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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail > Why use a topping lift
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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-11-2013 12:07 PM
Alex W
Re: Why use a topping lift

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barquito View Post
I think my topping lift was designed just for entertainment purposes. I can spend hours fiddling with it to try to keep it from catching on my full battened main.
Use a lighter topping lift and it will fly out behind the main.

2-3mm dyneema makes a great topping lift. It is plenty strong on almost all boats and weighs almost nothing. It is also really inexpensive.

12-11-2013 09:47 AM
chucklesR
Re: Why use a topping lift

It's a tool for boom lift and sail support, like any other tool sometimes it is right and sometimes it needs to be put away.
On my boat if it's not adjusted properly the boom can rub the bimini when close hauled.
12-11-2013 09:41 AM
lowtide
Re: Why use a topping lift

In light air, the topping lift can be used to add more shape to the main, by lifting the boom without affecting the sheeting angle.


'
12-11-2013 04:01 AM
fj007
Re: Why use a topping lift

Thanks for asking this, i just picked up an old Flying Junior and it has a topping lift and i had no idea what it was for.
11-25-2013 11:29 PM
Squidd
Re: Why use a topping lift

I have an adjustable block and line on the end of my topping lift

Nice to raise the boom at dock for extra headroom

Can be let down after sail is up with slight slack line

Is already attached to boom when it's time to reef and I got other things on my mind...

I had a fixed length topping lift, didn't like it would either forget to remove it after sail was up (poor sail shape) or it would go flying loose at the most inopportune times, or I'd forget to attach it and drop the boom when reefing or dropping sail
11-24-2013 08:03 AM
CorvetteGuy
Re: Why use a topping lift

Ours gets removed after the main is up and attached to a fixed point on the back stay. Quick to remove and attach, and stay out of the way of the sail.
11-23-2013 10:47 PM
Barquito
Re: Why use a topping lift

I think my topping lift was designed just for entertainment purposes. I can spend hours fiddling with it to try to keep it from catching on my full battened main.
11-23-2013 09:14 PM
Faster
Re: Why use a topping lift

If the main is reefable, the topping lift will support the boom during the reefing process making that job much easier.

The downside of the topping lift is, as you've noted, it's tightening up before the sheet's all the way on, and the chafe the slack lift can create along the leach of the sail when it's up there and soft enough to not interfere with trim. There's no need for a topping lift if you use your main halyard to support the boom when the sail's down, for example, though you do have to set the boom on the cabintop before you transfer the halyard, obviously.

Nowadays a lot of boats use a 'boom kicker' or another form of rigid vang that provides support from below, negating the need for a topping lift for that purpose. We have such a vang, and 'store' the main halyard at the boom end as extra support when stopped. This also gets the halyard off the mast avoiding halyard slap.

If you want, you could put a quick release on the boom end of your topping lift and store it along your backstay or elsewhere to avoid the problems it poses when sailing.. just remember to reattach before when you drop the sail. As suggested a bungie cord might help here.
11-23-2013 09:08 PM
Lemonshirt
Re: Why use a topping lift

oops! If I had taken time to read a few of the recent posts, I would have seen that this has been adequately asked/answered. sorry. my bad.
But thanks for taking a look anyway!
11-23-2013 09:02 PM
34crealock
Re: Why use a topping lift

Once you get the main sail up, slack off the topping lift enough so you can mange the sail without pulling on the topping lift. When you sheet in the main sheet too tightly you will stress the topping lift if it is not slacked off enough. If you leave it connected with a little slack in it and you have to drop the main in a hurry it will keep the boom from crashing down. You can use a length of sturdy marine grade bungy cord on the boom end of the topping lift which will keep you from breaking it if you forget to slack it after raising the main. Enjoy
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