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343 - boom vang and topping lift

Apr 16, 2015
12
Beneteau 343 Vancouver
Can someone tell me that point of having a topping lift when a have a boom vang. Frankly the boom vang hardly moves.
 

Dave Groshong

SBO Staff
Staff member
Jan 25, 2007
1,772
Catalina 22 Seattle
Sometime there might be an occasion to peak the boom up to get it out of the way; engine replacement, bimini install, sometimes solved by just pushing the boom over to the side and securing it.
 
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Likes: sail sfbay
Jun 21, 2004
1,738
Beneteau 343 Slidell, LA
Sometime there might be an occasion to peak the boom up to get it out of the way.
Dave is right on with his answer. I use the topping lift to adjust the boom height to clear the bimini, so that the boom doesnt chafe the top of the bimini. It also needs to be adjusted so that there is adequate tension on mainsail leech, when the sail is unfurled. Once it has been set, I usuallly don't mess with it and use the vang accordingly.
 

DougM

.
Jul 24, 2005
2,102
Beneteau 323 Manistee, MI
The topping lift is somewhat redundant. I suppose you could say its a belt and suspenders approach.
It does serve a purpose now and then. I use it to raise the end of the boom and take the load off the vang when I disconnect it for winter storage, and to give me headroom when I am working in the cockpit because I am 6’7” tall.
 
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Likes: DrJudyB
Oct 22, 2014
15,324
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Frankly the boom vang hardly moves.
Based on your statement I am left to guess that you have a "Rigid Boom Vang". The boom is supported (suspended in the air) by a spring and piston inside the Rigid Vang.

Not everyone has that set up. Traditionally booms were held in place by the sails. When the sails were dropped the boom dropped. To keep it off the deck sailors built supports "boom rests". These were often in the way in the cockpit. So sailors ran lines from the mast head to the end of the boom (topping lift). These work well. Then the combined features of a boom vang and boom support was created in a "Rigid Vang", thus the vang which was designed to pull the boom down for sail trim now also holds the boom up when the sail in not flying.

Celebrate the Rigid Boom Vang. It may relieve you of the topping lift on your boom.
 
May 17, 2004
3,280
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
For what it’s worth, US Spars says this about not using the vang to support the boom at rest - “When boat is at rest at its berth, attach the boom lift and release pressure from the vang.”

Earlier in the same owner’s manual they also say - “Do not tighten the boom topping lift by tightening the main sheet or you will risk damaging the boom outboard end, the rigid vang or rigid vang bracket on the mast.”

So I guess when you’re not sailing you’re supposed to just let the boom hang and swing as the boat rolls. I’m not a big fan of that approach.
 
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Likes: jssailem
Jan 22, 2008
8,048
Beneteau 323 Annapolis MD
For what it’s worth, US Spars says this about not using the vang to support the boom at rest - “When boat is at rest at its berth, attach the boom lift and release pressure from the vang.”

Earlier in the same owner’s manual they also say - “Do not tighten the boom topping lift by tightening the main sheet or you will risk damaging the boom outboard end, the rigid vang or rigid vang bracket on the mast.” //// So I guess when you’re not sailing you’re supposed to just let the boom hang and swing as the boat rolls. I’m not a big fan of that approach.
It makes sense in the first two lines to a point. Your third is in error, methinks. /// On all 3 of the boats I've owned, I added a boom bail bolted through the aft boom-end fitting. Both the topping and mainsheet can attatch to the same point on the boom and not put opposing bending tension on the boom. /// They are sayng do not suspend the boom by the 2 ends, then pull down or up anywhere along the boom in between. That would be like pulling the string on a bow/arrow and curving the bow more away from being straght.
 
May 29, 2016
6
Beneteau 343 Westbrook, CT
I agree that the topping lift takes the pressure off the vang at rest. I too need a little more lift when using the connector between Bimini and Dodger. My issue is why doesn’t the topping lift come back to cockpit? In certain conditions and mainsail trim, the topping lift flogs the sail. Sometimes it’s too tight when I have mainsail flat. I’m debating about putting a snap shackle at end to disconnect and snap to backstay or running back to cockpit.
 
Mar 22, 2010
23
Beneteau 343 Panama City
The only time my topping lift comes in handy for me is when I use it to go aloft (I upgraded the line from the original) and when I tension the boom (mainsheet down and topping lift up - vang pressure off) when not sailing.