routing outhaul and topping lift - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 07-20-2008
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routing outhaul and topping lift

My boat (1975 Irwin 33 st sloop Mk2) currently has it's outhaul and topping lift mounted on the port side of the boom. My question is: Is it possible to somehow manage to redesign this so the controls can be routed to the cockpit or am I stuck with going up on deck to make these adjustments?

Thanks for your input!
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Old 07-20-2008
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Yes, you should be able to re-design the system so that you can run the outhaul and topping lift to the cockpit. Do you have photos of the current system, since that would make it far easier to understand what you've got to deal with to begin with, and how it needs to be modified. BTW, most outhauls have an internal block and tackle in the boom, which can often be removed if you're leading the lines aft to a winch.
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Old 07-21-2008
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Yes, you will need blocks to route the ropes back to the cockpit to an appropriate cleat or clutch. Without photos we can't help you route them, its best to get a sheet of paper, draw out your existing layout and then plan the route, making sure that it won't cause future problems.
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Old 07-21-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terryjoe View Post
My boat (1975 Irwin 33 st sloop Mk2) currently has it's outhaul and topping lift mounted on the port side of the boom. My question is: Is it possible to somehow manage to redesign this so the controls can be routed to the cockpit or am I stuck with going up on deck to make these adjustments?

Thanks for your input!
Just curious, why bother to make these changes? Many topping lifts can be set so they don't need to be adjusted at all. At worst both topping lift and outhaul only need adjustment heading out and shutting down. Even a serious racer typically only adjusts the outhaul on different legs...a little overkill here?
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Old 07-22-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingfool View Post
Just curious, why bother to make these changes? Many topping lifts can be set so they don't need to be adjusted at all. At worst both topping lift and outhaul only need adjustment heading out and shutting down. Even a serious racer typically only adjusts the outhaul on different legs...a little overkill here?
SF, that's a good point, but..

Depending on the set-up, it's kinda handy to be able to adjust the outhaul from the cockpit.. you don't need to send anyone to the mast when it's rough and blowing a full gale just to stop the boom falling into the cockpit when reefing.
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Old 07-22-2008
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It's more handy to be able to adjust the topping lift from the cockpit, since that's what holds the boom up.
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Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post
SF, that's a good point, but..

Depending on the set-up, it's kinda handy to be able to adjust the outhaul from the cockpit.. you don't need to send anyone to the mast when it's rough and blowing a full gale just to stop the boom falling into the cockpit when reefing.
Besides, if you've got the main halyard, topping lift and reefing lines all led back to the cockpit, it is a bit silly not to have the outhaul lead aft too, since when you're raising or lowering the main, you generally want to adjust the outhaul.
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Old 07-22-2008
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Is not an outhaul, and even a topping lift that is on the boom reachable from the cockpit already?
Not trying to be too obtuse, but seems to me the reason they call it a boom is it is eminently reachable from the cockpit by hands if not heads.

I'm no racer, so for me I set the outhaul about once per season - mid line on tension. Topping lift I adjust on raising and lowering the main only - and mine is right there next to the main halyard on the mast.
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Chuckles-

You should probably ease the outhaul when you're have the main sail down, since it may stretch out the foot of the sail a bit otherwise.

You generally need to tension the outhaul more if you're sailing in heavier winds, ease it a bit when sailing in lighter winds. Tensioning the outhaul makes the sail flatter...easing it gives the sail a bit more power by making it fuller.

One of the main reasons I led my outhaul aft was to have better control over the main sail's shape. I regularly sail in SCA type weather, and being able to flatten the main helps a lot. Also, the two-to-one tackle in the boom really didn't give me enough leverage on the outhaul... now I have an ST40 winch to use. Much easier to adjust the tension.
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Last edited by sailingdog; 07-22-2008 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 07-22-2008
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FWIW I set my topping lift at the beginning of the season by ensuring a little slack when the main is trimmed close-hauled, then forget about it until time to remove the boom at the end of the season...
I guess if your boom droops over the cockpit when closehauled so there is no headroom you may want to tension the topping lift after dropping the main...but I bet many people release and tension the topping lift each time out without thinking about what they are doing.
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Sailingfool-

I generally ease the topping lift when sailing since the mainsail on my boat has a fairly large roach and battens. I will tension it to support the boom when I'm raising, lowering or reefing the main, and then ease it again afterwards. I wish I could just leave it at one setting, but that isn't an option really.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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