Many years ago I sailed on a French boat equipped with a boom brake. Perhaps due to one of those curious national idiosyncracies, such devices were (and remain) very scarce in the UK, although they were popular elsewhere in Europe, and I was intrigued to see how it performed. Very well it seemed, as far as I could tell from such a short acquaintance, although it did seem a rather clunky and cumbersome design.
So when we first rigged Pèlerin we decided to try a new design of boom brake from Wichard called a Gyb’easy, which had no moving parts and relied solely on friction. And since we’ve sailed a few thousand miles since then with it I feel far better placed to comment on its good and bad points.
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