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post #1 of 29 Old 01-25-2006 Thread Starter
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up the mast on the hard

How safe is it to go up the mast on a baot that is on jack stands??? I''d like to do some work at the masthead and don''t reall want to go throught eh aggrivation (and cost) of unstepping/stepping my mast.
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post #2 of 29 Old 01-25-2006
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up the mast on the hard

I''d say a lot depends on how securely the jack stands are under the boat. But I''ve done it many time with my boat on the hard AFTER running lines from the top of the mast in four directions to hard points on the ground. These were installed as protection against the typhoons that frequented Guam during that haulout.

Just be sure you have a proper bosun chair and, for added safety, wear you harness and clip on as you go up, down and at the top.

Also make sure the person handling your halyard knows how to let you down safely. It''s easy to get a wrap on the drum or have it come off the drum if the person tailing is not experienced.

Good luck and enjoy the view!

Terry
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post #3 of 29 Old 01-25-2006
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up the mast on the hard

You don''t say how big the boat is, which could make a difference. I''d be nervous about going up our mast on the hard, and we have a 10 ton boat, with 6 tons in the keel, 36'' long. (The mast is about 50'' up too, though.) On the other hand, if the boat''s steady, what''s to keep you from setting up an extension ladder on the foredeck and getting to it? It all depends. Our boatyard also has cranes that they use to hoist people into position to get stuff done. Safety is the big issue.
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post #4 of 29 Old 01-26-2006
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up the mast on the hard

My thoughts would be: whats the diffence if the boat is in the water or if its in dry dock? The mast is still the same height (the fall would be the same) saftey issues remain the same for both circumstances, correct.

In fact when going up on the hard the boat will not be moving. In the water you have movement which is accented by the mast height which can cause problems for the individual going aloft. Its very rare that boats fall off thier stands, I have heard of a few isolated accidents. Just be carefull, I have seen it done before.
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post #5 of 29 Old 01-26-2006
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up the mast on the hard

ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY, NEVER GO ALOFT WHEN THE BOAT IS ON THE HARD!!!!!!!

It''s the same fall, yes, but the support of the boat is no longer all along the hull. Any minor shifting and you could cause the boat to come off the poppits! If the boat is in a full, cutom cradle, and securely tied down MAYBE, but never as a general rule. Same goes for something as casual as removing a rolled head sail while on the hard. Even the smallest breaze will be enough to topple the boat off the poppits. If you are planning on mast work, HAVE IT PULLED. There is just too much to risk doing that while on land. Not to mention the dominoe affect if boats are tightly stored and one goes over.
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post #6 of 29 Old 01-26-2006
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up the mast on the hard

To Summarize Silmaril - are you nuts?

On the water is clearly so far safer than on land. On the water you just worry if the safety line will hold. The water line is the fulcrum to the balast. On land the balast will kill you. A stiff breeze might be all it takes. A 170 pound human up 50 ft makes for a huge of Newtonian moment. This is late 17th cenntury mathematics.

You might do well to purchase a few sky hooks.
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post #7 of 29 Old 01-27-2006
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up the mast on the hard

I would never even contemplate climbing on the mast myself unless in a situation of life and death which would only be out at sea away from any assistance. Our marina in Point Roberts is blessed with having in water facility for working on your mast with errected scaffolding. $30 an hour but worth every cent. Maybe you should suggest to your marina management as well.

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post #8 of 29 Old 01-27-2006
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up the mast on the hard

To add on one above, I''ve seen a chartered boat being taken back to the marina (I guess no experience and thought process used)when they taking shortcut to go back to their berth have passed on the wrong side of the bridge pillar and got mast top stuck into a rope net hanging under the bridge. With rising tide marina manager sent the professional up the mast (guy does it for living) to list the boat free of the net and motored to safety. I am sure skipper felt misserable in his dark blue navy coat and shiny brass buttons :-)

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post #9 of 29 Old 01-27-2006
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up the mast on the hard

Figure a typical 35 footer will have 4000# of lead on the ground. If a guy up the mast makes the difference between a boat falling over and staying upright, then I sure would want to find another method for securing my boat when on the hard.

I have seen numerous examples of guys going up the mast on the hard and they all lived and their boats did not fall over.
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post #10 of 29 Old 01-27-2006
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up the mast on the hard

Remember the line from Jimmy Buffet .. "Don''t try to describe a KISS concert if you''ve never seen one".

Those faint hearted souls who won''t climb a mast are missing out on an exciting part of sailing. Plus the view is normally pretty good!

I will be 70 years old in a few months and have just recently gone up the mast to repair a broken backstay tang. In previous trips up the mast while on the hard, with the securing lines I mentioned earlier, I felt more secure and had virtually no motion compared to being up there while in the water. I''ve also been up there while underway to repair a broken spinnaker halyard but then I was only 63 years old at the time.

Just be sure the person tailing the winch knows what he (or much better, she) is doing.

Terry -- Old sailors never die, they just get a little dinghy
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