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post #1 of 8 Old 05-02-2012 Thread Starter
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Adding a topping lift

I have a 1933 Alden Cutter, 30' LOD. She has a boom gallows which work great however I would like to install a topping life to help with reefing. Any special considerations I should be thinking about before I make one? Does the pulley at the top of the mast need to pivot or can it be mounted flush to the side of the mast top?

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post #2 of 8 Old 05-02-2012
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Re: Adding a topping lift

You can also fix it at the top and have a simple tackle at the bottom for adjustment.
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-02-2012
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Adding a topping lift

Yes. Fix wire or rope at the masthead and have a small bullet block attached to the end of the line about 12" above the boom. attach a control line to the boom beneath the block, led up to the block, back down to the boom to a turning block next to the attachment point. The control line is then fed forward to a cleat at the forward end of the boom near the gooseneck.

In most if not all cases, the topping lift isn't used for reefing. The halyard is eased to lower the sail to the new tack, then the clew is tensioned. Then any slack in the topping lift is then taken up.

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post #4 of 8 Old 05-04-2012
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Re: Adding a topping lift

Topping lifts are pain and get in the way. Consider a rigid boom vang. A bit more costly, but worth it in the long run.

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post #5 of 8 Old 05-04-2012
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Re: Adding a topping lift

If you're happy with your boom gallows, and you just want something to keep the boom up while reefing couldn't you just attach one of those small cleats with an eye to the backstay and rig a cable with a couple of snap shackles.. to temporarily keep the boom at the height you want, while you reef ? Even a bungy cord might work?

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post #6 of 8 Old 05-04-2012
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Re: Adding a topping lift

If you do add a fixed topping lift with a boom end tackle, you may want to lead that line forward along the boom.. I'm guessing your boom is quite long and a boom end tackle may be hard to reach at times.

Lead it forward to where your reefing lines are handled so you can do it all from one station. If your reef lines are led aft already then having the TL adjustable from THAT location makes most sense.

Ron

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post #7 of 8 Old 05-04-2012
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Re: Adding a topping lift

In spite of its draw backs a topping lift and taut sheet give good control when reefing or dowsing in nasty stuff. I go a step further with topping lifts and lazy jacks combined and can drop sail on a broad reach (gaff rigged}
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post #8 of 8 Old 05-05-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Adding a topping lift

Thanks for everyone's input! While a rigid boom vang would make the most sense it just would not look right with my old wooden boat. All my reef lines run forward so I think I will set up an adjustable topping lift and run the lines forward as well. I'll try it next week and let you all know how it works out, thanks again
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