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  #1  
Old 11-30-2013
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boom kicker, anyone?

the cal 27 i just bought has no topping lift. i was thinking about installing one, then i got an ad for 35% off of a boom kicker. according to the product info, the boom kicker does the job of the topping lift better than a topping lift. it sounds like a great solution to the problem. does anyone have any experience with a boom kicker? i am curious if they are as good as they sound.
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Old 11-30-2013
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Re: boom kicker, anyone?

They work well.. You still need a vang because the kicker only pushes up. (Assuming we're talking about the twin f/g rod style kicker)

I like to dispense with the TL because it avoids leech chafe from the topping lift flailing around. This is a relatively inexpensive way to accomplish that.
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Old 11-30-2013
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Re: boom kicker, anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
They work well.. You still need a vang because the kicker only pushes up. (Assuming we're talking about the twin f/g rod style kicker)

I like to dispense with the TL because it avoids leech chafe from the topping lift flailing around. This is a relatively inexpensive way to accomplish that.
http://http://shop.sailboatowners.com/detail.htm?group=395


this is the one. it isn't supposed to be a boom vang replacement. i thought it sounded like the perfect solution to my topping lift problem. i just wanted a second opinion. looks like that'll be my next purchase. are you familiar with this model?

Last edited by captain jack; 11-30-2013 at 03:41 AM.
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Re: boom kicker, anyone?

I can't tell about that specific model since I have no idea what model is on my boat, or my last boat, or the one before that. But the style, with two fiberglass rods acting like springs is very common on smaller boats (up to 30' or so) and work very well. Mine was strong enough to support the boom wi the mainsail and cover on, and did so for years with no issues.
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Re: boom kicker, anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
I can't tell about that specific model since I have no idea what model is on my boat, or my last boat, or the one before that. But the style, with two fiberglass rods acting like springs is very common on smaller boats (up to 30' or so) and work very well. Mine was strong enough to support the boom wi the mainsail and cover on, and did so for years with no issues.
another vote towards getting one!
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Old 11-30-2013
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Re: boom kicker, anyone?

I am looking at making the transition from topping lift to boom kicker or rigid vang this year.

The topping lift gets in the way while under sail (chafes the luff)... it works great to hold the boom up, but that extra weight aloft is not helpful either.

These kickers should work well for your Cal, just be aware some booms aren't perfectly shaped for the "standard" kit. Mine for example has a "lip" on the bottom which prevents directly attaching the bracket (catalinadirect makes a boom kicker custom kit for it).

But generally, if your boom is nicely round, and there is room at the bottom of your mast, and you already have a vang, then a kicker is a great addition. Keep in mind you'll want to move the mainsail halyard to the aft end of the boom once you secure the main... Also if you are this acutely aware of the problems related to the topping lift, you'll likely want to remove it completely from weight aloft. The price you link to seems quite good.

A boomkicker completely supports the boom for a VERY short period of time, when the sail is down, and you haven't moved the mainsail halyard yet to the aft end of the boom.

The ADVANTAGES of the boomkicker are easily seen when you are in extra light air, it allows the boom to come up some to keep the shape of the lower portion of your main (more draft). A topping lift can be used the same way, but in my experience that usually happens in variable air... and you need the top lift for a bit and then not...

A boomkicker HAS to work in conjunction with a vang. The vang works against the upward force of the boomkicker.

As an alternative to the boomkicker/vang combo, is a rigid vang. Garhauer Marine Hardware -7211578
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Old 11-30-2013
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Re: boom kicker, anyone?

I added the k1250 Boomkicker to our Olson and love it. It keeps the boom out of the cockpit when dropping the main, and since I single-hand quite a bit, that's a huge plus for me. It's also very simple to install.

Last edited by Irunbird; 11-30-2013 at 09:25 AM.
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Re: boom kicker, anyone?

I have one on my 23' and I love it
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Re: boom kicker, anyone?

An alternative that is even cheaper to is to make your topping lift out of very light dyneema line (1/8" or smaller, 2mm stuff is good but harder to splice). It can be a fixed length about 12 to 18" shorter than your main's leech with a fixed very lightweight block at the end (<20 grams). Run a line from the end of the boom up to that block and then to a control point.

This lightweight topping lift will blow out of the way of the main in even the tiniest breeze. It costs about $40-50 total depending on your main sail size. There are two splices to make, but they are easy brummel splices in single braid. The dyneema is more than strong enough for the needs here.



You can see my topping lift blowing out between the leech of the sail and the backstay. You can also see that my mainsail could have a lot more roach, and the next one will.

I don't even adjust my topping lift very often. I leave it set like that so that when the main comes down the boom drops slightly until the topping lift goes taught. Occasionally in very light air I'll use the topping lift to avoid closing the mainsail leech and to keep shape in the sail.
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Old 11-30-2013
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Re: boom kicker, anyone?

Never had a topping lift, just used a pigtail to the backstay. Bought a boom kicker and installed it last year, it was a great upgrade. I love it.
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