When I got my Gloucester 20 (also a Harry Sindle design) it had the former. After a while I replaced it with the latter. It's kind of handy sometimes to be able to raise the boom up out of the way when not sailing. Of course I could do that with the fixed line by wrapping it around the boom a few times. I ease my new topping lift and leave it attached when sailing (flapping in the breeze notwithstanding, Don), whereas the old one had to be detached from the boom to sail.Trying to set up a topping lift for my newport 17, just curious how I should go about it.
Run an exact length from boom to top of mast? Or use a pulley for being able to lift it up a little higher when beached?