Topping Lift
Home Up Knots Topping Lift Nickel Silver Rings


Last update, January 20, 2002

Needs to be updated with wire TL


Topping Lift and Bungee

This is probably one of the most maligned necessities on the EC12. There are a lot of proposed solutions viewed at every regatta visited. The frustration is widespread and some have removed the jumper spreaders to avoid the topping lift line hang-ups. Here is what has worked for us. It is the same thought as those that place the bungee on the line above the boom. We have taken the same design onto the boom for aerodynamic drag reasons.


A small Bowline loop is tied in the topping lift line just after it passes through the aft jib boom guide. A bungee is looped through this loop and then connected on the same adjuster as the topping lift line. This should be the most distant adjuster on the boom from the aft guide on the boom. This distance will give the cord the elasticity range needed for our purpose.


The jib needs to be installed on the rig for this project. Block up the aft end of the boom about 2" above the deck. The leech of the sail should hang straight. Use the Jib Jig if you have made one. Place the topping lift line through the aft boom guide and mark the line just inside the guide. Tie a small Bowline loop, reference the mark, that will place that loop inside the guide. This is important and something you may have to practice till you get it right. With the jib hanging straight to gravity, the loop should not ever pass through the guide.


Prepare a piece of a doubled back rigging wire about 4" long and crimped so it will slide through a swage. After construction tape this wire in your parts box to travel with you. Cut an ample amount of 1/16" elastic cord. Use the wire to pull the line loop through a #4 swage then remove the wire. Pass an end of the elastic cord through the line loop and pull the cord through the swage. This will form a cord loop through the line loop. Good! Lightly crimp the swage, you do not have to crush it. Trim the excess cord very close to the swage.


Run the long bite of the cord through the clew attachment to the boom to the area of the topping lift adjuster. This bowsie adjuster should already have a small line loop on it with a CL connector.  Now, pass the wire through another swage, place the other end of the cord through the wire and pull it through the swage forming a loop in the cord. Leave a long tag at this loop and hook it on the CL connector. Adjust the cord length till all the slack is taken.


Set the backstay tension to about 1.5 pounds. Now, start shortening the bungee until the bungee tension will overcome the BST tension and lift the boom. Now, start backing off till you can push the boom down and it will stay down by the backstay tension. What you are trying to do is to have the boom stay down with the BST but still have enough bungee tension that you can lift the aft end of the jib boom about 2" before the topping lift line goes slack. This is the key! When the topping lift goes slack in a breeze it will snag on something, usually the jumper and your jib will look like it had a stroke or something.


Because the topping lift line and the bungee are connected to the same CL connector, they will travel together whenever adjustments are made. Hence, the bungee tension relationship to the line will remain the same.


It is not known how many topping lift lines were ruined learning the coordination. Test and work it out. Learn how to do it for this system works. Like the sheetline bungee, do not leave it attached when not in use.