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Old 02-04-2016, 07:32   #1
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1979 36' C&C-topping lift, Vang or both?

I bought my 36' C&C last spring (mast was stepped) and after setting up the rigging I realized the boom only had a vang-no topping lift. After conferring with a few local sailors the consensus was the boat was set up for racing and that the topping lift was replaced by the vang. She sailed well with this set up & we had no difficulty, however as I am tall & am always dodging a "bouncing " boom when anchored I am considering reinstalling a topping lift to support the boom when anchored. It appears the mast head/boom were designed for a topping lift, and all info I have found for the 36 C&C shows a topping lift. Can anyone shed some light on this? I am currently preparing the boat for live aboard/cruising this year and plan on splashing at the end of April, it certainly would be easier to add a topping lift with the mast stepped.
Open for any thoughts/suggestions on this-appreciate all input regarding this issue.
thanks
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Old 02-04-2016, 07:59   #2
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pirate Re: 1979 36' C&C-topping lift, Vang or both?

Install a topping lift if she's got the bits.. if not drill a hole in the masthead fitting, attach a shackle and fit a line long enough to reach the deck vertically with eye and steel thimble to it and another eye the other end with small blocks and line.. the bottom one having a jammer.. allowing adjustment up and down as required.
Hydraulic vangs fail at very inconvenient moments..
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Old 02-04-2016, 08:13   #3
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Re: 1979 36' C&C-topping lift, Vang or both?

Boatman61
Your observations are 100%(Murphys law)-failure always occurs at the worst possible time! I never considered the possibility of vang hydraulic failure. Topping lift now is a definate!

Thanks
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:15   #4
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Re: 1979 36' C&C-topping lift, Vang or both?

Hi One Chance

C&C owner here, yes your boat originally had a topping lift, so refitting one will be easily done.

I had one on mine but removed it and now utilize a rigid vang. At the mooring or dock, I simply run the main halyard back to the end of the boom. Serves double duty, supports the boom and gets the halyard away from the mast.

Not having a topping lift means less interference with a deep roach main and a cleaner airfoil. I come from a racing background and don't particularly like having them. Your previous owner likely had the same feeling.

However, like I said, supporting the boom with the halyard works very well.
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Old 02-04-2016, 18:02   #5
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Re: 1979 36' C&C-topping lift, Vang or both?

We have a rigid vang that well supports the boom when at rest. But I miss a topping lift when we are reefing. the vang doesn't raise the boom and thus one has to lift it with the clew reefing line... makes it hard to get t he clew down as far as I'd like.

So, I'd add my approval for your installing one!

Jim
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Old 02-04-2016, 18:28   #6
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Re: 1979 36' C&C-topping lift, Vang or both?

Jim cate
Thanks much appreciated
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Old 02-04-2016, 20:30   #7
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Re: 1979 36' C&C-topping lift, Vang or both?

I have read several posts here that state people find it hard to reef without a topping lift to raise the boom. I don't get it. When I reef, the main is de-powered then partially lowered to a pre determined point, eliminating any force along the leech, reefed, secured then raised again and re trimmed. No issues.

I would have to guess that if people need a topping lift (on a light high aspect ratio rig) to raise the boom in order to open the leech and meet the clew, then they are trying to reef against a partially powered sail.
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Old 03-04-2016, 08:20   #8
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Re: 1979 36' C&C-topping lift, Vang or both?

I have a C&C27 which is a minature 36. We removed the toping lift years ago and installed a ridged vang also for racing. As previously mentioned, simply use your "main halyard" when required. Find a suitable sized clevis to leave attached to the top of your boom or simply make up a soft loop out of rope or a nicely sized sail tie.
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Old 03-04-2016, 10:01   #9
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Re: 1979 36' C&C-topping lift, Vang or both?

I would say both. It would give you a full control to put the boom exactly where you want while sailing or at anchor/marina.
And by 'vang' I hope you have an hydraulic unit not just tackle.
While using the halyard at rest as a counter force against the main sheet obviously works at rest it involves some additional action that as a liveaboard you do not want (a racing person would be happy to pay such a small price...).
And one thing you can do with a topping lift and can't do with the halyard is to scandalise the main underway.
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Old 03-04-2016, 10:09   #10
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Re: 1979 36' C&C-topping lift, Vang or both?

We have both on our current boat. By the way 30 years ago we owned a C&C 36 and sailed it all over the place including a trip down to Mexico then to Hawaii and back home to Vancouver. It served us very well, hope you enjoy your boat as much as we enjoyed ours. R
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Old 03-04-2016, 15:08   #11
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Re: 1979 36' C&C-topping lift, Vang or both?

Robert
Thanks for your advice, we are currently planning to reinstall a topping lift to supplement our hydraulic vang. Good to hear from someone who has sailed a 36.
We looked at too many boats for over a year before we brought ours & are very satisfied. What a great boat! Have not sailed her on any extended open water voyages yet but plan to this year. How did yours handle on open water during the trip to Hawaii?

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Old 03-04-2016, 16:26   #12
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Re: 1979 36' C&C-topping lift, Vang or both?

If you look at the engineering of the rigid vang, you find 2 tubes that have a Stop point. Spring and hydraulics inside work between that stop and one that prevents it flying apart.
If there is not topping lift, the weight compresses the spring and works against the hydraulics with every little movement - result is wear and fatigue.
Use a topping lift to take weight off the fully compressed spring, but then we should also use a boom gallows to secure the weight the boom and prevent it swinging on the gooseneck (more wear).
Yes, fit a topping lift but take it off when the main is raised. Use it as you want to, if it helps reefing then use it, but remove it afterwards again - take it to the mast.
Then use the boom crutch / gallows to secure everything when moored.
Roger
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Old 03-04-2016, 17:11   #13
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Re: 1979 36' C&C-topping lift, Vang or both?

If its only when youre at anchor/moored that its an issue, use the main halyard to raise the boom. Problem solved.

(I will assume you arent one of those sailors who leaves the halyard on the head of the sail to go clunk clunk clunk all night.)
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Old 03-04-2016, 17:35   #14
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Re: 1979 36' C&C-topping lift, Vang or both?

Yes, reinstall the Topping lift. I like a single cable from the mast top down to a few feet above the boom with a block on the end. The adjustable line goes from boom end, up thru the block and back to a block with a cleat well forward on the side of the mast.
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Old 03-04-2016, 17:36   #15
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Re: 1979 36' C&C-topping lift, Vang or both?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete O Static View Post
I have read several posts here that state people find it hard to reef without a topping lift to raise the boom. I don't get it. When I reef, the main is de-powered then partially lowered to a pre determined point, eliminating any force along the leech, reefed, secured then raised again and re trimmed. No issues.

I would have to guess that if people need a topping lift (on a light high aspect ratio rig) to raise the boom in order to open the leech and meet the clew, then they are trying to reef against a partially powered sail.
If you don't have a topping lift, when you release the halyard to the preset, the boom goes down on the dodger or someone's head!
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