Climbing the mast - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 32 Old 06-23-2009
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Now if you weigh 300 pounds and are thinking of going up the mast on a water balasted MAC without water then you might give it another thought.

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post #12 of 32 Old 06-23-2009
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Quote:
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Now if you weigh 300 pounds and are thinking of going up the mast on a water balasted MAC without water then you might give it another thought.
Just tip the boat over w/ a halyard and bring the mast down to you.

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post #13 of 32 Old 06-23-2009
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Well

I do a LOT of stuff that could be fatal if the lifting system fails and when i look at sailboat parts and the ratings i see on them i really shake my head when i see a tiny shackle with and 8000# rating on it

You are pretty bold to go up anything that sits out in the weather without a backup becasue i can never look at them and figure out how much the Uv and time has done and you know what the say about OLD BOLD PILOTS

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post #14 of 32 Old 06-23-2009
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IMHO, you should never trust your life or safety to a shackle. Shackles can fail unexpectedly. I never use a shackle to fasten the halyard to my climbing harness. I use a bowline.

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post #15 of 32 Old 06-23-2009
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Mast mate option

Another option you can use to get to the top of the mast, without any help from large-biceped individuals, is a product called the Mast Mate. It is basically a ladder made of heavy webbing that is hoisted in the mainsail track just as the main would be. I have used it and it has a kind of sponge-like feel to it. You don't swing around as you might on a chair but you are somewhat limited in that your feet are always essentially right alongside the mast. You have to lean back against the safety belt to get both hands free like the old telephone/telegraph pole climbers.
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post #16 of 32 Old 06-23-2009
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Quote:
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IMHO, you should never trust your life or safety to a shackle. Shackles can fail unexpectedly. I never use a shackle to fasten the halyard to my climbing harness. I use a bowline.
Dog, I'm with you on knots vs hardware.....but to my point about each situation being different, a rigger told me a story last year about a guy who watched the knot holding him slip (and he fell) because the haulyard was one of the new high-tech fibers with a very low friction coefficient. Experienced guy, been up many times before, knew enough to tie the right knot but it was a new type of line. The rigger told me the decision of how to attach the haulyard to the chair now depends on the type of line.

Hog, Mellow? Who's stressed!! I'm not saying NEVER to it. I'm not saying don't bother to learn how to do it. What I did say was that the first time you do it, you should be in the company of knowledgeable people. (I suspose in that regard, it's a lot like sex ).

Corny, it doesn't take much experience to be hauled up the mast. Where you want the experience is on deck. The guy up the stick is, in most instances, a passenger whose safety is highly dependent on the knowledge and good judgement of those on the other end of the line.
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post #17 of 32 Old 06-23-2009
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Urban legend or true????

I can't vouch for it's veracity, but the worst "up the mast" story I've ever heard concerned a couple (man and wife) several days into an offshore passage when something happens to require him to go up the mast. She cranks him up and when he arrives at the mast head he ties himself off (as all smart mast climbers to) and he begins working on whatever it was that sent him up there. Before he's finished, he has a massive heart attack and dies. His wife has no way to get him down, so she motors? sails? the boat three days back to port with papa-san at the mast head.

My wife hates it when I tell that story! Now when I go up the mast she makes me use the spare haulyard as the safety line which she controls from a second winch on deck.
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post #18 of 32 Old 06-23-2009
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I have a really good Bosun's chair - and I never use it. Instead I use a climbing harness, lash tools to the gear loops, and use a flag halyard as a tool messenger in case I forget something.

I wouldn't trust a shackle - I use a double bowline and a locking carabiner. I usually don't have anyone on board I really want hoisting me, so I climb with Petzl ascenders (similar to Jumars) with a prusik backup to a halyard different from the one I'm climbing. I keep climbing gear on the boat anyway.

I love and trust my wife, but she doesn't feel comfortable belaying me climbing, nor hoisting me on the boat. I've sent my 12 YO up the mast several times, first when he was 9, but always in a climbing harness, and always with a prusik backup to a separate halyard.
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post #19 of 32 Old 06-25-2009 Thread Starter
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Guys, thank you so much for the input.
Sailingdog, to answer your question: I am 155lbs, boat is 343 Beneteau and I am definitely going to have my friend (he is quite capable and experienced) to host me up the mast. My question was more like: what is better climbing harness or bosun's chair... Maybe I will just follow the advise and hire somebody to do it for the first time...
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post #20 of 32 Old 06-25-2009
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Harness, all the way. I went up in one bosun's chair, thought I was going to fall out of it. Now when I crew on other people's boats, I pack my harness with my foulies. Never leave home w/o it.

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