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Preventing the topping-lift from chafing the leach of the mainsail

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What is the issue?
When the mainsail is raised the topping lift should be relaxed, but with not so much slack so that the boom could fall upon the dodger. Whilst sailing, you generally don't want it under tension as it will put too much twist in the main. The problem with this is the loose line then flops about and tends to rub and chafe the mainsail. Over time chafing wears on the edge of the leach generally leading to a dirty frayed look.

Why address this?
Mainsails are very expensive and minimising any harm that will lead to a longer service life is highly desirable. Although the topping lift does not cause any particular wear when flopping around it is untidy and unkempt.

How to address this?
Whip in a section of heavy shock cord into the topping lift as shown. The shock cord then takes up the slack when the topping lift is relaxed keeping it taught enough so that it does not slap the sail.

Using shock-cord to keep the lazy topping-lift off the mainsail
Photo: Michael Harpur

Header photo with thanks to Yacht Rent.

With thanks to:
Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession.
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