What happens when a Boom Vang goes Boom?

Southern Princess
John & Irene Hunt
Fri 14 Mar 2008 18:01
Friday 14th March 2008                                    06:37S  102:46W
Well not a lot really. I was asleep in my bunk to be woken by a rhythmic kerbang/kerclunk/kerbang etc. An ear to the mast revealed that might be the source but there again apart from the furler foil inside the mast, nothing could be really making that kind of noise.
The Princess voiced the opinion that it was coming from the boom. We are sensitive about the boom as we bent it coming across the Atlantic and while we have patched it we still have a 3" to 5" bend in it. Anyway investigations continued and then I noticed that where the boom vang joined the base of the mast that each time the boat rolled and the mail sail took up some slack, this join would jerk sideways and voila we found the culprit. This connection is a bolt through a snug hole and now we have a bolt through an ovoid hole that just keeps getting bigger. We have managed to stabilise the boom with out the boom vang with a Heath Robinson series of blocks, barber haulers and pulleys.
Beneteau builds a great yacht but a lot of the equipment on them is specified for day sailing in the Mediterranean and some parts just can not stand up to the rigor of long distant sailing. Just shot an email off to Tahiti to see if we can get it fixed there and if not we have a mate coming from NZ and I will get him to have one made.
The trade winds are really here and we have been tromping along at 9 knots since yesterday and our weather man in Perth, Bruce Buckley recons they will go on for some days yet. Fantastic sailing with the wind just aft of the port beam. Bit rolly in the galley however the girls are turning out some great food. Distance run in the last 24 hours is 207nm. Great stuff!