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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #11  
Old 07-28-2007
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I do not have a topping lift, but do have a boom vang. Is there any advantage to adding a topping lift, if even necessary?

The only time I can see the benefit in having one is when tensioning the boom when the sail is down. I am now using the main halyard attached at the aft end of the boom to do this???
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  #12  
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T37chef,

Really depends on what type of vang you have.Is it a traditional or rigid vang?

With a traditional vang the topping lift supports the boom and keeps it from crashing to the deck/cockpit. In that case your main halyard is serving as a topping lift, but what do you do between the time you drop the sail, disconnect the main halyard, and hook it to the end of the boom? My wife would not hold the boom up while I did the work. Much easier to tighten up the topping lift before dropping the sail and be done with it.

With a rigid vang there is really no need for a topping lift unless it is used for a dutchman system or something similar. Let out the vang to keep the boom off your canvas and harden up on the main and the boom is controlled.

I might have missed something in your question.
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Old 07-28-2007
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Thanks Tom,

It is a rigid piston type vang
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  #14  
Old 07-29-2007
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Also, the topping lift comes into play when reefing the main. Tensioning the topping lift makes putting in a reef much simpler and easier IMHO.
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  #15  
Old 07-29-2007
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Thats it! Thats what I had a brain fart on before when I was trying to remember the other use for the topping lift. Takes the tension off the sail, drops easier. Thanks SD.
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Also makes tightening the reefing clew line much simpler... since you're just tightening it, and not trying to lift the boom and sail at the same time—giving you a much better chance of tensioning the reefing clew line properly—since this line acts as an outhaul as well as attaching the reefed clew of the sail to the boom.
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A rigid vang also adjusts the height/angle of the boom. If I did not have the Dutchman system for flaking the sail, which I really like, I would get the topping lift off of the boom. It is just one more line in that case for my purposes.
However, when I am decommisioning the boat it is a great tool when I take the boom off. Lets me get the vang off the boom, and then pull the pin and lower the boom to the deck in control.
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Old 07-29-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyt View Post
...However, when I am decommisioning the boat it (topping lift) is a great tool when I take the boom off. Lets me get the vang off the boom, and then pull the pin and lower the boom to the deck in control.
Couldn't you do the same with the main halyard at that time?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyt View Post
A rigid vang also adjusts the height/angle of the boom. If I did not have the Dutchman system for flaking the sail, which I really like, I would get the topping lift off of the boom. It is just one more line in that case for my purposes.
However, when I am decommisioning the boat it is a great tool when I take the boom off. Lets me get the vang off the boom, and then pull the pin and lower the boom to the deck in control.
Tommy I've got the Dutchman and it has its own adjustable line that is connected right under the topping. Do you have that on yours or is it attached to the topping?
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Old 08-03-2007
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ok I'm confused. I use my topping lift to hold the boom before I furl my main. Otherwise, I leave it disconnected from the end of the boom and clipped on to the backstay tensioner where it is out of the way. Am I supposed to leave this attached??! How do you guys run beam reaches if you're still hooked into it - as I would imagine that it severly would limit how far the boom would travel?

OR, are you talking about a line not attached to the backstay for holding the boom, rather some sort of line from the masthead?
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