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  #21  
Old 06-14-2008
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A topping lift is a multi-functional device. A rigid vang, or boom kicker are not; they serve one purpose. So, you have to ask yourself... Do they perform that single purpose so much better that either of the others that it warrants having it onboard? For me, the utility of a topping lift far out weights the capability of either a boom kicker or a solid vang. A topping lift can be used as an emergency halyard, to lift the tender, as a crane when loading heavy objects at a quay, etc.
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  #22  
Old 06-14-2008
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OK... I'm muddling some more.....

In last weeks episode, you will recall that:

1) I have installed a new rigid vang on my Catalina 30

2) The existing topping lift is a wire that runs from the mast head, and connects to a rope, which attaches to a block at the end of the boom and travels forward to a cleat on the boom.

3) This topping lift is annoying, as it snags on my battens, and flops about in a bothersome manner.

4) Others have stated that it's important to have a topping lift to properly support the boom during reefing.

5) Others have stated that it's not a good idea to let the boom rest on the solid vang when moored.

6) The topping lift, since it is a attached to the mast top, is not useful for hoisting things.

Since I could attach my main halyard to my boom end when moored, this eliminates problem #5. It seems to me that the only advantage of keeping the existing topping lift is problem #4. If I wanted to have the other advantages of a "proper" topping lift, I could run line through my extra aft sheeve and make one. I'm wondering if this is worth the trouble.

I'm going to jump around on the boom this weekend and seem how stable it seems.

Your input, as always, is welcome.

Still thinking....

David
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  #23  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djodenda View Post

1) I have installed a new rigid vang on my Catalina 30

2) The existing topping lift is a wire that runs from the mast head, and connects to a rope, which attaches to a block at the end of the boom and travels forward to a cleat on the boom.

3) This topping lift is annoying, as it snags on my battens, and flops about in a bothersome manner.

David
David,
You can detach the wire topping lift from the rope. Secure it forward with a separate piece of line somewhere where it won't bother you.
Tie a stopper knot on the rope and pull it against the sheave at the end of the boom.
That way you are removing it for all intents and purposes and can see what it's like without it for awhile.
When you have a chance to go aloft at a later date, you can remove the wire and add a running topping lift or not.

In my experience, it is not uncommon to see boats that are equipped with a rigid vang or boom kicker with no actual topping lift. It's a personal preference thing.

Steve
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Our topping lift is static. There's a small 2:1 tackle on the end for adjustment. It attaches to the boom with a carabiner-ish shackle. Thus I can easily move it to the mast boot (ours has been upgraded with a square plate underneith that has plenty of holes all around) and secure it there.

Of course: If one should forget to move the topping lift back to the boom before lowering the main, an embarrassing moment results

Jim
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  #25  
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Re: Topping lift vs. boom kicker

I'm coming late to this game, but I had googled boomkicker because I just saw a 30% off advertisement, and got this thread. I assume sailingdog "a true topping lift gives you another halyard" is talking about tcase10 who says, or said in 2008, that he didn't have a topping lift. If I were to get a boomkicker I assume there's still room to keep my existing topping lift either connected to the boom as a spare, or both ends cleated to the mast.

That still leaves one with the problem, mentioned in a couple of posts, of having more stuff aloft than you need, in which case one has to decide if it's better to have and not need than need and not have. Just how much trouble does this relatively light 'halyard' cause if nicely secured to the mast? I imagine if it's loose it would slap against things in the wind. Would it really make enough difference to performance that I'd lose in a close race?

And I'm talking about adjustable topping lifts, essentially small halyards from the boom's aft. Some posts have talked about fixed topping lifts, both the kind that are short lines or wires clamped from the backstay and clipped to the boom's aft, which I also have, and folks have told me not to use it, because I often forget to disengage it when I've raised the sail.

Last edited by paboylan; 2 Weeks Ago at 11:38 AM.
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  #26  
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Re: Topping lift vs. boom kicker

I would install/retain the topping lift, even with the best hard vang available. Alternatively, bring the halyard aft to serve as the topping lift after the main is dropped.

A unique value of the topping lift, is when you tighten the mainsheet against it, the two lock the boom in place, so the mainsail can be furled and the cover set, with out the boom swinging. leaning against the boom and having it give way, is a common cause of falling into the cockpit or cabin.
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  #27  
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Re: Topping lift vs. boom kicker

The topping lift also lets you lift the boom high (and out of the way) when anchored. That's especially nice on a smaller boat like the Cat 27 where you can use all the room you can get. We have the wire from the masthead running through a block at the boom end - have never had any issue with it snagging on our fully battened main.
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  #28  
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Re: Topping lift vs. boom kicker

The boom kicker is perhaps a single purpose device, but I'd argue it handles that single function better than a topping lift. A rigid vang is a 2 direction version of same purpose. The reason is the top lift is directly in the wash of the main, as well as gets hung up on the main leech... I ditched my topping lift, in lieu of a kicker years ago... but like has been said, I ALWAYS move my halyard to the aft end of my boom after my mainsail is down (to provide a secure hold in rougher water). If I had a sail-slug main, this might not be what I'd want to do, then I could see the argument for keeping both.

The pigtail to the backstay is an option, but not really a viable one... It's a great way to take out your whole rig if you leave it attached, raise main, and get a massive wind gust/direction change before you get it unhooked.
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Re: Topping lift vs. boom kicker

Quote:
Originally Posted by SEMIJim View Post
Our topping lift is static. There's a small 2:1 tackle on the end for adjustment. It attaches to the boom with a carabiner-ish shackle. Thus I can easily move it to the mast boot (ours has been upgraded with a square plate underneith that has plenty of holes all around) and secure it there.

Of course: If one should forget to move the topping lift back to the boom before lowering the main, an embarrassing moment results

Jim
What if you need to put in a reef?
you go chasing the boom to attach the boom lift?
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  #30  
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Re: Topping lift vs. boom kicker

Quote:
Originally Posted by paboylan View Post
And I'm talking about adjustable topping lifts, essentially small halyards from the boom's aft. Some posts have talked about fixed topping lifts, both the kind that are short lines or wires clamped from the backstay and clipped to the boom's aft, which I also have, and folks have told me not to use it, because I often forget to disengage it when I've raised the sail.
We have a rigid vang.
Have replaced the topping lift with a permanent messenger line, one end attached at the chainplate to avoid the external part slapping at the mast the other end to cleat on the mast.

I move the halyard to end boom when we are not sailing
- supports the boom
- Avoid slapping against the mast

For lifting I can use one of my halyards - because I don't normally hoist when sailing.
Except in a MOB situation where I would use a block and tackle attached to one of the spinnaker halyards (or any free halyard)
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