Originally Posted by CFS Klopas
I currently use my main halyard as the stopgap topping lift at the dock
, but I noticed the boom can also hang from the lazyjacks. I hadn't heard of lazyjacks used for that purpose and I was wondering if there was a reason why.
When lazy jacks are used also to perform the function of a topping lift on the boom, the lazy jacks are known as lazy-lifts
That's been the term in use since at least as early as 1938. Emiliano Marino, in his 1994 book The Sailmaker's Apprentice
, briefly discusses lazylifts
(without a hyphen).
The historical origin of lazy jacks and lazy-lifts is the same: the rigging
of a Chinese lugsail junk, aka junk rig
. The lazy jacks on a lugsail function as lazy-lifts. Chinese lugsail-rigged junks have likely been using lazy-lifts for more than 2,000 years (some say since about 300 BCE).
I use lazy-lifts on Led Myne
. Haven't sailed with a boom topping lift for 20 years.
Lazy-lifts have some advantages, including facilitating reefing of the mainsail
at most any point of sail.
One approach, the one I use on Led Myne
, is to make your lazy jacks using elastic cordage, such as laid nylon. Then adjust the length of the lazy jacks so they lift and hold the boom to the level above deck
that you choose. You can then use mainsheet tension to oppose the topping of the boom by the lazy-lifts, allowing the boom to be held firmly by opposing forces.
Other approaches include using a non-elastic cordage. Your choice, depending on what you do with your boom.
Both approaches usually include a means of dynamically (or at least easily) adjusting the effective length of the lazy jack lines (or at least the lazy jack lines at the distal end of the boom). I do that with horn cleats
on either side of the boom, but I know others who use trucker's hitches and so on.