In attempting to replace the jib halyard this weekend, i hit a snag. i got it down about 3 feet and it stuck. im almost positive that the old line is sheared to the core and the sheath got crammed in the block and wont budge. so, ive got a plan. my buddy has a tree service, im going to use one of his climbing harnesses on the main (replaced yesterday) and go up the mast.
i plan to take the new line up, cut the old, run the new through the block then rig it once i get back down. any problem with this? also, is there any way to tell if i need a pigtail without rigging the new halyard and raising the sail? if the sail doesnt go all the way up is a pigtail neccessary?
Great to see you again! Your plan's fine. It sounds like you've got an all-rope jib halyard (which is best), so there's no need for a pigtail. Wire-to-rope halyards were needed to prevent rope stretching but with today's low-stretch ropes, there's no need for the meat hooks and general difficulty of dealing with wire rope running rigging. Make sure to tie your tools with stout, thin line to your harness so you don't drop them and bring an extra, strong line, to tie yourself of at the mast head as a safety. Also, using a bosun's chair with a rigid bottom will save you a ton of pain, because climbing harnesses are not designed to carry loads for long periods of time - You'll probably be aloft an hour or more. I also use etriers for my feet and clip them to the masthead. They allow me to climb much higher and work at a comfortable chest-level. You're quite right in using a new halyard - I have several times refused to go aloft, based on rotten halyards. One last thing - Tie the boat very securely to prevent swaying!
Enjoy the view up there!
ill enjoy the view, take a few pics, come down and clean out my drawers. first time going up this thing, and while the standing appears to be fine, the first time will be a doosey. the good news is i weigh about a buck fifty soaking wet.
Additional suggestions for added safety:
If possible, attach a second line to the harness (or bosun chair). I use a spinnaker halyard. Use a bowline and not a shackle. As you go up the mast, have your helper take up the slack on the safety line. Do this every 5' or so.
A second suggestion is to wear an offshore harness in addition to the bosun chair (or climbing harness). Wrap the tether 1 or 2 times around the mast, moving it above the spreaders when necessary. This way, if your primary or secondary line parts, you'll fall, but stay with the mast. The drag of the tether will slow or stop the fall.
I know that this sounds complicated or like overkill, but I never worry when going aloft, having hedged my bets. I've used this technique pier-side and while underway (you haven't lived until you witnessed dusk during a race from 55' up!).
Oh, and don't look down! For God's sake, whatever you do, DON'T LOOK DOWN.
hehehehe...just kidding. Good luck.
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