Installing A Topping Lift / Uphaul To Your Sailboat How To Guide

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Installing A Topping Lift / Uphaul To Your Sailboat How To Guide

What is a Topping Lift?

A Topping lift (uphaul or boom backstay,) is a line which secures and suspends your sailboat boom. Topping lifts are used to hold the boom up when your main sail is lowered. This topping lift line runs from the end of your boom to the top of the sailboat mast.

Both of our Lockley Newport Daysailer sailboats didn't include Topping Lifts. Being curious as to why, we conducted a survey asking the sailing community what are the pros and cons of having a Topping Lift on you sailboat?

Topping Lift Pros:

Makes It Easier for Raising Main Sail At Dock.

Keeps the Boom Off your Deck

Topping Lift Cons:


Adding Topping Lift Sailboat Tools Needed

Tools & Supplies Pictured Above For Adding Topping Lift Links:

Power Drill.

Phillips Medium Screw Driver.

7/64 Bi-Metal drill Bit

Tap & Die Hand Tool,

6/32 Threading Tap,

One 3/8" Stainless Steel Eye Strap,

Two Tapered Flat Head 6/32 stainless screws,

3/16" diameter marine paracord line,

Two 3/8" Stainless Steel Bow Shackles,

7/64 drill bit needed for 6/32 machine screws to tapping sailboat Mast Adding Topping Lift Sailboat Tools Needed

1. Lower your Sailboat Mast.

2. Locate location for the Eye Hook Strap towards the top of the mast. Avoid mounting it near the main sheet cable. I recommend tracing around the Eye Hook Strap location with pencil before drilling the two holes. Use 7/64 bit for making 6/32 threaded holes. 

Drill & tap Sailboat Mast For Adding Topping Lift

3. Insert 6/32 tap into Tapping Hand Tool. Slowly Twist and turn the tap into the 7/64" size hole. Gently reverse the tool to make the 6/32 threads as even as possible.

How to Add Topping Lift to Sailboat Mast for Boom

Install the 6/32 Tapered Flat Head Screws to fasten on the Eye Hook Strap the aluminum sailboat mast.  

Adding Topping Lift To Daysailer Sailboat Lockley Newport Oday Buccaneer

Our Mast Eye Hook Strap is installed and ready.

Next step is determining how much rope is needed.

Lower boom to lowest position on the mast, so you measure and cut plenty of line. 

How to add Topping Lift Fixed Boom Vang to DaySailer Newport Lockley Sailboat

You can use whatever type of line you wish. Or add a Shackle! 

I'm using 1/4" diameter marine line to attach the Topping Lift / Fixed Boom Vang on the Lockley Newport 17 Sailboat.


Sailing Lockley Newport 17 Sailboat With our Topping Lift Boom Vang Line

Photo by Jodi Martin.

Sailing our Newport 17 sailboat with our Topping Lift / Uphaul line.

The next DIY guide will be soon and hopefully another useful update to your Newport 17 sailboat.

Join our Lockley Newport Daysailer Sailboat Group on Facebook, HERE 


The topping lift (uphaul) is a line which applies upward force on a sailboat. Topping lifts are primarily used to hold a boom up when the sail is lowered. This line / rope runs from near the free end of the boom(s) forward to the top of the mast. The line or rope may be run over a block at the top of the mast or mounted on side to allow boom height to be adjusted. For small booms, the topping lift may be run from end of the boom to the Backstay or next mast aft. When the sail is raised again, the topping lift is loosened or removed. On sailboats used for racing, boom lift function is frequently incorporated into the "Boom Vang" system, to reduce the number of lines aloft. Allowing the vang to take this function also simplifies operation of the sailboat. A topping lift may also refer to a line on the front of the mast used to rig the spinnaker pole. It is used to trim the pole to the proper height when hoisting the spinnaker.





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