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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the process of installing a topping lift for a whisker pole. I've got an extra sheave,next to genoa halyard sheave. Going to cut a hole in mast near genoa halyard mast exit-- not too close I guess to avoid weaking the mast--then install topping lift/halyard. My question is: is it better to feed the topping lift back to the cockpit so that it can be fine tuned from there, esp when short-handed? Or is it ok to put a stop cleat on the mast. It seems to me the latter is good enough. I don't mind drilling holes in the mast, I have to anyway. But to lead line to cockpit that means a relay block screwed on top of cabin, and a stop cleat on cabin next to companionway hatch--I don't want to poke holes in cabinif not absolutely necessary. Or should I go all the way?

BTW, I'm a club racer and mostly day cruiser. Not looking to beat any records out there, but really could use better downwind performance.

Thanks in advance for your ideas!
 

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It doesn't say what kind of boat you have ... but ... I'm assuming it's not huge.

It might be easier to rivet a small block just below your spreaders for the topping lift, and keep the spare halyard sheave for a sail.

Then you can keep the topping life outside of the mast (no holes to cut) to a turning block at the mast step, and back to a jammer the cockpit.

Now ... adding a clam cleat on the mast, but not quite inline with the topping lift (offset by half an inch-ish) allows you to operate the topping lift from the foredeck if short handed, or from the cockpit if you have crew.

That's the best of both worlds
 

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pete
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On my boat the toppling lift is a block about spreader height then a block on deck to cam clear that can be done from cockpit , down haul for the pole is a bock on deck to the same triple cam set which also has spinnaker halyard that way all control line are done from cockpit
 

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Maybe it's just me, or is there a confusion of terms here? Are you talking about a topping lift on a spinnaker pole where it supports the pole in the middle or are you talking about an adjustable sliding ring/car on the mast? My understanding was that typically a whisker pole is attached to a ring on the mast that is fixed. I would not refer to the adjustable car track on the mast used for a spin pole as a topping lift.
Justified
 

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I believe he's talking about a line that goes to the forward/outboard end of the whisker pole, that supports it in a horizontal attitude.

Actually on my pole it attaches to the end of the fixed part of the pole, then the pole extends, so yes it does end up attached to the middle of the pole.
 

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Mast. You gotta be there to set/douse the pole anyway.
Yup. Definitely at the mast -- can't see the advantage of having the pole topping lift back to the cockpit. Single-handed racing makes whisker pole handling something of an adventure. I worked out a system last summer that minimizes my time out of the cockpit. I have a very balanced helm, but locking the wheel and going up on the bow (singlehanded) is something I haven't gotten fully comfortable with when racing. I limit it to light and very moderate conditions only (when 'traffic' permits, of course). These are club races and not single/double-handed events. I used to just avoid using the pole when single-handing, but would lose too many boat lengths on the leeward leg. What do others do to optimize whisker pole handling when shorthanded or singlehanded?
 

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What do others do to optimize whisker pole handling when shorthanded or singlehanded?
Sail at a much higher (apparent wind), and faster, angle. On this speedy boat anyway.

I've never used a topping lift or foreguy on a whisker pole. Didn't seem necessary at all. Perhaps on really large boats where the pole is too heavy to handle. Seems like a topping lift might get one into situations where the pole is overloaded in compression due to sheet tension. The pole has always been controlled by the leech and sheet.
 

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Maybe it's just me, or is there a confusion of terms here? Are you talking about a topping lift on a spinnaker pole where it supports the pole in the middle or are you talking about an adjustable sliding ring/car on the mast? My understanding was that typically a whisker pole is attached to a ring on the mast that is fixed. I would not refer to the adjustable car track on the mast used for a spin pole as a topping lift.
Justified
On many larger boats, a whisker pole of often attached to a car on a mast track. That's the way it's even done on my little tub :) Among other things, it makes the pole stowage on the mast very practical, a great setup as the pole is always ready to go...

Actually on my pole it attaches to the end of the fixed part of the pole, then the pole extends, so yes it does end up attached to the middle of the pole.
I'd strongly suggest either the use of a bridle, or attaching your lift at the end of the pole… Attaching to the end of the fixed portion, then extending the inner portion, can be a most excellent recipe for breaking the extended portion… As usual, no need to ask me how I know this…

:)

I've never used a topping lift or foreguy on a whisker pole. Didn't seem necessary at all. Perhaps on really large boats where the pole is too heavy to handle. Seems like a topping lift might get one into situations where the pole is overloaded in compression due to sheet tension. The pole has always been controlled by the leech and sheet.
I'm surprised to hear that, especially coming from one who sails a 50-footer…

Even on my little boat, I always rig a foreguy and after guy, and of course a pole lift… Especially when sailing solo or shorthanded, I think it's the only way to go…

Having the leech control the pole can result in some pretty awful sail shape in very light air, or with a heavy pole… But aside from simply being safer to deploy initially, perhaps the biggest advantage to having the pole stand alone, is when sailing in squally or highly variable conditions… Sailing at night in squalls, one can simply furl the headsail if necessary while leaving the pole in place, ready to resume once the squall passes… Or, if sailing in a channel or a route among islands that might feature a sharp change in direction momentarily, again the jib can simply be trimmed on the new heading, with the pole ready to go when the DDW course is resumed…

In the often diabolical sailing conditions up North last summer, I spent a LOT of time playing The Waiting Game, with the pole deployed and ready to resume sailing…

:))

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow, thanks. Boat is an S2 30' by the way. And going downwind is not it's forte.

So Jann's idea seems work for others as well, a block below the spreaders, and coming down to either mast or block then cam cleat, or offset to allow control from foredeck.

It is a topping lift, and clipped to outboard end near clew, but when it extends (I'm looking for a 10' - 18') TL is at 10' length.

So the fact that it stays at the same height mostly answers my question--I think I'll just add the cam cleat on mast.

So why go all the way up to 2nd sheave and have to cut a hole & put in mast exit? Well...
for one I have a roller-furled no.1 genoa, and won't really need that other sheave. And... I've heard always better for halyards/lifts to be inside mast if possible--less noisy, more protection... I have the mast off the boat too so the work is a lot easier than when stepped.

But now I'm torn! That would be less work.

Can't wait to get a line control whisker pole and try it. My boat is sweet but a cruiser that's slow in the downind leg of our beer can races. I think this will make a big difference from the accounts I read online.
 

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Better to leave the halyard sheave alone ... more options ... that way you can change sails more quickly, or hoist two headsails for a goosewing configuration, or have a free flying blade jib, or something behind door number 3.

The topping lift I described is quite common ... and what I used for my own years of beer can racing in a boat somewhat slower than yours (folkboat).

I'm not such a big fan of running the topper to the clew end of the pole ... we used a bridle ... that way you can dip gybe or end-to-end gybe the pole. You can do the same set up for the downhaul (only necessary for a spinnaker) but we actually ran separate downhauls from each clew to separate turning blocks near the bow, back to the cabin. Did it work? Hell yeah ... and you never have to hump headsails over downhauls before raising a sail becaue it doesn't foul!

Tried and true system ... best in class! A++ would do it again!

Also ... never put up a pole without having the toppinglift attached ... in fact there's no reason to ever disconnect the topping lift while sailing ... otherwise butterfingers loose poles over the side. Just make sure that there is enough topping line to drop it onto the deck, secure it, and pull the topper back to a clip on the mast step to keep it out of the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok, think I'm goin with the block below spreaders, and top lift external to that and down to cam cleat on mast. Probably getting a forespar line control WP, so it will have bridle--I really like the idea of being able to furl quickly without unrigging pole. And of course fore and after guys. And... thin I'll install mast track, for height adjustment, but mainly storage on mast.

While mast is down, I'll put in a halyard inside on other sheave for eventual asymm spinnaker. It could go through sheave then up to block on loop so that it's in front of headstay. I don't want to unstep the next couple years, so am trying to think ahead.
Jeez, a lot to do!

Jon, those are great pics, thx. Ah to be going wingon wing past an iceberg!

I'm a little unsure of where you all are putting block for TL, under spreader but close to mast or on mast itself?
 
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