Going Up the mast - Page 10 - SailNet Community
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post #91 of 106 Old 07-03-2008
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Originally Posted by Gary1 View Post

Now you're ready to work on the lights. Oops. You can't reach them sitting in the boatswain's chair. What to do?

This is where you have to raise a second halyard with a couple of loops firmly attached so you can stand up in the loops. If you think you're going to have to do this, try it about a foot off the deck first. Don't be forty or fifty feet up to try something new. This has a second problem. You'll need to be able to do the entire job with only one hand, because you'll be holding on to the mast with the other hand. For myself, I made my own boatswain's chair and it fits my scrawny self very closely.

Cap'n Gary
Wow, A lot of very practical info in your post.
It's obvious that you've done a lot of work aloft.
About getting above the top of the mast. You make a set of stirrups to stand in with an extra halyard. What I do is basically the same idea but I attach the adjustable stirrups to the same attachment point as the chair and have a readily adjustable waist strap so that when I stand and lean back I am able to use both hands to work.
The waist strap is very handy just for bracing and positioning myself and the stirrups are a break for the back after sitting in the chair for awhile.

Thanks for the great post.
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post #92 of 106 Old 07-05-2008
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this weekend I finally got to the top of the mast. MastMate is excellent, easy to use (testament to which is the fact that I went up and down 3 times and didn't break a sweat), and didn't need anyones help either.
One thing that was important is to furnish a proper chest/shoulder support. I used two lengths of climbing webbing with carabiners (two so that I would always stay clipped on even when going around the spreaders or around upper shroud fittings on top).


This is what mastmate looks like when raised. It helps to pull down and straighten steps as you go up the first time (the photo is taken after first ascent)


These are two pieces of webbing I used for shoulder/chest support. I ran both behind my back under arms, up around the shoulders, crossed on the back and under arms forward again. This creates good support where needed while still leaving enough slack to work on ends of spreaders (which I had to do again, as a piece of nylon thread I used to raise items up above fell and got caught on one)


This is what climbing the ladder looks like - I used a shoulder bag (diaper bag actually ) to carry tools. Blurry image courtesy of my old camera.


I found that it was most convenient to stand with one foot in the loop above and one below, that way I was able to move my weight from one foot to the other periodically - this definitely helped avoiding fatigue. I only stood up in both upper loops intermittently when I had to take a good look above the masthead.



Obligatory photo with my feet This is taken from spreader level. I went up to spreaders two more times - it's so easy.

One more thing - wear comfortable pants that do not restrict your step, for easy climbing. On the first attempt last week I tried going up in shorts that are somewhat limiting - and it was inconvenient. I think this is where reports of "steps being too far apart" come from. If you are in a remote cove somwhere - I guess you can go up naked

So, that's my review. YMMV.

Last edited by brak; 07-05-2008 at 05:05 PM.
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post #93 of 106 Old 07-05-2008
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I bought the MastMate but my size 11 feet wont fit the step and I cant do it bare foot. may be some of them pointy toed boots?
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post #94 of 106 Old 07-05-2008
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Originally Posted by badsanta View Post
I bought the MastMate but my size 11 feet wont fit the step and I cant do it bare foot. may be some of them pointy toed boots?
Really? I wear size 10, but those loops are huge - I can't imagine any feet being too big, well may be Shaq's but he won't need MastMate, he can just stand up and reach the mast head Proper shoes seem to be important - I found that my "keds" with rubber sole work best.
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post #95 of 106 Old 07-05-2008 Thread Starter
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Lots of great tips here...went up last week twice using halyards, bosuns seat and mast winch. It was easy but required two. Changed and cleaned a couple of bulbs but will change them to leds soon. Like the suggestion of the webbing for that extra two feet so I can actually be above the mast.

My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between, I occupy myself as best I can.
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post #96 of 106 Old 09-18-2008
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For people who don't plan to go up the mast often, is there a less expensive option than buying a bosun chair?
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post #97 of 106 Old 09-18-2008
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climbing harness from rock climbing store.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jarcher View Post
For people who don't plan to go up the mast often, is there a less expensive option than buying a bosun chair?

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post #98 of 106 Old 09-18-2008
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post #99 of 106 Old 09-18-2008
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glad to help... try them out though...some are better than others.

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post #100 of 106 Old 09-19-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jarcher View Post
For people who don't plan to go up the mast often, is there a less expensive option than buying a bosun chair?
Check out Backcountry.com got my climbing harness from there, they also have ascenders. A LOT cheaper than bosun's chairs. And personally, I like the "strapped in" feeling I get while I'm in the harness. My skinny butt tends to slide around in bosun chairs, makes me feel like I'm going to fall out. In the harness, you can go complete inverted and relax all muscles, and you don't come out of it. Gives me that warm, fuzzy feeling. And the attachment to the climbing harness is right at your waist/belly button, so you don't need to stand on loops. Using the main halyard, I can get the top of my mast, chest high with someone grinding and have the use of both hands.

The best part, they're about $50 or less.

Merit 25 # 764 "Audrey"
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