Booms on modern sailboats house the mainsail in a cover when it’s lowered, while securing the foot of the sail when it’s raised and in use. The boom on an old ship was a spar the same length as the foot of the sail. These booms were named after the sail they extended, as in Jib-boom, Studdingsail-boom, etc. The boom on an old ship was also the area in which spare spars were stored, and the ship’s boats were said to be lashed to the booms – the tops of the ribs above the maindeck. The first photo shows Bit-by-Bit’s boom, encased in the blue sail cover, while the second one reveals the gooseneck attaching the boom to the mast.

Stbd in the sun Boom and goose neck
The spar (any long, stiff component which supports a sail is called a spar) is made of metal and is attached to the mast by a flexible fitting called the Gooseneck which allows the mast to move both vertically and horizontally. At the aft end of the boom is a part of the running rigging called The Outhaul, which is used to pull the clew of the sail (the aft end) tighter, pulling it towards the aft end, thus flattening the aerofoil to make it more efficient at higher wind speeds, or to slacken it off allowing the sail to bulge or curve more deeply, increasing lift at lower wind speeds.

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