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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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Old 06-11-2007
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Advice Needed Please

Hi,

Slightly confused. I have been given conflicting information by 2 previous instructors regarding the mainsail / topping lift and kicker. Can someone please give me a definitve answer regarding which order the mainsail / kicker and topping lift should be adjusted in when raising and lowering the mainsail??

Is it topping lift on, kicker off mainsail up??

Is it topping lift off, kicker on, mainsail up or is it a different combination of the above?

Sorry to sound like a duffer but I'm still learning.

Thanks,

Paddy
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Old 06-11-2007
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I suppose this depends upon the boat, but my sequence first involves raising the mizzen, and then releasing the topping lift after raising the mainsail, since the topping lift is needed to hold up the boom while the main is down. My rigid vang is then adjusted as necessary.

Lastly, the head sail is unfurled. All is then reversed when dousing sails.
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Old 06-11-2007
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Being as the topping lift is there to keep the boom from dropping when the main's not up, and being as the kicker (boom vang) is there to keep the boom from rising excessively on certain points when the main's up, I would say: Topping lift on (the main is down at this point), boom vang eased, main up, topping lift off, boom vang adjusted as necessary.

Doesn't make sense to me you'd take off the topping lift before the main was up. Nor does it make sense you'd try to do anything with the boom vang before the main is up.

Then again: I'm a newb, too
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Old 06-11-2007
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You do want to support the boom a bit when you're raising the main, since it makes it easier to get the main to full-hoist.

So to raise the mainsail you would

1) ease off on the kicker/boomvang and mainsheet,
2) tighten up on the topping lift,
3) raise the main,
4) tighten the outhaul,
5) ease the topping lift,
6) adjust the boomvang/kicker as needed.

If you ease the boomvang/kicker and mainsheet before you tighten up on the topping lift, it makes tightening up on the topping lift much easier.

To lower the main, you want to:

1) Ease off the kicker/boomvang,
2) tighten up on the topping lift,
3) ease the outhaul,
4) drop the main,
5) tighten up the boomvang/kicker and mainsheet.

Don't forget to make sure the reefing lines are clear to run freely when raising the mainsail. Also, make sure that no reefing ties were left tied in the last time the sail was used.
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Last edited by sailingdog; 06-11-2007 at 11:25 AM.
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