Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 27-01-2022, 13:55   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: House in Colorado; boat in Bremerton, Washington
Boat: Caliber 40 LRC
Posts: 15
Topping lift or no?

Husband and I disagree about the need for a topping lift. The boat is getting all new standing and running rigging this year, so the mast is coming down. It's a perfect time to set up a topping lift.
I think the topping lift will help with reefing and dropping the main. He thinks we just need a better vang that holds up the boom. The rigger said the vang is fine and holds up the boom sufficiently for dropping the sail.
I'm not sure what the downside is to a topping lift and it seems like an easy way to keep the boom off the dodger when dropping the sail. Currently, we put the sail away and attach the halyard to the end of the boom to keep it off the dodger. A topping lift could do that instead and is a lot easier than walking the halyard to the boom and reaching over the dodger to attached it.
What say ye old sailors? Topping lift: yes or no?
Not a spy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2022, 14:02   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: NYC
Boat: Adams 45
Posts: 156
Re: Topping lift or no?

My topping lift is identical to the main halyard, so is also a spare halyard. A rigid vang does hold the boom up just fine, in my case, but the spare halyard is a nice feature too.
pjShap is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2022, 14:05   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Boat: Swarbrick S-80
Posts: 507
Re: Topping lift or no?

You donít say what size boat, however it sounds like you have a rigid vang so Iím assuming larger rather than smaller.

Short answer is yes.
If for no other reason than to take the pressure off the vang when youíre not sailing.

It also gives you a spare halyard should you lose the main halyard for some reason.

Hereís what the guru says: https://www.riggingdoctor.com/life-a...016/3/8/toppin
ChrisJHC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2022, 14:15   #4
Registered User
 
Mike OReilly's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Good question
Boat: Rafiki 37
Posts: 12,829
Re: Topping lift or no?

I've never had a rigid vang, but my understanding is that they are not intended to act as a topping lift. Obviously they can do the job, but that's not their intended use.

The only downside to a topping lift is having an additional line to manage. But as others have already said, it gives you a spare main halyard should the need arise.

I'd go with a proper topping lift. So, YES.
__________________
Why go fast, when you can go slow.
BLOG: www.helplink.com/CLAFC
Mike OReilly is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2022, 14:47   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Fiji Airways/ Lake Ontario
Boat: Legend 37.5, 1968 Alcort Sunfish, Avon 310
Posts: 2,416
Images: 11
Re: Topping lift or no?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisJHC View Post
You donít say what size boat, however it sounds like you have a rigid vang so Iím assuming larger rather than smaller.

Short answer is yes.
If for no other reason than to take the pressure off the vang when youíre not sailing.

It also gives you a spare halyard should you lose the main halyard for some reason.

Hereís what the guru says: https://www.riggingdoctor.com/life-a...016/3/8/toppin

More than 50 years sailing and that never occurred to me. Then again, Iíve never needed an extra aft halyard. But Iíll admit it- had I lost the main halyard last year, Iíd probably have returned to port with no main. Duh. Frustrating when the obvious escapes me.

Iíve read in a previous discussion here, some say vang instead of topping lift, others said get a vang in case the topping lift fails. Iíve never seen one fail, but it could be bad.
__________________
There are too many gaviiformes here!
Tetepare is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2022, 15:02   #6
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 24,295
Re: Topping lift or no?

If your mainsail has a lot of roach, you will want to secure the topping lift at the mast to avoid chafing on the stitches while you are under way (if your mainsail has stitches--some laminates don't). And then, of course, you will want to secure the topping lift back on the aft end of the boom before you drop the sail, if you rely on the topping lift to keep the boom off the dodger. Even if you don't have a roachy mainsail, you will get stitch chafe, if you use a boom topping lift.

Our present boat has no topping lift and a vang that does support the boom, and there is no interference with the dodger, so I think you won't need to worry about dodger damage from just using a better vang... and the vang can help a lot with sail trim, which is a job the topping lift cannot do.

The time we broke the boom, we used the main halyard to support the aft end of the boom while we dealt with the wreckage. It worked fine, but so would have a topping lift.

Ann
__________________
Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
JPA Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2022, 15:53   #7
Registered User
 
chris mac's Avatar

Join Date: May 2015
Location: edmonton alberta
Boat: 1992 lagoon 42 tpi
Posts: 1,459
Re: Topping lift or no?

We just added a rigid vang and a new mainsail.
So far we have kept the topping lift for many of the reasons listed above. But I have been leaving it slack to test the ability of the vang to keep the boom up instead.
So far it is working well. I am hoping to eliminate it because of the chafe issue as mentioned by Anne.
Setting the vang location is the most critical part of this process.
chris mac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2022, 15:59   #8
Registered User
 
Bobby Lex's Avatar

Join Date: May 2021
Location: Fort Myers Florida
Boat: Caliber 40LRC 40.92'
Posts: 73
Re: Topping lift or no?

Oh the joys of domestic (dis) harmony.... ;-)

Just one question: What are the downsides to having a topping lift?

Bob
Bobby Lex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2022, 16:03   #9
running down a dream
 
gonesail's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: somewhere in the deep south
Boat: cape dory 30 MKII
Posts: 2,658
Images: 6
Send a message via Yahoo to gonesail
Re: Topping lift or no?

the boomkicker rigid vang can serve as a topping lift.
__________________
some of the best times of my life were spent on a boat. it just took a long time to realize it

gonesail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2022, 16:41   #10
Registered User
 
Privilege's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Bermuda
Boat: Privilege 435
Posts: 586
Images: 12
Re: Topping lift or no?

Not sure of your boat, but catamaran sailors often use the topping lift to tighten the masthead when sailing downwind with a spinnaker only.
Privilege is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2022, 17:03   #11
Moderator
 
Jim Cate's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: cruising SW Pacific
Boat: Jon Sayer 1-off 46 ft fract rig sloop strip plank in W Red Cedar
Posts: 19,579
Re: Topping lift or no?

As Ann said above, we've relied upon a rigid vang to support the boom on this boat... and support it it does. However, when reefing, we need the boom to raise above the horizontal position it assumes when using the full main. This means that whilst taking up the clew reefing line, one must both overcome any friction in the system and lift the fairly heavy boom as well. Requires a lot of heavy pulling on the reefing line, and a topping lift that could support the boom at its higher location would make life easier.

I have thought about adding a lift for that reason alone but have not yet done so. Also, having a backup halyard would be useful. Being a fractional rig, we have only one spinnaker and one main halyard at the masthead, and another would be a good thing.

Might be a good place for bare dyneema cordage... less windage and less chafing of the mainsail.

Jim
__________________
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II, still hanging out in Port Cygnet. Summer was nice... it was on a Tuesday... and now autumn is here and being pretty nice so far!
Jim Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2022, 17:07   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2011
Boat: KH 49x, Custom
Posts: 1,532
Images: 2
Re: Topping lift or no?

Always disliked the topping lifts on our other boats. Built a new cat and eliminated the topping lift with a boom kicker. Very happy not to have the topping lift flailing around the Mainsail. Can't keep it tight, ot it chafes the main. If you keep it loose, you've got to remember to tighten it before reefing or stowing the main

Our kicker is plenty strong and raises the boom to roughly the level of the second reef, I can see how it would annoy if it didn't.

We also have a spare halyard, more or less permanently attached to one of the stations. Not having a topping lift doesn't mean you can't have a spare halyard. It just means you don't have to fuss with it.

The boom kicker is always there. To protect our solar panels from the absent minded sailor pulling the strings.

Horses for courses. I'm sure there as many reasons to have one, as there are to get rid of one.

Cheers.
Paul.
__________________
If you can dream it; with grit, you can do it.
GRIT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2022, 17:10   #13
Registered User
 
Mike OReilly's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Good question
Boat: Rafiki 37
Posts: 12,829
Re: Topping lift or no?

What you really need is a boom gallows
__________________
Why go fast, when you can go slow.
BLOG: www.helplink.com/CLAFC
Mike OReilly is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2022, 17:14   #14
Writing Full-Time Since 2014
 
thinwater's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Deale, MD
Boat: PDQ Altair, 32/34
Posts: 8,613
Re: Topping lift or no?

a. Spare halyard. They can fly away or chafe.


b. Spare safety line when climbing mast. I also have Spin and reacher halyards, but they don't go all the way to the masthead. They are also on the wrong side.


Yes, it can snag on battens if hoisting is sloppy, but you learn to deal with that. I could go either way, so long as there is at least ONE spare halyard always available. If you think you may climb underway, with sails up, then two spare halyards is the minimum (unless you trust fully to the condition of one and the masthead pulley).
__________________
Gear Testing--Engineering--Sailing
https://sail-delmarva.blogspot.com/
thinwater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2022, 18:25   #15
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Little Compton, RI
Boat: Cape George 31
Posts: 2,252
Re: Topping lift or no?

I would not own a boat without a topping lift.
__________________
Ben
zartmancruising.com
Benz is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
lift

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
how to install new outhaul and topping lift? deano Deck hardware: Rigging, Sails & Hoisting 4 01-01-2018 14:23
Boom Lift and Topping Lift skully Deck hardware: Rigging, Sails & Hoisting 1 19-05-2013 20:14
Rigging a Topping Lift off-the-grid Deck hardware: Rigging, Sails & Hoisting 17 16-03-2013 22:04
Lines From Leech To Topping Lift Moonchaser2304 Deck hardware: Rigging, Sails & Hoisting 12 12-04-2009 19:55
topping lift, boom vang and reef? scotty Deck hardware: Rigging, Sails & Hoisting 20 08-09-2008 21:12

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 20:02.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.