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post #21 of 26 Old 03-22-2013
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Re: Topping Lift - How Does this work?

CapnBill: that is why you slacken it while sailing. A thin Amsteel topping lift also has very little windage and can't chafe the sail as badly as a steel topping lift can.

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post #22 of 26 Old 03-22-2013
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Re: Topping Lift - How Does this work?

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Originally Posted by CapnBilll View Post
My topping lift always seems to tangle in the mains battens.
That is odd. How so? I have never had that problem. Stack pack lazy jacks can to that.

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Re: Topping Lift - How Does this work?

I've got a simple block and tackle (the main sheet block from a dinghy) attached to my topping lift. This way I can raise or release my topping lift from the cockpit without either running my topping lift halyard to the cockpit or going up to the mast to adjust the topping lift.
It's a simple set-up but it works well for me.

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post #24 of 26 Old 03-22-2013
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Re: Topping Lift - How Does this work?

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Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
That is odd. How so? I have never had that problem. Stack pack lazy jacks can to that.
The topping lift catching on the battens will only happen on boats where the roach of the main sail extends beyond the topping lift. If your sail is cut with low to zero roach then it won't happen.

This is a photo of it happening on my old Catalina 25:


We "fixed" it by slackening the topping lift slightly when we raised the sail. A sail cut with even a little bit of angle in the foot will also naturally lift the boom and slacken the topping lift when the sail is raised. That appears to be true on my Pearson, so the topping lift never catches on the battens either.

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post #25 of 26 Old 03-22-2013
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Re: Topping Lift - How Does this work?

Yes, you have to ease the topping lift to accommodate a high roach main. Once the main is hoisted the topping lift is not needed until you reef ot lower the main.

On some boats you even have to add a backstay whip so that the battens will clear the backstay.

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post #26 of 26 Old 03-22-2013
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Pigtail Bad

Our Catalina 25 originally was fitted with a pigtail, swaged to the backstay at the appropriate height and fitted with a swivel trigger snap that clipped to the boom. Nice and neat.

But the boat sat on a mooring, and the constant motion of the boom ended up weakening the backstay at the point where the pigtail was swaged onto it.

After replacing a prematurely frayed backstay, we now use the topping lift in combo with the mainsheet to keep boom motion in check. Also, a spare line in an inverted V lashes the boom end to the cockpit sides.

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