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Old 05-21-2002
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Beginners rigging question...

One of the reasons smaller boats that change direction often don''t tend to use topping lifts is that they may need adjusting for each point of sail. When you pull the sail in tight going upwind, the topping lift needs to be loosened. When you head off, and the boom tends to rise, (despite the boom vang) all that loose line is up there, flapping around and chafing the leech of the sail. It might be much simpler to take a paddle - which you should have on board anyway - cut a notch that fits the boom into the business end, slip the handle through a metal strap that holds the loom (the shaft of the paddle) vertically at the aft coaming, and seat the handle into a notch or shallow box in the floorboards below the strap. The right length paddle,
which wouldn''t really be hard to custom make, will hold the boom level with the waterline and will look very shipshape. You won''t have to worry about topping lifts chafing through, or the boom swining around if the sheet gets loosened.
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