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The innovative Walder Boom-Brake

by Philip Yeomans on 18 Aug 2011
Walder boom brake 203 C on Jeanneau 42 DS Philip Yeomans
The Walder Boom-Brake has been in use for over 30 years. With an efficient design based on simplicity and common sense the Walder Boom-Brake controls the boom when accidently gybing.

The Boom-Brake has long been perceived to be necessary for circumnavigators on the open ocean. These days when it’s unthinkable to start your car without buckling up your seatbelt or to purchase a car without an airbag, we still think that getting knocked senseless by the boom is just unavoidable fate. Who has not experienced the boom sweeping the deck in an untimely and brutal manner during gybing [whether deliberately or not] with consequences ranging from expensive – broken boom or mast – to catastrophic – a crew member injured or thrown overboard. This can happen anywhere, not just on the open ocean.

Walders range of Boom-brakes feature a friction fitting and by simply adjusting the tension, the rate of swing is easily controlled. Since the Boom-Brakes invention in 1976, our competitors have merely adopted the same friction principle, but with more elaborate [and less efficient] mechanisms, in order to avoid being an exact duplicate.

Walders four models suit boats from around 7m to around 16m and suit mainsail areas up to 110m2. With no moving parts and no maintenance other than a good hosing off with freshwater, the Walder Boom-Brake makes sense.

The Boom-Brake is easily fitted to the yachts boom, in many cases an attachment to the booms vang fitting or a new fitting just behind is all that is needed. A line is then rigged from one shroud base [chainplate] to the Walder Boom-Brake with the a number of turns, down to the other shroud base and then aft to the cockpit. The chainplate is ideal as this is a strong point, however a dedicated fitting or attachment to an alloy toe rail can be used if there is sufficient backing. To trim the tension, either lead the line to a winch or set up a block and tackle system. It is generally unnecessary to lead the line down both sides of the deck as once the tension has been finalised there is little adjustment. Once fitted it is advisable to check that the lines all lead correctly and without chafe, for example on the cabin top. Checking the angle of the block at the shroud base is also advisable as there could be some deflection in the shackle.

Some general hints;
When setting up, some lines may need washing due to the silicon in the manufacturing process.
The use of the correct size line and number of turns on the drum will affect the Boom-Brake, in most cases it takes time and finalising of the tension and turns after some use. Too much friction, use a smaller line and/or one less turn. Too little tension, use a larger size line and full turn on the drum.

The Walder Boom-Brake can also be used as a preventer, by tensioning the line, in order to keep the boom out.

With over 10,000 customers worldwide and guaranteed for 10 years, the Walder Boom-Brake is an essential safety device that ensures the indispensable protection of your crew and equipment.

For more information contact our office on 02 9905 9400 or visit www.deckhardware.com.au

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