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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 05-12-2008
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Angry ATN Topclimber Trouble

Sunday was a day to tension the upper diagonal shrouds; but I was having trouble climbing with an ATN Topclimber. It was my first time using it and or some reason my upper body rotates far away from the standing line while standing on the foot loops; and I can't raise the upper ascender because it is still supporting my upper body. Does anyone know how to fix this? SimonV was having the same trouble when he used his ATN. I'm suspecting that the standing line is stretching/deflecting too much so that it is not supporting the torque of my body weight. My GF was able to climb with it; so it's either weight difference or CG difference.

It also seems that the length of the foot loops is too long and I can't raise the lower ascender far enough to get a high enough step up. I was only able to climb by shortening the length of the upper harness; but then the purchase was so short that each step was only about 4" with total strain on my arms to move the upper ascender. I thought this thing was supposed to be easy; the company ower Etienne Giroire made it look simple at the boat show.

Last edited by KeelHaulin; 05-12-2008 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 05-13-2008
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Make sure the static line is tight. I put it through a turning block and back to a winch and crank it down. The line should be away from the mast. Don't try to work too hard in going up and live with only making a small amount at a time your shuffle.
Take a look at the video on the the ATN site. You can see a little better how he climbs. After a few runs up, you get the hang of it and it is fairly easy, if not fast.

Paul L
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Old 05-14-2008
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Yes; we did winch the standing line taught. In fact it was so tight I could not turn the 2'nd speed. I tied the line to the toerail next to the upper shroud. The problem is that somehow the geometry while on the chair is incorrect. I think the standing line is deflecting too much; which would make sense because in terms of the forces on a line that is not vertical. When I stand up the upper ascender does not slacken; it just stays taught.

In order to release the tension I have to pull in on the standing line so hard that my arms strain. Something is wrong; again SimonV had the same trouble and decided that his ATN is only good for emergency "if I HAD to go up" use. I'd like to figure out how to correct the problem; but maybe it's not fix-able.
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Old 05-14-2008
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OK, make sure that you are moving the lower ascender all the way up to the upper one before "standing up". This means that you are leaning WAY back (on your back) in the air before standing up.

We have used our several times and it works!

Regards
S/V Samadhi V

Last edited by pkoken; 05-14-2008 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 05-14-2008
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OK; watched that video and I see a few differences.

He is pinching the line between his feet as he stands up. I was letting the loop that goes around the standing line hold my feet in so that is one big difference.

The standing line is deflecting much less in the video. I think it is either too much standing line stretch; or I'm too heavy; or both. The amount that the ascenders deflect the standing line is much less on the video also.

I can't figure out how he goes from climbing on the inside of the standing line (between the mast and the standing line) to outside while standing at the masthead. It's not shown on the video; and to spin around to the outside looks like it would be hard. Maybe less difficult when you get higher up; I guess I will try to figure that out IF I can make it beyond the lower spreaders.
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Old 05-14-2008
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The first climb was tough but I've been up many times since and it is quite easy. Is it possible something is rigged wrong in your setup?

I like to run the climbing rope close to the mast and essentially climb the mast rather than a rope out in space. The mast is much easier to hang on to when doing the stand-up part of the sequence. One arm is around the mast and the other is used to manipulate the ascenders.
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Old 05-14-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkoken View Post
OK, make sure that you are moving the lower ascender all the way up to the upper one before "standing up". This means that you are leaning WAY back (on your back) in the air before standing up.
Right; I am doing that. I'm thinking that I am not able to move the upper ascender high enough due to the force needed to raise it and my body is too far away from the standing line while standing on the foot loops.

Are you pulling your body in towards the standing line while you stand up? Etienne also appears to be doing this on the video; and it seems that he is not having to pull in excessively hard. However he is a skinny little French guy.
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Old 05-14-2008
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Originally Posted by jwms View Post
I like to run the climbing rope close to the mast and essentially climb the mast rather than a rope out in space. The mast is much easier to hang on to when doing the stand-up part of the sequence. One arm is around the mast and the other is used to manipulate the ascenders.
OK; I'll give that a try. If I can minimize the lateral deflection of the standing line I think that will help quite a bit. I just did not think you would be able to climb your body up against the mast. Thanks for letting me know that it will work that way.
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Old 05-14-2008
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If a French guy can do it so can you

I was at the St. Pete boat show about 4 years ago. and I met Etienne, nice guy for a frog. To make a long story short, I bought one, took it back to the boat, after I sobered up from the Latt's n Att's party, and tried it. Holly crap Batman, what did I do? That 200 dollar (back then) piece of French xxx was a real pain to use. The second time I tried it it was a little better. Well the more I tried it the easier it got. I can't tell you what I do or how I do it, there is a learning curve. Trust me. I am almost 62 now and can go up mast like a monkey.
I let a younger friend borrow it and he made it to the spreaders and gave up he's 43. Shower him what an old man can do. LOL.

Don't give up it will come with practice. Besides your smarter than a Frog

Fair Winds

Cap'n Dave
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Old 05-14-2008
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Thanks for the encouragement; I think I'm more of a Gorilla than a Monkey

What type of standing line are you all using? I bought mine "used once" and it came with a standing line; but I don't know if it is the correct type. My halyards are fairly low-stretch but the standing line might not be.
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