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Wishbooms and straight sprit booms

Tom Lathrop

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seems to me most advantage of curved sprit boom is in light airs.

In Fact I think I heard Graham opine that the straight sprits are better in heavier airs as the curved sprits want to bend as you try to tension up the outhaul.

On longer tacks one of course could swap a sprit over to windward side if one was going to stay on a particular tack for a while.

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Ray, If I don't think I can build a wishboom strong enough to take the compression load without significant bending, I won't do it.

I don't think that other than a straight sprit is worth the effort unless you are racing against other competitive boats that don't have them, OR, you are just a hardware geek like some are and I used to be. I find the straight sprit to be a handicap coming out of a tack, whether in light or strong wind. Same is probably true at other times but it was not as dramatic or as provable in racing. Even when my straight line speed was equivalent to or even a bit better than another boat, acceleration out of a tack, particularly coming onto port was inferior. That is a distinct handicap when racing and often causes less than ideal tactical choices. I believe that is still true even taking into account the slower tacking of a cat ketch relative to a sloop or cat boat.

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What would be the advantage of the fixed sprit boom versus just going with a standard boom with a vang?

Lower sheet load at all times and better sail shape control off the wind. Smaller knots on your head when pranged on jibes with a boom that is lighter weight and higher up.

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