Join Date: Dec 2006
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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.