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Old 18-09-2015, 14:05   #1
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Can Lazy Jacks be attached to the Topping Lift

hello,

I am thinking of adding lazy jacks for my 24' Helms coastal keel boat. I wanted not to add to many lines going along the mast and was wondering if lazy jacks could be attached to the topping lift instead of going through additional blocks on mast and back down. Currently we are not really using the topping lift (except for when reefing0, we tie the boom to backstay when mainsail is down.
I was searching web to see who has done it and cannot find any reference so I suspect that there may be a flow in this "wonderful idea" of mine. If so I would rather find it before I try to implement it.
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Old 18-09-2015, 14:10   #2
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re: Can Lazy Jacks be attached to the Topping Lift

Lazy Jacks are great, but they should be retracted when underway. The sail and any battens will foul when hoisting sail if the lazy jacks are still deployed.
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Old 18-09-2015, 14:42   #3
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re: Can Lazy Jacks be attached to the Topping Lift

psudlarski,

They need to be separate from the topping lift. You need to be able to just reef when necessary, and to have the tension on the lazy jacks such that they will contain the sail properly no matter what you have to do during your reefing procedure.

Unlike IdoraKeeper, we leave ours up all the time, however, to lessen chafe, ours are secured at the top about 1/2 way out each spreader, so that they have a fairly wide open "mouth".

There are times when you want them demountable, too, for instance, if you want to take the main off, for repairs, or drop it off one side of the boom.

Ann
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Old 18-09-2015, 15:47   #4
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re: Can Lazy Jacks be attached to the Topping Lift

We stow ours at the mast except when needed. They hang up on the full batten when raising it, chafe on the sail, and just clutter up the sail when not in use. Don't like running the lazy jacks to the spreader because the lines flopping in the wind offends me. Mine run to cheek blocks about 1/2 way between the single spreaders and the mast head. Used brass rings where others use blocks, way cheaper and work just as well. Pull them forward and hook under their cleat at the mast to stow. Super easy to stow and deploy.
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Old 18-09-2015, 23:41   #5
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re: Can Lazy Jacks be attached to the Topping Lift

I recall seeing a system referred to as "Dutchman" lazy jacks where a number single lines spaced along the boom, ran from the boom up through eyelets on the sail, to the topping lift. When the mainsail was lowered it ran down the vertical lines and flaked itself neatly across the top of the boom.
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Old 19-09-2015, 03:19   #6
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re: Can Lazy Jacks be attached to the Topping Lift

You can run them of a topping lift as long as there is no roach. In theory it could work well, by having the lazy jacks parallel to the mast it shouldn't catch anything.

But most boats have too much roach for this to work.

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Old 19-09-2015, 04:14   #7
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re: Can Lazy Jacks be attached to the Topping Lift

I dumped the Dutchman for lazy jacks. One of the best moves I made for sail handling.

My roach extends beyond the topping lift so your idea would not work for me.
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Old 19-09-2015, 08:53   #8
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Re: Can Lazy Jacks be attached to the Topping Lift

If you ever sail out with only de genoa and then need to raise the main you will have to bring the lazy jacks to the mast or the battens will foul in them. It is best to attach the lazy jacks to the mast sides well below the mast head. I run them up to a trigger guard set below the top spreader and down to the deck and back to the cockpit. Single handing I can easily this way bring the downwind jack against the mast and raise the main freely.
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Old 19-09-2015, 08:56   #9
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Re: Can Lazy Jacks be attached to the Topping Lift

If you run the lazy jacks from the topping lift you will have to alter the mainsail cover and it will take more time to get it on.
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Old 19-09-2015, 09:41   #10
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Re: Can Lazy Jacks be attached to the Topping Lift

Maybe I am missing something here but I am having a hard time visualizing how there would be a "slot" for the mainsail to go up through with the lazyjacks attached to a single point. If you could figure a way to have the attachment point far enough aft to clear the roach, it seems to me that would defeat the whole idea of the lazy jacks in there would be very little, if any, line available to catch the sail when you drop it.
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Old 19-09-2015, 10:54   #11
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Re: Can Lazy Jacks be attached to the Topping Lift

The lazy jack lines must to go up each side of the main in order to capture it. True, it can be a pain to raise the main because the battens can get caught in the lines. However, the system is a reliable way to capture the sail when it is lowered. A few other comments, if the sail is big or stiff (as is mine), it can also be a PITA to get it flaked on the boom prior to covering. Also, most systems, as stated above, run to the spreaders to provide enough of a slot to accommodate the sail. My rigger reinforced this connection by running the lines through the spreader and up to the mast. This insures that the spreaders are not overly loaded if the topping lift should fail.

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Old 19-09-2015, 11:54   #12
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Re: Can Lazy Jacks be attached to the Topping Lift

Alot of these responses are a bit absolutist. Yes, of course you can attach lazy jacks to topping lifts-that's plural-you'd need two. About every schooner here in Maine is fitted that way. The lifts are spliced (3 strand) into the lifts creating a vertical drop to the boom. Whether you should do so, or do it differently, have them fixed or retractable etc.are all choices that various sailors make according to their preference.
I personally like cheek blocks a tad above the spreader (or lowest one) to P&S with the bitter end lead to a largish cleat at about boom level. I secure the end when jacks are in place and retract the jacks around the cleat when sailing. Some people like them fixed in place, but as has been said-chafe is a concern. There are a number of patterns to follow for your jacks, I prefer lines lead under the boom and secured there with a strap and I splice in thimbles where lines pass through one another-others use small blocks- lots of ideas online. Cheers.
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Old 19-09-2015, 15:19   #13
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Re: Can Lazy Jacks be attached to the Topping Lift

Quote:
Originally Posted by pskudlarski View Post
hello,

I am thinking of adding lazy jacks for my 24' Helms coastal keel boat. I wanted not to add to many lines going along the mast and was wondering if lazy jacks could be attached to the topping lift instead of going through additional blocks on mast and back down. Currently we are not really using the topping lift (except for when reefing0, we tie the boom to backstay when mainsail is down.
I was searching web to see who has done it and cannot find any reference so I suspect that there may be a flow in this "wonderful idea" of mine. If so I would rather find it before I try to implement it.
A skilled sailor and (late) friend of mine did just that. His main sail had little or no roach. Attached to his topping lift he had about 4 vertical lines on each side of his sail and attached at their lower end to the boom, equally spaced. They completely enclosed the sail.


I had sailed with him and his main sail went up or down beautifully without the likely lazy jack snagging I can get in my boat with my large roach and full length battens.


His system also nicely contained a reefed sail.


This was in conjunction with sprung vang which he made from a motorcycle telescopic fork. He could free the topping lift to fit his sail cover and the strut would support his boom. The vang strut normally supported the boom more than the topping lift.


His yacht was a medium displacement 32'.
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Old 19-09-2015, 16:49   #14
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Re: Can Lazy Jacks be attached to the Topping Lift

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Originally Posted by RaymondR View Post
I recall seeing a system referred to as "Dutchman" lazy jacks where a number single lines spaced along the boom, ran from the boom up through eyelets on the sail, to the topping lift. When the mainsail was lowered it ran down the vertical lines and flaked itself neatly across the top of the boom.
I have a Dutchman furling system. It flakes the sail nicely. the topping lift needs to be adjusted so that it is tight when the sail is lowered and when hoisting the main it brings the boom up a couple inches, to slacken the topping lift and take strain off the mono lines laced through the sail, allowing the sail to shape properly. If I need to remove the sail or lay it out on deck the mono is unlatched at the boom end, leaving the topping lift in place. you can still use the topping lift to raise and lower the boom somewhat too.
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Old 20-09-2015, 09:14   #15
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Re: Can Lazy Jacks be attached to the Topping Lift

Which ever system you choose, I strongly recommend Lazy Jacks if you sail single handed. I am able to bring my ketch head to wind and just let go of the main and mizen halyards. The sails slide down instantly and self flake onto the booms. This is helped by the Tides Track system which is an added bonus. Once down, the sails do not need touching until I am moored or at anchor.
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