Originally Posted by fj007
So when is the right time to cleat the topping lift? do you raise the mainsail, which then lifts the boom to the proper height, then attach the topping lift line to hold it in place?
I don't adjust my topping lift on a regular basis.
It is adjusted normally adjusted to be a little bit longer than the leech of the main sail. This normal position keeps the boom off of my dodger but allows the leech of the main to lift the boom. That prevents the topping lift from affecting sail trim.
In very light air I might use trim the topping lift a little bit to force mainsail shape. When I get back to the marina I ease it back to it's normal position.
On your FJ there is very unlikely to be a topping lift. My 505 (also a racing dinghy) has no boom support when the mainsail is down. One could be added, but it is additional mast weight which is very undesirable on these light boats with very light rigs.
It's funny that I forgot about boom crutches in my original list, the boats that I teach (Blanchard Junior) on use them.