Best Topping Lift setup for a 30 foot boat. - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 08-16-2010
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Best Topping Lift setup for a 30 foot boat.

Hey everyone, I hate my topping lift. I've got a ware from the mast head that ends a couple of feet from the boom end with a single block. From a line on the boom end, through the block and back down we can adjust the length of the line. However, it's never correct, and just flaps around chafing the sail.

Lately, I've added a clip arrangement so we can just remove the topping lift once the sail is up. I like not having the topping lift, but it is a hassle to deal with that too.

What's the perfect setup for a topping lift? Anyone have a system that they like?
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Old 08-16-2010
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Rigid vang?? Get rid of the topping lift completely.
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Old 08-16-2010
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We got rid of the topping lift halyard on our 29ft boat, and fitted a Selden rodkicker/vang instead.

"Rodkicker – Seldén’s range of rigid vangs – is a telescopic rod fitted between the lower end of the mast and the boom. Rodkicker prevents the boom from dropping into the cockpit when reefing. When fitted with a Seldén gas spring, it lifts the boom when the kicking strap is released. Excellent for trimming the main in light air."


"Selden Rodkicker A Selden Rodkicker rigid vang prevents the boom from dropping down into the cockpit - no need for a topping lift. Supplied with 1:2 purchase wire rope. Tackle or leading block into the cockpit must be ordered separately. An essential trimming aid for every sailor."


Selden Rodkicker


These extracts from chandlers, describes it better than I can.

It is so much more user friendly than a topping lift. My topping lift is now only used as a safety line for being hoisted up the mast or an emergency main halyard.
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Old 08-16-2010
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I'd recommend replacing the wire by putting a block on the mast and then running a topping lift from the aft end of the boom, up to the block and then down the mast and then back to the cockpit. This allows you to adjust the topping lift from the cockpit, and line is far less likely to chafe the sail. Also, this gives you an emergency replacement for the main halyard if you ever need on.
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Thanks everyone. Sailingdog, that's along the lines I was thinking. I don't think I'm willing to go as far as a rigid vang just yet.
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Have you figured out whether your topping lift actually needs adjustment when the main is in use? Ideally you can set the lift so it doesn't ever need adjusting...the lift provides a valuable service (as would a hard vang) during reefing as it keeps the boom from falling into the cockpit.

I find a hard vang not to be a good alternative to a topping lift, as they seem to have more give when you leaning on them, making the task of flaking the main onto the boom while the boat is in motion a lot more unsteady=difficult.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingfool View Post

I find a hard vang not to be a good alternative to a topping lift, as they seem to have more give when you leaning on them, making the task of flaking the main onto the boom while the boat is in motion a lot more unsteady=difficult.
Interesting, I feel more secure with the rigid vang than I ever did with the topping lift. Maybe it was a psyche thing looking at the skinny wire while I was leaning on the boom tying the sail. And it is nice not having to fiddle with the TL settings before loosening the halyard.

But the vang I have uses fairly heavy springs so the overall compression is limited, a gas unit might have more travel.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigZ View Post
Interesting, I feel more secure with the rigid vang than I ever did with the topping lift. Maybe it was a psyche thing looking at the skinny wire while I was leaning on the boom tying the sail. And it is nice not having to fiddle with the TL settings before loosening the halyard.

But the vang I have uses fairly heavy springs so the overall compression is limited, a gas unit might have more travel.
Ditto on the plus of a rigid vang. I sail several boats with with rigid vangs, and no dedicated topping lift. As soon as the main is dropped the halyard is transferred to the end of the boom and tensioned, providing the benefit of a topping lift.
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Old 08-17-2010
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Another topping lift post?!

Well then, here goes my opinion again:

I'd fit a topping lift with the same line gauge and following the same path as the main halyard so I'd always have a back up sail hoisting system.

Mine even ends up in the same stopper block as the other halyards and when sailing I always keep it loose by 1 meter or so, this way it does not chafe the sail and I have a very rounded fully battened main...

Rigid vangs are very good indeed, especially from the hardware store point of view...

Anyway, it's just my opinion...
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Old 08-17-2010
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One very cheap and simple option is the run a length of light bungee cord from the wire porton of your topping lift to the end of your boom and parallel to your existing adjustment line. You may find that this light tension will hold the lose topping lift away from your sail, ....the $2 fix! Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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