1978 Pearson 30 - broken topping lift - SailNet Community

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Old 07-09-2012
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1978 Pearson 30 - broken topping lift

While sailing yesterday my topping lift broke. It looks like it broke at the top of the mast. I have no documentation in hand regarding how it is attached at the top of the mast. The boom end has a block attached to the topping lift wire. My questions are:

1. Is the topping lift a custom-built part or is there a vendor (somewhere?) that sells one off the shelf?

2. Assuming I can find a new topping lift (or have one made?):
Is this something that I can replace myself or should I have the marina service guys do the work? I have a boson's chair - I might be able to persuade a couple of good friends lift me up to the top of the mast so that I could replace the topping lift?

3. Is there an upgrade to the original design?

The marina estimate, just for labor, is about $400. I would (obviously) like to reduce this cost if at all possible.
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Old 07-09-2012
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Re: 1978 Pearson 30 - broken topping lift

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmusante View Post
1. Is the topping lift a custom-built part or is there a vendor (somewhere?) that sells one off the shelf?
It's just some (relatively light) wire with some hardware at each end. Nothing overly sophisticated about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmusante View Post
2. Assuming I can find a new topping lift (or have one made?):
Is this something that I can replace myself or should I have the marina service guys do the work? I have a boson's chair - I might be able to persuade a couple of good friends lift me up to the top of the mast so that I could replace the topping lift?
Unfortunately, I do not recall how it's attached at the masthead. I'd go up and take a look, then decide. If I was on vacation, I'd take this as an excuse to go up and look for you. Alas: Vacation's over

I seem to recall a thimble. I'm guessing the wire's crimped around a thimble and there's a clevis pin up there or something. Sorry: That's the best I can do, short of going up Abracadabra's mast.

FWIW: I would never pay a yard $400 for such a job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmusante View Post
3. Is there an upgrade to the original design?
Like I said: It's a simple thing. I'm sure it could be upgraded in many ways, but I can think of few that would make a lot of sense. Ours has a small 2:1 set of blocks on the end, with a built-in clam cleat, which allows us to leave it attached when the sail's up, then haul it up higher when the main's down.

Jim
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Old 07-09-2012
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Re: 1978 Pearson 30 - broken topping lift

What specifically broke? The line? The block? The topping lift on my '77 P30 runs exterior of the mast to a small block that sits outboard on the masthead fitting and is attached via a clevis pin and cotter (perhaps an SS shackle, don't recall exactly) -- it is cleated off at the base of the mast. On the boom end, I just have a shackle -- no 2:1 purchase. I'm using 5/16" line (1/4" should be fine) which is connected into a Dutchman flaking system. If you're comfortable going up the mast, it's not a difficult job -- attaching a block and reeving a line. $400 is crazy unless the cast masthead fitting broke, which seems very unlikely.

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Last edited by CLucas; 07-09-2012 at 12:43 PM.
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Re: 1978 Pearson 30 - broken topping lift

The cost estimate from the marina is (approximately):

$55/hour labor (I am assuming a couple of guys x 2 hours each)
$85/hour for the lift to get the guys to the top of the mast

It sounds like I should asia couple of friends to hoist me up to the top of the mast to check things out. I agree...paying $400 is a lot...but nothing comes cheaply at this marina.

I will keep you posted...and thanks for the quick reply.
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Old 07-10-2012
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Re: 1978 Pearson 30 - broken topping lift

My topping lift is a light wire with a thimble at both ends like Jim mentioned. At the masthead there is a small clevis pin for the topping lift. My masthead is not the production version, a PO had a custom one made, but I think it will attach similarly. Instead of spending $400 for the yard to do it, I would invest in a a good bosun's chair or a new tool that you need since you already have a bosuns chair.
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Re: 1978 Pearson 30 - broken topping lift

The West Marine near our boat has crimpers in-store you can use if you buy the parts there. Assuming I could remove/install eyes with thimbles at both ends, I'd just take the old wire down there, make a new one, take it back to the boat, and install it.

I imagine they wouldn't mind if I reused my old thimbles, which I would do if I could.

Jim
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Old 02-27-2013
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Re: 1978 Pearson 30 - broken topping lift

Most likely its a simple repair...in a difficult location.
You need to go up and remove whatever is up there that broke. Then take the whole affair to your local rigging shop to replace. Most likely won't be too much.

----OR----

Just replace the topping lift with a solid vang. I had one of these on a different boat, and they work great. Its pretty much a piston which holds the boom up AND acts as your boom vang. Its a racing device, as it gets rid of the need of a topping lift, which often interferes with the leach of the main. Its a bolt on solution, with no going aloft.

Good luck!
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