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Adding a "Topping Lift" to my old CL16 Sailboat


New Member
Newbie sailor needs help here...
I recently purchased an older model CL16 sailboat (from the mid 1980s).
Because I have the boat moored at a dock next to other boats, I can't raise the sail at the dock, and need to use a small trolling motor to troll away from the dock and then wrestle with the boom and the gooseneck and manually raise the sell while in the middle of the lake. This is not fun or easy to do by myself, especially if it is windy out or the water is a bit rough. And then on the way back, I have to "drop my sails" before I get to the dock so I can troll into my spot. But again, when I drop my main sail, the boom just ends up coming down and laying on top of the tiller and in the middle of the boat in the way of everything.. and the mainsail is just a huge mess all over the place..

I have been told by a few people that one way to resolve this problem is to add what I am told is called a "topping lift" line, which is a separate line that will hold-up the boom when I lower the mainsail.. it will keep the boom "elevated" and that way the boom won't get in the way and the mainsail can be folded over the boom instead of lying in a mess inside the boat. Also, for when I "launch", this way, the boom will already be "up" where I want it with the gooseneck inserted, which will make raising the sail much, much easier and quicker. I just have to hoist the sail and won't need to wrestle with the boom at the same time... Sounds like a nice solution to this mess..

However, to do this, I'm told I need to add a connection point for a line to the end of the boom, then run it to the top of the mast, through a "block" (or "pulley"?) and then down the mast to a separate "cleat" at the bottom of the mast..
Unfortunately, none of our local marinas where I live do anything with sailboats and won't attempt something like this, but some people have told me that its not that hard to do yourself if you have the right parts and a bit of mechanical work.
So, if someone could explain to me exactly what parts I would need to purchase and "how" you would properly secure these items to the boom and the mast. What is the exact list f parts that I would need (maybe link to a website!) Do you secure items to the boom and mast using pop-rivets? Stainless steel screws? Some sort of brackets? If someone could give me the basic parts and an outline of how to do it that would be great.
I can include photos of my boom and mast if that would help..
Thanks for any help on this!
PS: If anyone lives up in the Berkshires of Massachusetts and knows how to do this and wants to make a bit of side money, I'd be happy to speak with you as well!!! I have a few other items on the boat I wouldn't mind getting fixed as well!