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post #1 of 14 Old 11-16-2009 Thread Starter
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Topping lift?

I am sailing a friends Ericson 30 +, On any boat I have sailed before the topping lift, the wire that goes from the end of the boom to the mast head was always removed after the mainsail was hoisted. ( Not sure if "topping lift" is right term for this). The problem with leaving it attached is that the mainsail is not shaped correctly ( a good tension is in the wire ) and also the sail and wire interfere with each other near the mast head due to the full rounded shape of the mainsail.
Can some kind sole please fill me in on the function and correct use.
Thank you.
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post #2 of 14 Old 11-16-2009
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You are very correct. The topping lift holds the boom up. Once the main is up, the topping lift usually is released in order for the weight of the boom to stretch the main. The main will keep up the boom. There is ususally some 'roach' in the main which will cause the 'leech' of the main to chafe againt the topping lift. [if topping lift is in the way] We leave ours on as we usually stay on one tack for a fairly long time.
SOme yachts have a solid vang and therefore dont need a topping lift.
Just remember to reset the topping lift when reefing or dropping the main or you will find the boom about your ears.

Have fun on the ericson.
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Last edited by St Anna; 11-16-2009 at 01:03 AM.
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post #3 of 14 Old 11-16-2009
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Topping lift is the correct term. You could remove it entirely from the boom and secure it, for instance, on the rail, or you may be able to ease it enough so that it doesn't interfere with the mainsheet when you trim. On long passages (more than a day) they are often removed so they don't chafe the main, though if you need to tuck in a reef you'll need to remember to reattach it before easing the main halyard.

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S&S Swan 43

Keep the boat IN the water,
keep the water OUT of the boat.
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post #4 of 14 Old 11-16-2009
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Mine stays On and is adjustable

1970 Cal 29 Sea Fever

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1981 J24 Tangent 2930
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Northport NY


If a dirty bottom slows you down what do you think it does to your boat
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post #5 of 14 Old 11-16-2009
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Mine becomes slack when I set the sail, I leave it.
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post #6 of 14 Old 11-16-2009
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I have a rigid vang so I got rid of mine. You don't need it if you have arigid vang since the vang holds up the boom when the halyard is eased.
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post #7 of 14 Old 11-16-2009
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Although removing the topping lift when you have the main up is a good idea to overcome chafe, sometimes you can use it to carry some of the weight of the boom when the wind is light.
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post #8 of 14 Old 11-16-2009
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I ease my topping lift when the main is hoisted and leave it attached. However, we also sometimes use it to help shape the mainsail, depending on how light or heavy the air is. In really light air we sometimes add a bit of tension to the topping lift. For the most part, it does not cause chaffe on our main because the roach is such that it doesn't touch the topping lift.

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post #9 of 14 Old 11-16-2009 Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone for these answers. I think that since this boat is set up for serious racing the topping lift is adjustable via a complicated set of lines up and down the mast and back to the cockpit. I will make an effort to slacken off the lift next time as the main is a very expensive kevlar/fiberglass or some plastic mix that sails fantastically but cost a lot. It would be a shame to wear out the sail through my ignorance.
The fixed boom vang sounds like a great idea, but it's not my boat..
BTW This boat does sail awfully well; better than any other I've sailed in from 14 ft dinghies to a 12 meter.
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post #10 of 14 Old 11-16-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themotorman View Post
Thank you everyone for these answers. I think that since this boat is set up for serious racing the topping lift is adjustable via a complicated set of lines up and down the mast and back to the cockpit. I will make an effort to slacken off the lift next time as the main is a very expensive kevlar/fiberglass or some plastic mix that sails fantastically but cost a lot. It would be a shame to wear out the sail through my ignorance.
The fixed boom vang sounds like a great idea, but it's not my boat..
BTW This boat does sail awfully well; better than any other I've sailed in from 14 ft dinghies to a 12 meter.
Sorry but serious racing and "complicated set of lines" for the topping lift do not compute. Never seen a topping lift that was anything other than a single line just like a halyard. Sure you're not looking at a lazyjack system?
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