Originally Posted by capta
But the load on even a small boat topping lift is a lot more than some would expect. If dropping the main in a lousy sea, you'd want to tighten up the boom with the sheet to keep the boom from swinging around when you are on the cabin top furling the sail, right? That's a single line topping lift versus a multi-purchase main sheet (usually of a greater size, too), which was my point. Later the halyard may be moved to the boom end, but I for one am not going to do that until secure at anchor or in the slip, just in case.
The main sheet on such a boat has a 3:1 or 4:1 tackle and an average person who isn't struggling will be able to get about 200lbs of downward pressure on the boom (using the standard rule of thumb of pulling 50lbs on an average sailboat line).
The lightest setup mentioned in this thread was using a block that was rated to about 500lbs and line rated to 2000lbs. That is not too light for these conditions.