ASA and PSIA Instructor
Join Date: Apr 2000
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Many small boats have a short line hanging off the backstay, with a clip on the end, which serves as a topping lift. The problem with this arrangement is that it really can't be used when the mainsail is raised.
To me one of the impartant features of a topping lift is that having one in place makes reefing the main a lot easier, as you don;t have the boom swinging around in the cockpit during the reefing process.
Do your own lift: add a strap to the top of the mast, a small block at the aft end of the boom, and a cleat near the forward end of the boom. Run a piece 5/16 line from the strap, through the block to terminate on the cleat.
If you have the space in the boom, you could duplicate your main halyard to use as a topping lift, then you have a backup halyard.
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