom down when sailing off the wind. In most cases, the existing vang purchase is fine. If there was enough
purchase before installation, adding the Boomkicker should not require more,
but it depends on the spring rods choosen and vang demands.