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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #11  
Old 11-07-2011
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Do you know if it's adjustable, or are you asking us (?) I can't tell from how you describe it.

What you want is for it to be just slightly slack when you have the mainsheet cranked in as hard as you would for sailing upwind, or as hard as you would ever crank your vang down. When sailing (except maybe in really light air as mentioned, but maybe not even then) you want the leech of the main to take the weight of the boom and the pull of the mainsheet, not the topping lift.

If there's no adjustment, then add one on, or a shackle or two, until it's just slack enough.
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  #12  
Old 11-07-2011
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Ok Ill give it a look next time im at the boat and take some pics. Thanks!
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  #13  
Old 11-07-2011
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pogo

I am not sure I am reading your OP correct but the idea of a cable topping lift sounds off to me. If it is not line(rope) from front to back, I would suggest it be replaced.
A few thoughts on this;
- The replacement line can be quite light as all it has to do is hold the boom up when not sailing.
- Make the replacement line the same dia as your halyard that way it can be multipurpose.
- Use the opportunity to replace a worn/old halyard and use the old line as your topping lift.

John
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  #14  
Old 11-07-2011
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Ahh! Now, I know what that is! Thanks for asking the question. I was wondering why I couldn't tighten the vang for better sail shape! Glad you knew what to ask :-)
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Old 11-09-2011
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Haven't been back to the boat yet but I took this pic the other day this cable is the line I'm talking about.
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  #16  
Old 11-10-2011
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Yep. That is called a topping lift and it holds the boom up.
The picture is good because it shows a length of doubled back line(rope) at the bottom that is evidently used for adjusting the tension in your topping lift. I doubt you have an adjustment for this line at the bottom of your mast (like a halyard) as it is a fairly primitive set up. OTOH maybe you do. If not you need to start loosening that section of line(rope) at the bottom of the topping lift once you raise the main sail and then re-tension it once you bring the sail down.
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  #17  
Old 11-10-2011
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Yeah, slack it about 6 inches(?) and see if the batten tips don't free up and fall off to leeward. That should take care of the chafe problem. When you sheet the main in fairly hard, the topping lift should be just barely slack. So that may take a little further adjustment.

Looks like an eminently solvable deal, let us know how it goes.
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  #18  
Old 11-10-2011
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I undo mine, when the sail is up, and then attach the topping lift to the backstay until it's time to lower the sail.
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Old 11-13-2011
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My present boat just has a pig tail on the back stay, so I have no choice but to unhook it. But on my last boat, I always unhooked the topping lift. Why leave it flopping around? I would just clip it to the back stay and it never caused me any trouble. If I forgot, the sail wouldn't hang right and looked ridiculous.
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Old 11-14-2011
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With my main up, the boom will hit my dodger. Seems PO used the topping lift to keep boom from rubbing dodger. Does this mean the main sail is too long in the leach and luff? With the boom horozontal- it only clears the dogger by 6 inches. The doger is fixed and cannot be lowered.
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