[Public-List] #56 Topping Lift Question

Gordon Laco via Public-List public-list at lists.alberg30.org
Fri Sep 22 05:54:24 PDT 2017

Good morning – 

We use ¼” polyester double braid for our main topping lift, which starts with a snap shackle at the outer end of the boom, goes up to a swivel block at the masthead, then down to a clamcleat on the mast.  It’s tail is coiled onto the small spar cleat fitted lower down at the factory.  

Wire was once common for lifts, I think because of the small windage they afford, but on the other hand the wire is thought to beat hell out of the stitching on the leach of the mainsail, so people used to resort to the awkward expedient of attaching the lift to a ring on the backstay.  I never liked that set up because to replace the lift one had to first catch the end of the boom.  And of course in heavy air when one wants to reef, re-attaching the lift to support the boom during the procedure can be dangerous.

A rope lift doesn’t bother the sail much, can be very easily adjusted from the mast, and on two occasions over thirty years with two boats... that lift has served as an emergency main halyard.

#426 Surprise

On 2017-09-22, 12:04 AM, "Public-List on behalf of George Dinwiddie via Public-List" <public-list-bounces at lists.alberg30.org on behalf of public-list at lists.alberg30.org> wrote:

    1/8" seems a bit small, but it could be that the block at the masthead 
    was designed for wire. I think 3/16" or 1/4" line is more common.
    The ones I've seen with wire rope have been fixed at the masthead and 
    have a braided line tackle between the wire and the boom. That seems 
    overkill, to me, as stretch really isn't an issue.
      - George
    On 9/21/17 10:52 PM, James Cowhey via Public-List wrote:
    > This is my first post since taking ownership of #56 Mo Cuisle, formerly Inherit the Wind.  I'v already learned a few things from the listserv.  I'm sure I'll have more questions as I get to know her.
    > A previous owner rigged the topping lift with 1/8 inch braided line.  I this a racing modification?  The line runs from the end of boom to a block at the masthead to a cleat near the bottom of the mast.  The line seems too stretchy, but I've only ever seen wire rope topping lifts.  What is the preferred or OEM rig for the topping lift on these boats?
    > I haven't owned a boat in over fifteen years, and I ended up buying this one in July and it was the first one I looked at when I considered ownership again.  These are special and beautiful boats.
    > Thanks.
    > James Cowhey
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