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topping lift

A forum for discussing topics relating to MacGregor Powersailor Sailboats

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Re: topping lift

Postby c130king » Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:35 pm

Like I said, it takes 27.2 seconds...actually probably closer to 11.4 seconds...to unclip the single strap holding my bimini in place and pull it aft. Been doing it for nearly 5 years. Never been an issue.

Not sure what "caught short" means...never had to "come about in a hurry" (which to me means faster than 11.4 seconds)...I think the closest I have ever been to "come about in a hurry" was around 19.1 seconds... 8)

Bimini is not adjustable without some serious modding...which I don't want to do.

Raising the goose-neck is out of the question.

Using an adjustable topping lift line led aft to pull the boom up permanently would seriously degrade sailing performance.

And using an adjustable topping lift to temporarily lift the boom so that the tack/gybe can occur with the boom above the bimini...my method is just as fast and just as easy.

Not "insane"...efficient and easy for me. My bimini seems to be bigger than most I have seen...I can stand under it but my head is in the canvas. And it goes back just beyond the captain's seat and forward about 18.6" on the boom...lots of shade.

Since I am a video making mad man I will video my technique next time out...hopefully this weekend

Cheers,
Jim
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Re: topping lift

Postby Y.B.Normal » Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:49 pm

I just installed a bimini on my 26M. Hight 36",width 79-84", length 6' from boatcoversdiorect.com. I'm having problems with it interferring with the boom while sailing. As it's installed now, it's about 6" above the boom with the sail up.
Like the above post, I have to adjust the bimini everytime I tack. ( By the way, my topping lift goes from the boom, through a block at the top of the mast, then down to a cleat on the mast. I like the adjustability of it.)

Any suggestions? Should I get a shorter (5') bimini? or should I cut the support bow down so it fits under the boom?

In earlier posts, the size I ordered seemed to be the correct size being used. I don't want to exchange it if I don't have to.

THANKS.
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Re: topping lift

Postby parrothead » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:08 pm

Hi Y.B.,

It sounds like you bought the same size bimini as mine, although I can't be sure about the exact height since the supplier was different. I have never had any conflict with the boom on any point of sail. http://www.macgregorsailors.com/modt/index.php?view=681

Is yours also mounted on the genoa tracks? Perhaps the point where the forward bow attaches to the main bow needs to be adjusted to put some more "dip" into the front of the bimini?

Is your mainsail fully hoisted? I cut the stitching at the base of the luff bolt rope several years ago, and judging by the extent to which it has retreated up into the pocket as it has shrunk, I'm sure that it would be preventing a full hoist if it was still attached.

Doug
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Re: topping lift

Postby Y.B.Normal » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:18 pm

Hi Doug,
I used your post to get the sizing for my bimini. Thanks.
When the sail is hoisted all the way up, the bimini is about 6" above the boom, and all the way back on the genoa track.
Is your bimini canted forward or backward while undersail? Or is your boom over the top of the bimini?
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Re: topping lift

Postby parrothead » Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:23 am

Y.B.,

Our bimini sits relatively level at all times, with the front edge a little lower that the highest point where it is supported by the main bow, but not too much. Here's a photo that shows the boom/bimini relationship. It was a really hot day, and I was playing around with leaving our sunshade in place and sailing under jib alone.

Image

Here's another view of our bimini with the boom above it, from the stern.

Image

Since the topic of this thread is "topping lift", here's mine. When the sail is hoisted and the toppling lift line is released from its jam cleat, the boom only drops a couple of inches -- not enough to touch the top of the bimini.

Image

I haven't yet figured out how to take photos of myself under sail, although in this YouTube the front edge of the bimini makes a brief appearance between :09-:013.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXSh1V89YHc

If your main is fully hoisted and your bimini looks to be set at the right angle, the only other variable I can think of is the angle of your mast. Does it have a rearward tilt? I discovered early on that any rearward mast rake only magnified the weather helm on the Mac, so mine is quite straight.

Doug
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Re: topping lift

Postby c130king » Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:33 am

Doug,

Hard to tell but it looks like your boom can swing freely above the bimini. My bimini is taller than yours and blocks the boom thus I have to move it out of the way when I tack/gybe but as I said earlier it is very easy for me to do that.

Definitley like the look of that tent/fly. Can you give some details on that...did you buy or make? Cost? Where from?

My TL is fixed. I could untie a knot and raise it up but that is not convenient. I only need my TL when the cover is on the sail...otherwise the LJ will hold up the boom.

By the way I went ahead and orderd the new trailer but with bunks and not the rollers like you have...but thanks for the pics and the advice.

Cheers,
Jim
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Re: topping lift

Postby vizwhiz » Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:06 pm

DaveC426913 wrote:
vizwhiz wrote:other end of the rope is wrapped on a large horn cleat on the mast, smaller cleat above it I can wrap a couple times to adjust height
...
kinda works like window shades...pull the rope down, end of boom goes up...kinda intuitive if you ask me. :P
:D :D :D

Hrm. OK. But you need to go forward to the mast to adjust it?


Yes, correct. But I haven't sailed with this rig the way it's set up... I expect this to work like anyone who has a "fixed" topping lift (Jim)...set it once you're hoisting sails and such so that there's enough play in it, and then adjust it up and out of the way once I stop for the night (or lunch or whatever). My boom hits my bimini too, so I'll have to borrow from the experience posted here too.
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Re: topping lift

Postby parrothead » Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:09 pm

Hi Jim,

Glad to hear that you like my boom tent. Here is another photo.

Image

I had it custom made to my drawing by http://www.sailorstailor.com/

It is 8' long, and wider at the front [82"] than the rear [72"], with the rear width dictated by my running backstays [were it not for them, I would have made it wide enough to reach the side edges of the bimini at the back]. Sorry but it has been a few years, and I don't recall the price. What I did to determine the size needed was mock up a cover using a bedsheet, and then measure the result. I can tell you that it is made from 2 pieces of fabric [white polyester "army duck" - not normally one of their available colors, but it was left over from somebody's cancelled order], with a longitudinal center seam that is very strong and stretch resistant, with a grommet at each end. It is not actually supported by the sail, it is stretched taught between a bungee around the mast and one around the topping lift eye at the end of the boom. There are also grommets at the mid-point of each side which are fitted with tiny carabiners that snap onto the lifelines. The front corners dip under the lifelines and are hooked to the shrouds with tiny bungees, while the rear corners are bungeed over the top of the bimini to its frame [visible in above photo]. A nice thing about this is that after fitting the boom tent, the forward bimini straps are redundant, so if you have a slip like ours with a finger pier, you can wrap that strap around the bimini frame to keep it out of the way, making boarding/disembarking much easier. The tent not only provides shade and sheds rain, but it does a great job of catching a breeze and directing it across the companionway & cockpit.

Now having both it and our blue bimini, I'd have to say that if you are going to have a boom tent made, go with a color as close to white as you can find. The temperature difference underneath is significant. Here's one more photo, which illustrates that with the boom tent rigged, the mainsheet also becomes redundant - in terms of keeping the boom centered over the boat. Much easier to access the cabin with it out of the way. :wink:

Image

I'm glad to hear that you have a new trailer on the way. I've gotten ours adjusted so our :macm: sits lower than the way they had set it up at Dave's, and now that it isn't supporting the boat, there is some further adjustment that can be made get to the front rollers even lower. It was great being able to just roll the boat back & forth by a foot to paint the entire bottom.

Image

Cheers,
Doug
Last edited by parrothead on Sat Jun 11, 2011 4:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: topping lift

Postby Crikey » Thu Jun 02, 2011 6:32 pm

Doug,

What's with the running backstays? How do you comfortably manage to run,reach or gybe? I've used a waterproof old tent fly on my previous boat as a floppy equivalent to yours, and it wont be until next year that I can do a dodger project with a bimini linkup, so I was just going to do it on the cheap with a plastic tarp.
One thing I immediately noticed was it kept things much cooler with the sun off the cabin top regardless of the color.

Ross
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Re: topping lift

Postby Y.B.Normal » Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:08 pm

Parrothead:
Do you normally take off the mast support when you have the bimini up? That may be the difference - your bimini may be
further back than mine. I'm going to play with it this weekend. I'll check the mast rigging to see where it's at. I may go with a 5' long bimini.

I like your boom tent. I had a friend of mine make one for me that goes from the mast to the mast support, using tent bows
to give it an arch (kind of looks like a connestoga wagon cover).It connects to the lifelines with clips and 1/8" line. Rolls up into a 4" diameter by 7' long package and stows out of the way. I'll try to get some pics of it this weekend.

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Re: topping lift

Postby parrothead » Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:00 pm

Hi Ross,
Since the :macm: as normally rigged does not have a backstay of any sort, my runners are just for tuning, they are not required to support the mast. That makes tacking or jibing pretty low-stress, since both runners can be slack for any amount of time, and nothing bad will happen. In fact, for the mast to rotate as intended, you really need to have both runners slack as you come about. Once settled in on a point of sail, only the windward runner gets tensioned - the leeward runner remains slack. If you then head off, say from beating to a reach, or from a reach to run, the boom and sail will simply push the slackened runner out of the way. As you can see in the second photo on my backstay mod page, while on port tack only the port backstay is tensioned. http://www.macgregorsailors.com/modt/index.php?view=819 Conversely, in this short YouTube shot while we were on a starboard tack reach, only the starboard backstay is tensioned. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXSh1V89YHc In either case, the runners really do a great job of fighting headstay sag.

Y.B.,

We remove the mast support prior to launching, since Blue Heaven has been living in a slip since our second season in 2006. But if the mast support were left in place, it would be behind, and not interfering with, the bimini. As you can see in this photo, the bimini is typically positioned in the next-to-rearmost hole in the genoa tracks, since the rearmost holes are occupied by the EZcleats that we use for our spinnaker sheets. The flagpole for our ensign is mounted in the port mast support socket.

Image

If we end up sailing into a setting sun, we slide the bimini forward - but it still doesn't interfere with the boom if we tip the front down a little. Best of luck with your setup.

Doug/Parrothead
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Re: topping lift

Postby Y.B.Normal » Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:04 pm

Doug:

Thanks for your advice. We spent part of yesterday adjusting the bimini. It now works perfectly. For some reason I thought it should go above the boom, not under it. I did raise the topping lift a few inches. When we raise the bimini, we have to move the boom over to the rail, but that's a minor thing.

We just got off the Lake Winnebago (Wisconsin) after sailing from the west shore to the east shore (6 miles),
overnighting, then sailing south 6 miles and back to the west shore. It's great having shade (especially when the
winds are light). The Admiral (and her crew - me) are now happy sailors.

Within the next week or so I'll try to get some pics of the bimini and the tent we made that we use when overnighting.
It keeps the dew off the deck and funnels the breeze through the cockpit.

Dale
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