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Old 08-05-2022, 11:23   #1
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Topping Lift Question

I'm wrestling with whether to re-install my topping lift. It has been off the rigging for a couple of years, about 2,500 miles of sailing. I have a rigid boom vang which hold up the boom when the main is not up. And it is a type of topping lift that cannot serve as a main halyard if so needed. It attaches to the top of the mast and then has an attachment to the end of the boom. From the boom's end, one can adjust the length of the topping lift.

Thank you for your thoughts.

Ron
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Old 08-05-2022, 12:05   #2
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Re: Topping Lift Question

All I can think of is that some people use the topping lift as a backup safety line when going up the mast. They use an ascender or prusik to stop their fall if something goes wrong.
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Old 08-05-2022, 12:15   #3
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Re: Topping Lift Question

Whenever I can get cheap redundancy on a boat, I would probably do it. We have a Forespar rigid boom bang and there are several points of potential failure, although unlikely. You might be able to add a block at the top if you wanted a backup halyard as well.
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Old 08-05-2022, 12:28   #4
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Re: Topping Lift Question

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Doesn't seem like you've needed it for a couple of years. We're removing the one on our new-to-us boat this season.
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Old 08-05-2022, 12:37   #5
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Re: Topping Lift Question

Your rigid Vang holds the boom up, until it doesn’t. Honestly and extra string isn’t gonna hurt you any. Refresh one of you halyards and use the old halyard for your topping lift. And when at anchor or not using the main. Use the topping lift to take some pressure off the Vang.
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Old 08-05-2022, 14:04   #6
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Re: Topping Lift Question

Don't know if this would apply to you guys, but we actually broke our boom by cracking it from tightening the main sheet too much at anchor. We had no idea it was cracking there, at the hard vang attachment, till there was a fairly severe wind puff from the wrong direction, At that point, having a topping lift available there, to support the aft end of the boom while we dealt with things, would have been a big help. It was obvious from the break that it had been working up to it, unseen, from the inside out. The boom is sistered there, too, so it HAD been reinforced.

There are other occasions, also, when we have used the main halyard to take the weight of boom and sail, while repairing at the gooseneck. Or for mending the boom. So, I'm all in favor of having the boom topping lift, operable from on deck, though (so the OP'd have to install a block and run a line all the way).

Ann
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Old 08-05-2022, 14:32   #7
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Re: Topping Lift Question

We use the topping lift to prevent over zealous vang application lowering the boom to the point that it could strike the bimini during a tack or gybe. It also combined with a full port traveler, tight mainsheet, and a line to the starboard end of the traveler to hold the boom stationary docked or at anchor in bad weather.
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Old 08-05-2022, 15:27   #8
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Re: Topping Lift Question

My boat has no topping lift. Haven't needed one in 31 years of ownership. When removing the hydraulic vang for service the main halyard has substituted for a topping lift. The big advantage of no topping lift is no chafe on the leach.

When I have had boats with topping lifts one solution to chafe was to detach the lift and secure it to the backstay. A few times re-attaching it was forgotten and the boom was dropped to the deck.
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Old 09-05-2022, 04:39   #9
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Re: Topping Lift Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by wsmurdoch View Post
We use the topping lift to prevent over zealous vang application lowering the boom to the point that it could strike the bimini during a tack or gybe. It also combined with a full port traveler, tight mainsheet, and a line to the starboard end of the traveler to hold the boom stationary docked or at anchor in bad weather.
This!
We did without for a while, but redeployed the topping lift for the above reasons. We routinely strap the boom this way at anchor to prevent wear on the gooseneck.
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Old 11-05-2022, 18:04   #10
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Re: Topping Lift Question

Had dinner overlooking a canal in Copehagen Monday night, with the schooner "Mira" tied up across from us. This is a 90' Baltic trader, built in 1898. Beautiful boat, stunningly well-maintained. I noticed there were lazyjacks, but no topping lifts on the booms.
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