The ropes leading from the outer end of a gaff to the rail of sailing vessels, one on each side, to steady the gaff and prevent the sail from sagging away to leeward when sailing close hauled or off the wind. They were used in square-rigged ships on the gaff of the mizzen, from which mast a gaff sail, known as a spanker, was set. The sprit mainsails of barges are also fitted with vangs. The kicking strap on the boom of a yacht is also often known as a vang, with a rope purchase for the smaller sizes but hydraulically operated on the larger ones.
Subjects: Maritime History.