Question about boom height - SailNet Community

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Old 09-10-2009
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Question about boom height

I recently found out that i could "raise" my boom..byt loosing up my boom vang and pulling on the " topping lift???" - this may not be correct.

But my question is, at what height should the boom be? I have had it 'down' since I bought it, which means I could not stand up under it ( Im 5'8" ) on my Catalina 25.

Should it be up a bit or lowered all the way to down? I assume this will affect the sail shape ( but which way changes for what shape? ).

Just curious.
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Old 09-10-2009
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Hello,

When the sail is down, you can use the topping lift (as long as you slack the main sheet and vang) to raise the main as high as you like. Raise it up so no can bump their head on the boom.

When you raise the sail, you should slack the topping lift so that it is not holding the boom up. The sail will hold the boom up. Now you can trim the sail with the main sheet (and vang when sailing down wind).

If you have the topping lift on when the main is up, you won't be able to trim the main when going upwind.

Good luck,
Barry
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Old 09-10-2009
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Barry's spot on.

You need to be sure your topping lift is slacked once you've hoisted the main to the correct luff tension. If at any time while sailing in normal breezes you notice the topping lift get taut, loosen it a bit til it's slack.

In the lightest air you can use the topping lift to support the boom when the boom weight distorts sail trim, removing the desired twist. This can be a problem when tacking as the topping lift will chafe/interfere with the leech from time to time.
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When you raise the mainsail, you should first release all the devices that could be holding the sail or boom down. The mainsheet should be eased a bit, as well as the mainsail downhaul, the boom vang, the cunningham, and also any stops that might be in the mainsail track above the boom. When there are no devices that are holding the sail or boom down, then raise the mainsail as high as it will go, and cleat the halyard. Then use whatever sail tensioning devices that you have (The C25 should have a mainsail downhaul.) to tension the luff of the mainsail appropriately for the strength of the ambient wind.

The height of the boom will depend on whether your boat is a standard rig or tall rig C25, and whether the sail is a standard sized sail for the boat. (Some owners of tall rig boats put smaller mainsails on them, to raise the boom higher.)
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Old 09-10-2009
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Hmm. I learn something everytime I post on here.
I have noticed that I have the boom supported by the topping lift, which is wrong apparently.

i will try this out this weekend and see how better I sail.
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