Rigid Vang vs Topping Lift - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 16 Old 09-17-2009 Thread Starter
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Rigid Vang vs Topping Lift

Hi All, I am thinking og getting a rigid vang and removing my topping lift, but I'm not sure if I should. With no topping lift tension I know just how to trim the sail to flatten it. I let the topping lift off.

But I think a rigid vang always pushes the boom up. Does this complicate adjusting the twist of the main sail with the main sheet upwind?

Helios
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post #2 of 16 Old 09-17-2009
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There's a difference between the various rigid vangs - some continuously support the boom with springs etc, other's "latch" into support mode and can be released while sailing.

Go for it.. sailing without a topping lift flopping around and chafing the leech of the main is great. Those that constantly push upwards cause a bit more load on your mainsheet and/or vang adjustment but you have total control of boom height regardless of wind strength.

Ours engages and releases and so does not support the boom while sailing unless we lock it... it's a bit of a pain, we have to free it to have vanging capability and re-engage it before dropping the sail.. but it's still better than deal with a topping lift. We use the halyard to support the boom when not sailing to ease the stress on the vang and get a bit of extra height/clearance in the cockpit.

Ron

1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
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post #3 of 16 Old 09-17-2009
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Hi!

In my humble opinion as a 24 foot trimaran sailor the rigid vang has, at least, a couple of disadvantages when compared to a topping lift:

-First and most importantly the topping lift, if fitted with proper gauge line, can double as a halyard in case of an emergency. In fact mine has done just that in a couple of ocasions and I´ve recently upgraded it with exactly the same type of line, shackle and stoppers as in my main halyard.

-Secondly, the topping lift is a tune up tool like a rigid vang can only dream about being...

-Finally, what´s the point in spending a ton of money in something more expensive, less efficient, less practical an a lot more prone to failure than a system one allready has installed?

Regards!!!

Pedro Cabral
(Portugal. GO F.LOBATO!!!!!!)

Pedro

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post #4 of 16 Old 09-17-2009
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I installed a Garhauer rigid vang on my Catalina 30 last year. The main reason was to eliminate my topping lift.

Problem is, as Faster describes, my vang is held up with springs and is mostly useless as a topping lift.

I will reinstall my topping lift this fall.

The added purchase of the vang is nice, but in hindsight, I wouldn't have done it.

David

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post #5 of 16 Old 09-17-2009
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My boat has a rigid vang. While it does hold the boom up it's not far enough to make it safe or comfortable in the cockpit. I've been using the main halyard to hold the boom higher but it's a bit of a PITA (pain in the after end) to walk the halyard back and forth around the lazy jacks when setting or lowering the main. I intend to add a topping lift.

Dale

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post #6 of 16 Old 09-17-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pedcab View Post
Hi!

.....-Finally, what´s the point in spending a ton of money in something more expensive, less efficient, less practical an a lot more prone to failure than a system one allready has installed?

Regards!!!

Pedro Cabral
(Portugal. GO F.LOBATO!!!!!!)
Yeah, What's the point in spending the money? As an A-1 miser, I use the "Duncan Yo-Yo" for my topping lift adjustment....
...UV damage requires their replacement about every five years for about $2.98, but you get two for this price!
Here's my main boom with the topping lift raised while the sail is not in use:
...and hre is the position while under sail:

With my ketch rig I need the whole Yo-Yo, but I guess a captain with a sloop could share.

'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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post #7 of 16 Old 09-17-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djodenda View Post
I installed a Garhauer rigid vang on my Catalina 30 last year. The main reason was to eliminate my topping lift.

Problem is, as Faster describes, my vang is held up with springs and is mostly useless as a topping lift.

I will reinstall my topping lift this fall.

The added purchase of the vang is nice, but in hindsight, I wouldn't have done it.

David
.. but you have to store your main halyard somewhere when not sailing... why not use it as a topping lift when the sail's down? Keeps things simple. I understand the idea of having a 'spare halyard', but not that many toppinglifts, even if rigged appropriately, would be strong enough.

Ron

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post #8 of 16 Old 09-17-2009
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Faster:

You are correct. That's what I do. I use the halyard as a topping lift after I drop the sail...

Two problems with that:

1) It's an extra trip back to secure the halyard to the end of the boom and then tighten the halyard.

2) While I am doing this, (and when I'm raising the sails) the boom is swinging and bouncing on its springs.

It works, but is a real pain, and potentially unsafe in rough seas.

David

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"They drove a dump truck full of money up to my house. I'm not made of stone!" -Krusty the Clown
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post #9 of 16 Old 09-17-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
.. but you have to store your main halyard somewhere when not sailing... why not use it as a topping lift when the sail's down? Keeps things simple. I understand the idea of having a 'spare halyard', but not that many toppinglifts, even if rigged appropriately, would be strong enough.
Even though I am still considering a rigid Garhauer vang and somewhat agree with Fasters' first post I have to disagree that the topping lift is not strong enough.
I recently had to replace my mast becaue I put a slight bend in it. I had to remove all harware off the old mast and re-install it on a new mast. I replaced/upgraded a few parts in the process. I put a better halyard bearing pulley block at the top and a sturdier topping lift pulley. I am sure I can hoist the mainsail with the topping lift if I really had to, the line may not be as thick in diameter as the halyard but it would work in a pinch. The mainsail on smaller boats <=30' are not so heavy that a topping lift cannot hoist them, bigger boats perhaps but not smaller ones.
I think I would still retain my topping lift even if I do get the Garhauer rigid vang because I still require the boom to be held up when I drop the main, not sure the rigid vang would hold with just the spring in place, ditto for raising the main, once I unhook the main halyard from the boom as Faster does to hoist the main my boom may fall to the deck or perhaps just fall enough to compress the rigid vang springs so the topping lift would have to remain.
Still, I like the concept of a Garhauer rigid vang, and have not ruled it out yet, when I aquire some mad money I will probably buy it.
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post #10 of 16 Old 09-17-2009
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I like the Yo-Yo idea.....

I keep playing around with main halyard when not underway but always come back to boom end so if I did have a solid vang I reckon I'd use Fasters method.

Andrew B

“Life is a trick, and you get one chance to learn it.”
― Terry Pratchett, Nation

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