After considering a few options, I chose the Garhauer ridgid vang for a couple of reasons. Garhauer's excellent reputation for standing behind their products, was a main consideration, but also the unit is extremely robust and surprisingly inexpensive.

I believe that the great price and service of Garhauer products is based on the fact that you are dealing directly with the factory. Thus, ordering and installation are semi-custom; one has to measure the height of the boom off of the deck, and make a tracing of both the boom and mast sections so that the mounting brackets will match up properly. Despite the steps in ordering, I received my unit in very short order.

Installation is straightforward, and I recommend going to the trouble to tap threads into both boom and mast for reliability and future removal capabilities.

One Caution -- The boom on my Cal 2-29 was designed to rotate freely, allowing a cleaner shape to the foot of the sail, no longer a factor with my loose-footed main. This feature is also a hindrance to my single line reefing system, and a negative to the ridgid boom vang. I had already frozen my boom at the gooseneck, and if possible, that seems the way to go. But if your boom rotates about it's axis, you must advise Garhauer so that they can furnish you with a boom mount that is designed to neutralize the rotational forces.

In practice, the ridgid vang replaces the boom vang and the topping lift. Wherever you park the boom is where it will stay. Having the boom supported removes one of the concerns when I reef or drop the main. The only capabilities that I miss with the ridgid vang is the ability to let the boom float in puffs on a broad reach, and the ability to move the vang to the rail to serve as a preventer..... a small price to pay for the other conveniences.

On the other hand, the ridgid vang allows you to adjust the boom to lift all of the time, bellying the mainsail for better shape in very light winds. The weight of the boom is completely neutralized.

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