Flying Free

On our Allied Seawind ketch we fly the national ensign from our mizzen topping lift, rather than flying it from a short staff on the rail under the mizzen boom where it would be at odds with the mizzen sheet.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

On our Allied Seawind ketch we fly the national ensign from our mizzen topping lift, rather than flying it from a short staff on the rail under the mizzen boom where it would be at odds with the mizzen sheet.

flag

The one problem with using the topping lift is getting the flag to fly freely. To do this, it needs to be free to rotate around the line. If you thread the line through the eyes of a pair of flag clips, the weight of the flag cants the clips against the line. This jams the clips and prevents the flag from rotating until the wind is strong enough to lift it completely. But if you form the clip eye around a short length of plastic tubing with a slightly larger inside diameter than the diameter of the topping lift line, jamming is prevented and the clip can rotate in the lightest breeze.

I found an appropriate bit of barbed tubing in my plumbing supplies, sawed it into two 1-inch lengths, sanded the inside edges a bit to reduce chafe, and wedged them inside my flag clips. To hold the modified flag clips in place high on the topping lift, I slit a length of stiff hose with an inside diameter a bit smaller than the line and wrapped it around the line between the flag clips. The hose should be slightly shorter than the center-to-center distance between the flag grommets. Push the hose as high up on the topping lift as you want the flag to fly. Tradition says it should be two-thirds of the leech length above the clew, but we just push it up as high as we can reach from the deck.

Sloops and cutters with topping lifts can also adopt this method of flying their ensigns to good effect.

Related

pic00

Installing a Helm Pod

Our 1987 Pearson project boat came with an elderly but functioning Raymarine chartplotter, located belowdecks at the nav station. Since I usually sail solo or doublehanded, it was of little use down there—it needed to be near the helm. When I decided to update the plotter along ...read more

Panamerican

Pan American Game Success

Team USA’s young sailors went to the quadrennial Pan-American Games in Lima, Peru this summer with high hopes, and returned with a good haul of medals—two Golds, three Silvers, and two Bronze. Gold medals went to Ernesto Rodriguez and Hallie Schiffman (Mixed Snipe) and Riley ...read more

190916-AC75

U.S. Team Launches First America’s Cup Boat

Fast forward to around 2:25 to see the boat in action. First day out and already doing full-foiling gybes: not too shabby! Hard on the heels of the unveiling of New Zealand’s first AC75, the New York Yacht Club’s American Magic team has now launched its first America’s Cup ...read more

GGTobCaysHorseshoeColors

Picking a Charter Destination

Picking a destination should reflect the interests of your group, says People often ask about my favorite charter destination, and invariably, I sidestep the question with one of my own: “Well, what do you want to do on your vacation?” Most often I hear an incredulous, “Why, ...read more

sinking

Waterlines: Chasing Leaks on Boats

Chasing leaks on boats is a time-honored obsession. Rule number one in all galaxies of the nautical universe through all of nautical history has always been the same: keep the water on the outside. When water somehow finds its way inside and you don’t know where it’s coming ...read more

BestBoatNominees2020-Promo

Best Boats Nominees 2020

Bring on the monohulls! In a world increasingly given over to multihull sailing, SAIL magazine’s “Best Boats” class of 2020 brings with it a strong new group of keelboats, including everything from luxury cruisers nipping at the heels of their mega-yacht brethren to a number of ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Relieve the load  One of the ancient arts of the sailor is setting up a “stopper” to relieve a loaded rope without letting anything go. The classic use for a stopper is to take the weight off the genoa ...read more

05

Ask Sail: Water Getting into Coax

Q: While inspecting behind the nav station for my spring cleaning, I discovered water behind my chartplotter and VHF radio stack. Freshwater to boot! Do electronics leak? I didn’t think so. — Everette Gracy, Norton Shores, MI Gordan West Replies  Last winter your region was ...read more