Going Aloft Solo ? - SailNet Community
View Poll Results: How do you prefer to Go Aloft Solo ?
Block & Tackle 2 9.09%
Leg Assist Bosuns Char - Like: Atninc.com 3 13.64%
Flexible Mast Ladder - Like: Mastmate.com 5 22.73%
Fixed Mast Steps - Like: Maststep.com 3 13.64%
Other Solo Assist Method 9 40.91%
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post #1 of 16 Old 05-12-2009 Thread Starter
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Going Aloft Solo ?

If you regularly go aloft Solo, what's your preferred method? Why? And what's the total cost of the gear in your setup?
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post #2 of 16 Old 05-12-2009
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If you're on the same Back Creek that I am I can give you a hand and avoid the whole problem.
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post #3 of 16 Old 05-12-2009
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I do/can since I got a "Mastmate". It's a canvas ladder that goes up the mainsail track. Run it up, tie if off and then climb the steps using the safety waist strap/tool bag that comes with it.

Ray
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1983 Fraser 41
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Boating for over 25 years, some of them successfully.
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post #4 of 16 Old 05-12-2009
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I have Mast Mate (I think that's the name) mast steps that run up the sail track. I climb slowly and always work with just one hand. I like it much better than a bo'sun's chair.

I also plan to fall into the drink, and not onto the deck.

with a ketch, the main mast is only 35 feet off the house, so what's the worst that could happen?

I would do the same if I had someone to help me, after all, what are they going to do - catch me?

Best Regards,


e

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post #5 of 16 Old 05-12-2009
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I use mastmate. To be safe, I wear a kind of a harness -climbers webbing around behind my back and around shoulders/under arms - then clip around the mast. I have two of these running the same way, so even when I go around spreaders, I have at least one clipped at all times.
This also lets me use both hands when I am standing on a ladder, even at the top of the mast - and even reach spreader ends if needed.
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post #6 of 16 Old 05-12-2009
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I use the gear that I use for going up and down pits while caving. It is called a Frog System. I attach a static caving rope to a spare halyard (ore better, two of them) and hoist it to the top of the mast. I then can quickly climb to the top, work secured to the rope, and switch over and rappel down. Of course, I have been doing vertical caving work for 30 years so I am very comfortable doing this.

"When in command, command." -- Admiral Nimitz

Difference between a power boater and a sailor out on the water: A power boater is going some place special, a sailor is already there.

s/v Zotz 1981 Pearson 365 Ketch Hull #375
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post #7 of 16 Old 05-12-2009
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If you are going solo, why do you need climbing gear? One would think that would be for going so high!
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post #8 of 16 Old 05-12-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tager View Post
If you are going solo, why do you need climbing gear? One would think that would be for going so high!
Well a lot of the newer designs for going aloft on sailboats actually came from mountain climbing gear. Also in my opinion once your above 40 ft or so it doesn't matter if you fall from there or from 300ft - its still going to hurt you very bad or kill you especially on a larger sailboat with a much taller mast so why take the chance.

Morgan 323
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post #9 of 16 Old 05-12-2009
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I have been up the mast 4-5 times in the last year, with another planned ascent in the works. I go solo, using mountain climbing gear similar tot he ATN Topclimber. I wear a climbing harness and have that connected to a Gibbs ascender. I also have two loops of slightly different lengths of webbing attached to a separate ascender, below the first one. I use this set up to climb my main halyard, while using a third ascender attached to me with nylon webbing on the headsail halyard. This is my safety line. I also have a sling that runs around the mast to hold me in and to stop a rapid fall from above the spreaders. Although I am alone when doing this, my wife knows to call and check on me once in a while. I also have my cell phone with me ready to call 911 if I can still dial after falling. Lastly, I leave all my tools on the deck in a cloth carryall attached to a line that is also attached to my harness. Once I get aloft, I bring up the tools and parts. Before decending I send them back down.
I'm not too sure of the cost of my equipment since I got the ascenders for free. Probably several hundred dollars.

Be safe up there, Bill

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Channel Islands, CA


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post #10 of 16 Old 05-12-2009
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I spent many years deep into serious mountain climbing....

Quote:
Originally Posted by nk235 View Post
Well a lot of the newer designs for going aloft on sailboats actually came from mountain climbing gear. Also in my opinion once your above 40 ft or so it doesn't matter if you fall from there or from 300ft - its still going to hurt you very bad or kill you especially on a larger sailboat with a much taller mast so why take the chance.
And people die falling 20-30 feet all of the time. And the mountains don't rock when a skier comes by.

I like the mast mate fine, and I have no remaining fear of heights, but I ALWAYS wear a seat harness, take a few slings and biners with me so that I can tie-off at the masthead to work with 2 hands (or rest if tired), and always back-up with a second halyard (I use one of several rope grabs or a gri-gri).

Please don't let us know you climb without tie-offs or safeties. It doesn't make you brave.

And by the way, I climbed some rather severe crags un-roped as part of the game. Part of the challenge. But never a mast. No point.

(when asked how he reached the starting holds on a difficult rock climbing problem that clearly favored taller climbers - he was perhaps 5'5")

"Well, I just climb up to them."

by Joe Brown, English rock climber




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