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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 05-20-2002
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Beginners rigging question...

I am currently learning to sail in a 15'' daysailer, and on one of the first trips out last year; I encountered a small problem with the rigging. Whenever I drop the mainsail, the boom drops to the deck in a giant ball of sail and aluminum. I know that on larger boats, there is another stay running from the top of the mast to the back of the boom to help support the boom, and I was questioning the possibility of adding something like this my mine. On the top port side of the mast, there is an "extra" eyebolt type of fastener and on the port side of the boom opposite the outhaul there is an "extra" cleat. There isn''t anything in the boat literature that shows one of these stays, but is it possible that it could/should be rigged that way?? I know that this isn''t really much of a problem , but more of an irritation. Everything just seems to run smoother when the deck is neat & organized and not smothered in mainsail.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Joe
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Beginners rigging question...

Joe,
The "other stay" you speak of is called a topping lift. This is a line that attaches to the end of the boom, goes to the top of the mast and passes through a small block then down to a cleat located in the vacinity of the "gooseneck" (the boom attachment point). Since you mention an eyebolt atop the mast and the extra cleat portside the boom, I would bet this is where the topping lift should be rigged. When sailing the topping lift is slacked to allow proper mainsail trim then tightened before you drop the sail to keep the boom out of the cockpit. The line you can use for your topping lift can be relatively light as it bears very little weight. I would suggest you get some inexpensive 1/4" "XL" Sampson yachtbraid from Defender Industires for this purpose.
Good luck and smooth sailing.
Fred
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Old 05-20-2002
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Beginners rigging question...

Thanks for the information, I couldn''t call the manufacturer as they went out of business years ago..

I was hoping that it could be rigged that way , but I didn''t want to just do it without input from someone more experienced than myself.

Thanks again for your time & consideration...

Joe
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Old 05-20-2002
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Beginners rigging question...

Small daysailor rarely have topping lifts. Instead you gently lower the halyard until the boom is either in a boom crutch or on the deck. The Main halyard is typically used to support the boom once the mainsail is down. If you do decide to rig a topping lift it could be run as suggected but it would normally run through a block at the end of the boom to a cleat on the side of the boom close to the mast. The cleat That you describe is probably for the outhaul.

Jeff
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Old 05-21-2002
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Beginners rigging question...

I considered that the cleat might be for the outhaul, but because there is one on both sides of the boom; I figured that the "extra" one must be for something else (I don''t have any clue as to what the eyebolt doohickey on the mast is for either).

Is it possible that the cleat would be located closer to the mast on a larger boat for accessibility reasons. I imagine that it would be easier to manage a line closer to the mast rather than towards the end of the boom where you would have to reach over your head.

Joe
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Old 05-21-2002
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Beginners rigging question...

Joe,
If you wish to run a topping lift I don''t see any reason why you can''t. The lift is controlled at the mast not the end of the boom. I used to own a 23''er and had that puppy rigged like a 40''er which I now have. Made solo sailing a breeze. I couldn''t afford roller furling so I made a jib downhaul for getting the jib down in a hurry. I might add here that all running rigging on the 23''3r were run aft to the cockpit, halyards, reefing lines, etc. That might be overkill on a 15''er. I''m for anything that makes sailing less work and more fun so try whatever you think works for you. If it doesn''t work as planned try something else. The thing you''ll discover is 15 sailors have 15 opinions, some good, some bad. You have to decide what''s good for you and your boat, be inventive, nothing ventured, nothing gained or learned.
Best of luck.

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Beginners rigging question...

I''m still a tad bit confused as to how it should be rigged. When you say that the lift is controlled at the mast, this is what comes to my mind:

Attach the line to the cleat at the end of the boom and then run it to a block attached to the doohickey on the top of the mast and then down to the base and add another cleat to secure it.

I apologize for the "doohickey" jargon, but I really have no idea as to it proper name.

Joe
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Beginners rigging question...

Never mind.....I just looked at your first post & answered my own question. Ahduhhh!!

Thanks,
Joe
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Old 05-21-2002
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Beginners rigging question...

One of the reasons smaller boats that change direction often don''t tend to use topping lifts is that they may need adjusting for each point of sail. When you pull the sail in tight going upwind, the topping lift needs to be loosened. When you head off, and the boom tends to rise, (despite the boom vang) all that loose line is up there, flapping around and chafing the leech of the sail. It might be much simpler to take a paddle - which you should have on board anyway - cut a notch that fits the boom into the business end, slip the handle through a metal strap that holds the loom (the shaft of the paddle) vertically at the aft coaming, and seat the handle into a notch or shallow box in the floorboards below the strap. The right length paddle,
which wouldn''t really be hard to custom make, will hold the boom level with the waterline and will look very shipshape. You won''t have to worry about topping lifts chafing through, or the boom swining around if the sheet gets loosened.
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