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Old 03-21-2013
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Question Topping Lift - How Does this work?



Yesterday I spent 6 hours taking inventory below deck on my newly purchased Watkins 27. I ran out of time, but did unwrap the main to get to know the boom/reefing/topping lift system.

What I found was a topping lift I'm not familiar with, and I could use your advice.

As you can see in the image, lines run from the mast and can be secured on either side of the boom. What you can't see, is that the boom is held up by a set wire (Like lifeline, SS coated).

Why have both the wire attached on the back end AND this other system for lifting the boom? The back wire is set in place and I cannot see where it can be adjusted.

Basically, I could use your advice on what exactly is going on here and how I should proceed when I raise the main.

This wasn't covered in ASA 101...
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Old 03-21-2013
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Re: Topping Lift - How Does this work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWollard View Post


Yesterday I spent 6 hours taking inventory below deck on my newly purchased Watkins 27. I ran out of time, but did unwrap the main to get to know the boom/reefing/topping lift system.

What I found was a topping lift I'm not familiar with, and I could use your advice.

As you can see in the image, lines run from the mast and can be secured on either side of the boom. What you can't see, is that the boom is held up by a set wire (Like lifeline, SS coated).

Why have both the wire attached on the back end AND this other system for lifting the boom? The back wire is set in place and I cannot see where it can be adjusted.

Basically, I could use your advice on what exactly is going on here and how I should proceed when I raise the main.

This wasn't covered in ASA 101...
These are lazy jacks, not a topping lift. They are used to organize your main as you lower it. Do not use lazy jacks to support your boom.
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Old 03-21-2013
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Re: Topping Lift - How Does this work?

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Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
These are lazy jacks, not a topping lift. They are used to organize your main as you lower it. Do not use lazy jacks to support your boom.
THANKS! That makes sense.

Are some boats rigged with unadjustable topping lifts? My in-boom lines only control my reefing points. I can't find a line which would raise or lower the topping.

Advice?
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Old 03-21-2013
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Re: Topping Lift - How Does this work?

a topping lift would be run from the aft end of the boom to the top of the mast and down, like a halyard.
Many boats have simply a "pigtail" which temporarily attaches the boom to the backstay in lieu of a topping lift, as shown here:
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Old 03-21-2013
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Re: Topping Lift - How Does this work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bljones View Post
a topping lift would be run from the aft end of the boom to the top of the mast and down, like a halyard.
Many boats have simply a "pigtail" which temporarily attaches the boom to the backstay in lieu of a topping lift, as shown here:
BlJones...my first boat had a pigtail. My current boat has a topping lift. I wonder why all boats don't have the simple pigtail. Boom weight? I liked the pigtail setup...foolproof.
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Old 03-21-2013
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Re: Topping Lift - How Does this work?

a topping lift has an advantage over a pigtail in reefing- you can reef under way without having oto worry about the boom either dropping into the cockpit or onto the lifelines, into the water, etc. Additionally, it it allows the boom to be used as an improvised crane- the topping lift allows the boom to be swung over the side and the mainssheet tackle used as a hoist.

From a comfort standpoint, a topping lift can be used to raise the boom up while anchred, increasing cockpit headroom, and/or allowing cockpit canvas (dodgers, biminis, enclosures) to be deployed.
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Last edited by bljones; 03-21-2013 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 03-21-2013
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Re: Topping Lift - How Does this work?

Ryan,
The simplest topping lift is one that isn't adjustable - that's what was on my old boat - just a single line from the masthead to the aft end of the boom. It should be long enough that, when the sail is up, the luff is able to hold up the boom and the topping lift is somewhat slack. All that being said, I wanted to put an adjustment on the told topping lift. There were some times where I felt the line was just too short.
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Old 03-21-2013
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Re: Topping Lift - How Does this work?

RHR, we had a pigtail on our old boat, and while I loved it, it was difficult to release the boom from the pigtail when the sail was up (not that I ever forgot to release the pigtail or anything...). I think a pigtail is a great way to affix the boom so it stays close to the centerline of the boat without having to lock the main sheet. The topping lift helps keep the boom from crashing into the coach roof (or whacking you in the head) when the boom is off the pigtail. They both serve similar, but distinct, purposes, IMHO.
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Old 03-21-2013
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Re: Topping Lift - How Does this work?

So why are there topping lifts on boats that have a rigid boom vang?
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Old 03-21-2013
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Re: Topping Lift - How Does this work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbarouch View Post
So why are there topping lifts on boats that have a rigid boom vang?
I myself will be fitting a BARTON boom strut but will remove the topping liftfrom the end of the boom..
But will still require a Boom vang to hold the boom down.


I will leave the rope work there incase i find another use for it.
Cant think of a reason yet but I am sure i will be able to think of something
Robert
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