Solo Climbing the Mast- Block and Tackle - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 38 Old 07-23-2014 Thread Starter
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Solo Climbing the Mast- Block and Tackle

What blocks do you use when solo climbing the mast? Also, what purchase?
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post #2 of 38 Old 07-23-2014
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Re: Solo Climbing the Mast- Block and Tackle

Ascenders and a gri-gri. No purchase.
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post #3 of 38 Old 07-23-2014
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Re: Solo Climbing the Mast- Block and Tackle

bought the ATN Mastclimber and am pleased with it
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post #4 of 38 Old 07-23-2014
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Re: Solo Climbing the Mast- Block and Tackle

An ascender, a gri-gri II, foot sling, and a good harness.
Here's a random youtube video. The Gri-Gri works as an ascender on the way up and a rappellor on the way down.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUM5lSD_g-w
Good luck and practice up and down a couple feet off the deck before going aloft.

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post #5 of 38 Old 07-23-2014
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Re: Solo Climbing the Mast- Block and Tackle

Harken ratchet blocks, ascender, and 4 to 1 tackle.

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post #6 of 38 Old 07-23-2014
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Re: Solo Climbing the Mast- Block and Tackle

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Originally Posted by Multihullgirl View Post
bought the ATN Mastclimber and am pleased with it
I've gone up with this one also. Works good!

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post #7 of 38 Old 07-23-2014
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Re: Solo Climbing the Mast- Block and Tackle

There was a time when every cruising boat over 40 feet or so had a block and tackle rig for going aloft alone, aboard. It was standard equipment, just like a hand bearing compass and a sextant.
Now a days, there are so few folks who would even consider going aloft on their own boat and so many alternatives, that it is rare to find a rig aboard.
When I purchased this boat, I looked into building a set up and found it pretty expensive. First, you need very good quality roller bearing blocks, without any fancy junk like cam cleats and ratchets. You will need at least a 5 part purchase, 6 would be better. Multiply that times spar length, lets say 70 feet in my case, and you'll need over 350 feet of 1/2 inch dacron double braid line. Anything less than half inch can become very hard to grip if you are at all tired. Then you need a quality bosun's chair, which I really prefer (pockets and extra clip on spots to keep you away from the mast when going aloft offshore), but many riggers today use harnesses instead. So now you've got a huge coil of line to stow, which can not be used for anything else, lest it get damaged and become useless for safely taking you aloft. And last, but certainly not least, there is a very special way to tie the line so there is absolutely no chance of it slipping, or becoming fouled, but very easily untied.
Perhaps the climbing rigs are a better way to go today, though I've never tried them.

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post #8 of 38 Old 07-23-2014
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Re: Solo Climbing the Mast- Block and Tackle

I now use the TopClimber (similar to ATN MastClimber) and am very pleased with it. You can see my review of it here.

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post #9 of 38 Old 07-23-2014
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Re: Solo Climbing the Mast- Block and Tackle

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwaltersmi View Post
I now use the TopClimber (similar to ATN MastClimber) and am very pleased with it. You can see my review of it here.
I just checked out the top climber:
See it work - Topclimber

Safety questions on the video:
1. The climber has no secondary back up line. If the one he is climbing breaks- he is dead.
2. Looks like the climbing line in attached to an external block at the top of the mast- that pulley breaks, or the attaching shackel (or pin falls out)- climber is dead.

In the beginning, there was only water...

Last edited by casey1999; 07-23-2014 at 03:38 PM.
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post #10 of 38 Old 07-23-2014
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Re: Solo Climbing the Mast- Block and Tackle

Not my video.

But, having used the ATN Mastclimber, I can say: 1. there's no reason not to rig a backup line - we did, worked fine, but there were two of us there. Alone, I'm not sure how you'd do it; 2. Used the main halyard to go up the stick so unless you haven't maintained that part of your system then given that the main is way more loaded than the 180-odd lbs of the climber in question, you'll be just fine. Any bosun's chair is using a halyard to get up the stick. The difference in the Mastclimber is that one ties off the halyard and rappels up the halyard, rather than hauling the halyard itself up.
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