Bosun chair/harness recommendations - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 20 Old 05-05-2008
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Most rock climbing harnesses are NOT suitable for use as deck harnesses, as their attachment point is too low and if you were to fall in with it attached to a tether, it would tend to drag you through the water HEAD DOWN.
Actually most all rock climbing harnesses are waist harnesses. The chest ones are in ADDITION to a waist harness and to keep you from turning upside down when you fall. If you were to use a load bearing climbing harness (waist harness) for a sailing harness and go overboard, you can expect a scrotum-first keel-hauling.

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post #12 of 20 Old 05-05-2008
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T34C-

GRRRR...GRRRR.... You knew what I meant... Couldn't remember what the bottom of the sternum was called... Have to go back for my CPR re-certification I guess.
I just knew you would want an important detail like that to be clarified.

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post #13 of 20 Old 05-06-2008
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Somewhere I saw a rope ladder that was attached to a halyard at the top of the mast, anyone know where I can pick one up? I have a hard time finding someone to crank me up, i'd prefer to climb and harness myself at the top.


Edit: think I found it, Flexible, portable mast climbing ladder made of nylon webbing which attaches to any sail tra
That's what I use, and I love it. Get a lineman's belt too. (or whatever sailors / rock climbers call it)

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post #14 of 20 Old 05-06-2008
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I really like that Mast Mate solution. But $340 for the Mast Mate (we have a 42' high mast) and another $65 for the workbelt... ouch!

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post #15 of 20 Old 05-06-2008
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Money well spent if you've got to get up to your masthead while you're anchored out alone, or if your wife can't winch you up in a bosun's chair.

I've gone up the mast half a dozen times while anchored out, with mine, to change anchor lights, or work on instrumentation, or unfoul my ancient craptastic roller furler.

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post #16 of 20 Old 05-06-2008
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From my experience in a bosun's chair, I realize that the bosun is either the most despised crew member (if he had to use it), or the most sadistic (if he put another of the crew in it). It took me half a day to recover and walk normally from my half-hour experience in one.

I use a climbing harness and ascenders, clipping into one of the ascenders as a safety. You can go right up the main halyard. The ladder would be more convenient, since it is easily hoisted by the spinnaker halyard or such, but for safety you might want to keep moving a short lanyard with a clip attached to a harness as you ascend the ladder, to catch you if you fall. I would feel more comfortable going up the mast on a rocking boat with ascenders (clipped onto my climbing harness), though they can be more tedious and tiring, than the ladder. If you decide to use a climbing harness, consider combining it with a chest harness (like serious technical climbers use) if there is a lot of rocking to avoid inverting, as MedSailor pointed out.
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post #17 of 20 Old 06-15-2008
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How easy is it to replace taping on spreaders with the Mast Mate? I'm trying to figure out how you would get out that far. Thanks!
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post #18 of 20 Old 06-15-2008
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I use a soft seat bosun's chair I bought from Lands' End about thirty years ago. Yes, they used to sell real boating equipment. There is no board; it has 2 leg straps and two large pockets. You sit in it not on it - sort of like a soft seat swing. I have a traditional hard seat but feel more secure in this one when I'm over 80 feet up.
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post #19 of 20 Old 06-15-2008
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Then your bosun's chair is connected to what? The MastMate or the spreader?
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post #20 of 20 Old 06-15-2008
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How easy is it to replace taping on spreaders with the Mast Mate? I'm trying to figure out how you would get out that far. Thanks!
I don't see how you can. At least not safely.

We have the same problem: My tape job on the spreader boots (first time I'd ever done it) doesn't seem to be holding up. Sending a youngster up the mast to simply bend down a Windex' tab is one thing. Anything more compicated than that (re-taping, replacing a lightbulb, etc.) is going to require I go up the mast. Whether The Admiral likes it or not, I think we're going to have to eventually spring for a workable solution. Right now I'm thinking either the TopClimber or OnRope1, because the Mast Mate, cool as it seems, doesn't allow you to get out to the ends of the spreaders, near as I can tell.

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