Passagemaker Gunter Sloop w/ Wooden Mast - Topping Lift

Hey folks,

Not sure that it matters that I went with the wooden mast option here, but while rigging my PMD with the new mainsail I just finished, I noticed the yard and boom were all over the place while I was manhandling the mast.  I'm new to this whole gunter sloop thing, but I was wondering if it would make sense to have a topping lift go from the top of the mast to the aft end of the boom.  This would be yet another piece of sphagetti to rig, but I thought it might help if for some reason I had to douse the sail while underway.



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RE: Passagemaker Gunter Sloop w/ Wooden Mast - Topping Lift

Looking at the photo galleries, most of the gunter-rigged PMD's seem to eschew the boom toping lift, including the photos of John sailing what I assume is the demo boat.  I did find two photos, I think of the same boat, which appear to show a topping lift, currently numbers 67 and 81 of 81 in the standard PMD photo gallery.

Our 19' catboat with a 270 sq. ft. sail and a boom as long as the boat (calls for skill, cunning and courage in gybes, it does) has a topping lift, of course, checked as often as I can for wear, as the loss of it would be something of a disaster.

On a boat a small boat like the PMD, I'm not sure you wouldn't be better off without a topping lift--maybe safer.  If you are trying to get the sail down in a hurry, as in the sudden onset of a squall, for example, I'd think you'd want to gather everyting in as quickly as possible and bundle it down as low as possible as quickly as possible.  I'm guessing here that the drill is to release the halyard, get the yard down against the boom, release the parrel from the boom jaws, and get the whole busines down on the seats whippety quick before the wind gets a chance to turn it into a kite intent on evil, which it would love to do, just to show you who's boss.  <;-)


RE: Passagemaker Gunter Sloop w/ Wooden Mast - Topping Lift

Thanks Michael.  I think that:

1) It's another string of sphagetti to contend with and rig.

2) It's another constraint on the already unwieldy boom that I probably don't want to have to fight. 

3) Due to the gunter-sloop rig, the boom is about as long as the mast (from the gooseneck up), so the topping lift would be at about 45°, which might look a bit odd. 

4) I'd have to slack it in order to sail so the yard could swing to either side and then set it when dousing the main, so that would be a hassle.

5) If the topping lift was "on" to support the boom, it would interfere with dropping the yard.

6)  With the way I've rigged the mast head, it's already pretty crowded up there.  Doesn't really need another padeye/rigging connection up there.

Thanks for helping me suss this one out...

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