To the editor: I was interested to read Andrew Mack’s excellent article (“Taming the boom,” July/August, Issue No.107) on boom brakes. Mack mentions the Scott Boomlock and notes that it costs more than other makes. This is true, but the reason is that it is the only type of boom brake that has a remote-control mechanism to control braking friction that is entirely independent of preventer line tension.
And, as Mack rightly says, anyone who is thinking of buying a boom brake should look at the whole cost of the bits needed for the installation, not just of the brake itself.
Perhaps it was the Boomlock name that made Mack think that our unit could only be used to lock the boom in position. It is true that the remote control (operated by a single light line that goes forward to the mast and then back to a cam-cleat in the cockpit) can be used in this way, but it also has the important function of allowing the boom to come across slowly under braked control when gybing. A light pull on this line locks the boom, and then you can release it gradually to control the boom swing.
Yachtsmen who had previously fitted other types of boom brakes before finding out the limitations have later changed to the Boomlock because of its improved control, which has an entirely natural feel and is immediately understandable by anyone, including inexperienced crew. No control lines cross the side decks and no winches or heavy blocks are needed.
The Boomlock’s friction-control mechanism is internal and made of robust 316 stainless steel, with self-lubricating pivot bushes. It needs no maintenance. Our new web site, www.boomlock.com, will soon be on line, with full details.
Donald Scott is the inventor of the Boomlock and heads Scott Design in the U.K. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.