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  #11  
Old 08-22-2013
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Re: Going up the mast

I use to climb (just at the beginner level) and was taught to tie in with a double figure 8 on a bight. Then an overhand knot can tie off the working end over the standing end to add redundancy. I know the bowline is a secure knot and holds some heavy loads, but I'm curious if it is trusted to not slip loose?
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  #12  
Old 08-22-2013
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Re: Going up the mast

I just went up the mast on our 28' sailboat for the first time a couple of weeks ago...had a bosun's chair and was winched up (two halyards). From what I understand, it is tough work winching up. Fortunately our neighbor was in his slip, as my wife certainly would not have been able to do it. It is a bit nerve racking as well as the higher you go the boat certainly rocks a bit with all the weight up there - but settles down...and as calm as the day may be, once you get up there it will certainly start to pick up!

If winching, I would suggest hauling yourself up on one halyard while the slack is taken up with the wincher below...

Good Luck...
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Old 08-22-2013
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Re: Going up the mast

Bring a camera and a video recorder: My YouTube video:

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  #14  
Old 08-22-2013
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Re: Going up the mast

TECHNIQUES FOR MAKING A TRIP UP THE STICK SAFER
Good Old Boat - Up the mast article
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Old 08-22-2013
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Re: Going up the mast

All good info so far. I will add that you should not rely on a self tailing winch when hoisting someone up a mast. See the warning below.

When there are only two of us we use two halyards both running through locked clutches. One to the hoisting winch and the other nearby to take up slack every 5 or so ft. Our halyards are led to the cockpit. We use climbing harness for short trips and bosuns chairs and harness for longer trips. We also use one of our jack line tethers wrapped around the mast a few times with both ends hooked to the harness. If both halyards fail the tether tightens and stops the fall. It also keeps you near the mast should it be rolly. The person going up will try to climb to help the winching person.

Lewmar issues safety warning on self-tailing winches - Ocean Navigator - March/April 2011
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Old 08-22-2013
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Re: Going up the mast

We've been up the mast 5 times in the last two weeks. It was easiest with a third person to tail.

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Old 08-22-2013
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Re: Going up the mast

great thread and just in time! I just got a new to me Catalina 30 that has mast steps and I will need to go up the mast for winterization soon. I free solo'ed climbing my mast on my C22 when I had to redo a hallyard but my Tall rig is a bit higher and scarier.
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Old 08-22-2013
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Re: Going up the mast

A way to ease the amount of work is to use block and tackle to hoist you up the mast. I have a 4 to 1 tackle, I use a halyard to raise one set of blocks to the masthead ,the bottom set of blocks is attached to the person ascending. With a light person you can almost pull yourself up the mast using this system. I put the running end through a block at the mast-base and lead it aft to a large winch (or you could use your anchor windlass if equipped with a rope drum).

For safety I have a line attached to my harness that is tied to the running end of the block/tackle with a prusik knot. If my helper forgets to tail, etc the prusik will arrest my decent.
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Old 08-23-2013
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Re: Going up the mast

ATN worked for me quite well. Also used alternate safety line to harness.
Concur w/ no one under you. I have the admiral on a winch taking up slack on the safety line. Only one burning energy is me. Flag or spinaker line for tool bag/hoist for the things that are ALWAYS forgotten :-)

Got it used at Bacons, looked like it was tried maybe once! It does take some practice but once you 'get it', it works great.

I hated the bosun's chair.
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Old 08-23-2013
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Re: Going up the mast

Our dockmate Michael up the mast.

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