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Yofy 10-28-2010 12:39 PM

Has anybody heard of this?
My neighbour in my marina just told me about a unique system for going up the mast - webbing mast steps.

He told me he saw this on a sailboat while cruising. The couple had a roll of webbing mast steps with something like a heavy duty sail slide on one end. They inserted the "sailslide" in the sail track on the mast and hauled the webbing up the mast with a halyard. Then the man could climb up the mast without needing to be winched. His wife simply controlled a safety line for him.

What interested me about this system was the easy stowability of the mast steps, the easy installation, the aparent ease of use and especially that you don't need anybody to haul you up. I googled but haven't found anything resembling this.

Has anybody heard of these mast steps?


kolbn 10-28-2010 12:47 PM

I have heard of them and own them. They are not to bad but sometimes you are searching for the next loop to put your feet in. Little scary if you aren't secured in another way.

The name is mast mate: Mast Mate Home

deniseO30 10-28-2010 12:50 PM

A friend of mine had one that the PO made for his boat. It's real real hard to climb because it's totally vertical, not like a ladder. It was webbing like what is used for big straps on truck cargo, had loops for the feet, and sail slides for the track, was hauled up with the halyard.

Yofy 10-28-2010 12:57 PM

Wow that was fast! Thanks kolbn for the link. The site has a video too.

I can see both your points but still like the potential for climbing the mast without needing somebody strong to haul you up.

hellosailor 10-28-2010 01:07 PM

Mast Mate Home

Never used 'em but I've heard of them.

sailingdog 10-28-2010 01:33 PM

Of course, the system doesn't work very well when the mainsail is up... so if you've got a problem with the mainsail, it isn't that useful.

deniseO30 10-28-2010 01:46 PM

....hates being invisible..... your welcome Yofy :p

LandLocked66c 10-28-2010 02:02 PM

Cool idea!

ffiill 10-28-2010 02:20 PM

A least with some kind of ascender you are firmly attached to a harness and rope.Mind you I still find the top of my mast a bit scary despite the amazing view and I have never tried it out at sea.

Gene T 10-28-2010 02:24 PM

I have them and they work. You need to remove the main slugs first to make room for the ladder. It's nice to go up unaided. Double steps at the top makes it easy to work on the mast head. I'll be getting rid of mine as the new boat came with an ATN Top Climber (haven't actually used it yet however).


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