|SJ23 Tech Tip F12, (Issued 1998-10-26) Art Brown|
Boom Topping Lift - Factory Kit.
part numbers for this kit are from the early 1980s and may still be in the Ronstan catalogue. Thanks to Art Brown for preserving this document from
the Seattle SJ23 Club.
When the mainsail is raised on an SJ23, it holds the boom up. As the mainsheet, boom vang and gravity pull the boom down the mainsail leech is pulled tight. When the mainsail is lowered, the topping lift holds the boom up, otherwise the boom would fall into the cockpit, creating a hazard to crew below and possibly stressing the gooseneck at the mast. The SJ23 topping lift option shown above is adjustable, allowing the sailor to adjust the height of the boom.
There are several situations where you should shorten or tighten the topping lift to support the boom.
Reefing is the process of reducing the size of the mainsail (to a reef point)
to use less sail area when the wind is blowing too hard. A supported
boom makes it easier to lower the mainsail. After reefing the sail
you should loosen the topping lift a bit so the weight of the boom pulls
the sail tight and the wind pulls the topping lift away from the leech. If the topping lift is
lifting the boom, it causes
a loose leech that is inefficient for
sailing. If the topping lift is too loose the line flops around
and snags battens, leech tell tales or other rigging. Being just a little loose
is perfect and offers another advantage: if you forget to snug it up before lowering
the mainsail, the boom cannot drop into the cockpit, eliminating the risk of
hitting someone’s head!
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