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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Topping lift vs. boom kicker
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Thread: Topping lift vs. boom kicker Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-14-2008 12:18 PM
SEMIJim Our topping lift is static. There's a small 2:1 tackle on the end for adjustment. It attaches to the boom with a carabiner-ish shackle. Thus I can easily move it to the mast boot (ours has been upgraded with a square plate underneith that has plenty of holes all around) and secure it there.

Of course: If one should forget to move the topping lift back to the boom before lowering the main, an embarrassing moment results

Jim
06-14-2008 12:01 PM
knothead
Quote:
Originally Posted by djodenda View Post

1) I have installed a new rigid vang on my Catalina 30

2) The existing topping lift is a wire that runs from the mast head, and connects to a rope, which attaches to a block at the end of the boom and travels forward to a cleat on the boom.

3) This topping lift is annoying, as it snags on my battens, and flops about in a bothersome manner.

David
David,
You can detach the wire topping lift from the rope. Secure it forward with a separate piece of line somewhere where it won't bother you.
Tie a stopper knot on the rope and pull it against the sheave at the end of the boom.
That way you are removing it for all intents and purposes and can see what it's like without it for awhile.
When you have a chance to go aloft at a later date, you can remove the wire and add a running topping lift or not.

In my experience, it is not uncommon to see boats that are equipped with a rigid vang or boom kicker with no actual topping lift. It's a personal preference thing.

Steve
06-14-2008 10:50 AM
djodenda OK... I'm muddling some more.....

In last weeks episode, you will recall that:

1) I have installed a new rigid vang on my Catalina 30

2) The existing topping lift is a wire that runs from the mast head, and connects to a rope, which attaches to a block at the end of the boom and travels forward to a cleat on the boom.

3) This topping lift is annoying, as it snags on my battens, and flops about in a bothersome manner.

4) Others have stated that it's important to have a topping lift to properly support the boom during reefing.

5) Others have stated that it's not a good idea to let the boom rest on the solid vang when moored.

6) The topping lift, since it is a attached to the mast top, is not useful for hoisting things.

Since I could attach my main halyard to my boom end when moored, this eliminates problem #5. It seems to me that the only advantage of keeping the existing topping lift is problem #4. If I wanted to have the other advantages of a "proper" topping lift, I could run line through my extra aft sheeve and make one. I'm wondering if this is worth the trouble.

I'm going to jump around on the boom this weekend and seem how stable it seems.

Your input, as always, is welcome.

Still thinking....

David
06-14-2008 10:28 AM
Columbia9_6 A topping lift is a multi-functional device. A rigid vang, or boom kicker are not; they serve one purpose. So, you have to ask yourself... Do they perform that single purpose so much better that either of the others that it warrants having it onboard? For me, the utility of a topping lift far out weights the capability of either a boom kicker or a solid vang. A topping lift can be used as an emergency halyard, to lift the tender, as a crane when loading heavy objects at a quay, etc.
06-14-2008 09:57 AM
SEMIJim Not to drag this off-topic, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by knothead View Post
You may want to rethink using a regular halyard for a spinnaker. A proper spinnaker halyard will be forward, (above) the headstay. If you use a regular halyard for a spinnaker it will chafe on the headstay on one tack or the other unless you reset it each time. Thats why most spin halyards run through a block hanging from a bail at the masthead.
The things you learn here . I'd been wondering why our spinnaker halyard was rigged so differently from the two jib halyards, and now I know. In retrospect: It's obvious.

Jim
06-14-2008 08:23 AM
knothead
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcase10 View Post
WOW, thanks for the input. I agree with Tony, I can use my main halyard if needed as a lift if stored for long periods. Also, I am installing a furler and should have an additional halyard that will not be used other than a drifter or spinnaker. I saw that breakingwind said if I want to use a spinnaker to go with a topping lift. I assume that he was referring to using the lift for the spinnaker, but I am not sure. Is that correct?

I am not sure what Breakingwind meant by that. Perhaps he was thinking about a pole topping lift.
You certainly wouldn't want to use a topping lift or any other halyard exiting the aft side of the mast for a spinnaker halyard.
Your new furler must be a CDI or another brand with an internal halyard. Most furlers still require the use of the headsail halyard.
You may want to rethink using a regular halyard for a spinnaker. A proper spinnaker halyard will be forward, (above) the headstay. If you use a regular halyard for a spinnaker it will chafe on the headstay on one tack or the other unless you reset it each time. Thats why most spin halyards run through a block hanging from a bail at the masthead.

Steve
06-13-2008 11:51 PM
tcase10 WOW, thanks for the input. I agree with Tony, I can use my main halyard if needed as a lift if stored for long periods. Also, I am installing a furler and should have an additional halyard that will not be used other than a drifter or spinnaker. I saw that breakingwind said if I want to use a spinnaker to go with a topping lift. I assume that he was referring to using the lift for the spinnaker, but I am not sure. Is that correct?
06-13-2008 08:15 PM
tonybinTX Also note these fine people are speaking of a running topping lift, not a fixed one. I've a fixed wire from the masthead to the boom end (with a 2 ft adjustable loop line on the boom end) as my topping lift. I've seen many people use their main halyard as a topping lift while not sailing.

I just installed a boomkicker because my new, full batten, roachy main hangs on the wire topping lift. My next trip up the mast will be to remove the wire and to rig a spare 'running' halyard for the many reasons others have suggested.

I love the boomkicker! Cheap (compared to rigid) and really a breeze to install.
06-13-2008 08:10 PM
djodenda Steve:

OK.. I get it. I've had topping lifts that were attached to the backstay that certainly did help keep the boom centered.

Not this one. As you suspected, It's a wire from the masthead, that goes through a block on the end of the boom, attaches to a line, and travels forward to a cleat. You adjust the height there. Not much use as a spare halyard!

I actually have an extra sheeve at the mast that I could use and make a "real" topping lift/spare main halyard/flag halyard.

I'll muddle this over this a bit, I think.

Thanks,

David
06-13-2008 07:51 PM
knothead
Quote:
Originally Posted by djodenda View Post
OK.. So, I just spent the big bucks on my new Garhauer rigid vang on my Catalina30. I'm getting ready to take off my topping lift, but now you guys are making me question that.

The topping lift flaps around and catches on things, so, I THINK I want to get rid of it.

My rigid vang bottoms out if it goes much below horizontal, so I don't quite understand why I would need the topping lift to support the boom when I am reefing. I would think that the rigid vang would hold the boom (and me) up nicely.

On the Catalina 30 forum, someone said that you'd want to keep the topping lift to keep the boom centered, which makes even less sense to me.

I'm thoroughly confused. Please educate me.

David
David,
The "topping lift" that keeps the boom centered is the type that consists of a short pennant that usually has a spring clip on the bottom and is Nico-pressed to the backstay.

The benefits of having a topping lift have been addressed already, it can serve as a spare halyard and can even haul a flag aloft when sailing or dressing the ship.

As SD says, a topping lift can be rigged so that it can be unshackled from the end of the boom and brought forward when sailing to prevent hanging up on the battens.
Some systems wouldn't lend themselves to that very well like the ones that run through the boom. However, I think the OP was in a situation where he has none and can set it up anyway he wants.

Steve
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