If you don't leave the topping lift a bit slack when you're sailing, the mainsail won't ever take proper shape, since the leech will be baggy. The boom's weight normally flattens out the leech of the mainsail—with the topping lift tight, it doesn't flatten out properly.
Also, a boom vang won't work properly, to flatten the mainsail in heavier winds, if the topping lift isn't slack.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.