The length of the traveler lets the boom go a long way out before it starts to lift. Some line vang systems incorporate a piston to provide the topping lift force and to damp oscillations. The only drawback that I see is sail shape in light winds, but as I am only cruising it does not matter. I only use the topping lift if motoring in significant chop, but people can't rely on leaning on the boom for support without the topping lift, which is normally left attached to the stearn rail with a bungy so I can use it if needed. The vang is quite useful in adding or removing twist in the sail and keeping the boom … Mine has both a topping lift and a rigid vang, the topping lift was there first. It allows adjustment of the boom from a … 6. It can be used on any point of sail but is most useful on a reach. A topping lift keeps the boom level when the main halyard and the sail are loosened. A gnav (the word vang spelt backwards) is an inverted vang. Reefing is safer and easier with better boom control. A vang still helps, however, as it allows maximum ease on the boom before the shrouds become an issue. I like the vang, so now while sailing I remove the topping lift from the boom and just use it at the dock reduce strain on the vang. A sailboat boom has hardware for attaching the foot of the mainsail. This is why the topping lift is often forgotten for the life of the boat, allowing the line to rot away on the cleat. Keeping the boom at one angle won't impact your motoring but it will impact your sailing. The Boom Vang consists of an arrangement of Fiddle Blocks such that it works to prevent the free end of the boom from raising higher and higher as the strength of the wind increases and thus destroying the shape of the Main. Topping Lift. In light air, lifting the boom opens the leech for a faster sail shape and more speed. 6) ease topping lift and re-trim the main Boomkicker benefits include: Eliminating the hang-ups, adjustments and chafe of a topping lift. Attaching the Mainsail to the Boom. I sail with a soft vang, and have never had a hard one. so a rigid vang vs. boomkicker is a 6 vs 1/2 dozen (almost). For Boomkicker, you need to add a vang, if you don't have one already (which may add to the cost (a couple of fiddle blocks plus extras). A question to those who switched from a topping lift to a rigid vang or a boomkicker: what did you do with the existing topping lift? Hydraulic vangs can inherently act in the topping lift role. 1) ease mainsheet, preventers, vang (whatever you have) 2) raise end of boom to reef cringle height using proper topping lift 3) tension reefing line so aft cringle is tight to boom and properly placed cheek block 4) ease main to reef mark and cleat it off 5) haul main down and tension luff properly. My topping lift is cleated off at the mast and length adjusted so it does not flap around too much with the sail up and will hold the boom where I want it when the sail is down. Topping lifts are not found on all sailboats, but they're becoming more common each year. A boom vang is a tackle system attached at a 45° angle between the mast and the boom. Combined with a bl Also, most multihulls have upper shrouds that are quite far aft, which prevents easing the mainsheet very far. But the bottom line is that if we don’t have a really good rigid vang and a decent boom gallows, we will have to live with a topping lift and its associated problems: Chafe of the leach. Its purpose is to pull the aft end of the boom down when the mainsail is fuller and more twisted than desired. Most people set this line once when the boat is new and never adjust it again. Topping Lift. Boat performance is improved with less weight and windage aloft. Often, when I am wondering why my sail shape is so bad, making me slow, it's that I forgot to release the topping lift. The main purpose of the Topping Lift is to hold the boom up when the sail is not raised. With the sails rolled on the boom, the Boomkicker is fine alone. When the sail is furled, a topping lift supplies the upward force on the boom. In our recent chapter on vangs I wrote about ways to get rid of the topping lift altogether, my preferred option, particularly for offshore boats. 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