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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #11  
Old 03-31-2013
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Re: Topping Lift

Alex, Thanks for the info re:topping lift. I did know you could put bag in a sail using the topping lift to aid light air sailing. I am not set up the way your boat is, always good to know new tricks.
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  #12  
Old 05-27-2013
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Re: Topping Lift

It may be old, but it is still useful.
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Old 11-06-2013
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Re: Topping Lift

So I will ressurect this thread yet again with my .02 on using the topping lift for sail shape. I don't have one on this boat but did on my 16 footer.

That boat did not have a traveler and so I would use the topping lift to counteract the main sheet forces when going upwind in lighter airs. This would let me sheet the main in hard to the middle of the boat but then use the topping lift to lift the boom and avoid flattening the sail too much. It also moved the boom in another inch or two. Seemed kind of wrong but it did work for me.
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Re: Topping Lift

Another good reason to have one in place, If you are sailing without a rigid vang and the mainsail halyard broke free you will love the topping lift. If it is rigged properly it will prevent the boom from dropping on your head or on your crew. just like when you see inexperience sailors dropping the main without following the proper procedures.
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Re: Topping Lift

Another advantage of a topping lift is that if it is properly sized it can double as a main halyard if the dedicated halyard breaks.
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Re: Topping Lift

Its major function is to hold the boom up while you reef
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Re: Topping Lift

Once again (as old as this thread is)... a topping lift serves 2 purposes, to hold the boom up when nothing else is, and to counteract the forces holding the boom down (for sail shape).

As others have said, a top lift adds complications (drag, and trailing wind disturbance) while sail is up, and some prefer a rigid vang or a boom kicker instead. These two devices ARE NOT a complete replacement for a proper topping lift, however, the biggest issue is merely while transitioning between sail up, and sail down (kicker doesn't provide enough upwards force to support leaning on the boom).. this is usually mitigated once the main halyard is moved from the head of the sail to the boom end.

I personally hated dealing with the topping lift, and would frankly prefer the boomkicker (as I've had 3 on 3 boats, removing topping lifts on each boat). But that's just my preference. The boomkicker must be used with a vang (boomkicker provides upward force, vang provides down)... a rigid vang usually includes a downward force adjustment along with upward.

These are preferences and are completely up to the skipper. Some even keep a top lift as well as a rigid vang or kicker. On a larger boat this makes some sense to me, especially if you aren't racing.
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