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Even if you install a rigid vang to dispense with the topping lift, I would recommend keeping the tl rigged anyway. If you''re singlehanding long distances, it might be handy to have a backup should something untoward happen to your main halyard. Maybe just bring it straight down the mast, so that its not chafing the mainsail.
I''m also interested in hearing what people have to say about the Dutchman brake. It sounds pretty nifty.