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Old 05-03-2011
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going up the mast

Hi all,

I'm sailing and taking care of a friend's boat, a Rhodes 19. He lives out of town now but put the boat on a lake near my house. On the first day at the lake, we took it out together and when putting it up at the end of the day, the jib halyard fell out of the mast. Someone, whose identity will remain unknown, had untied the stopper knot But the main halyard is still in place. My son weighs about 165 pounds and I'd like to send him up the mast in an improvised rope rappelling harness attached to the main halyard.

My question: Is the mast on the Rhodes strong enough? It's a fractional sloop so he's only got to get his shoulders about 3/4 of the way up.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Patrick
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Old 05-03-2011
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When you say: "I'd like to send him up the mast in an improvised rope rappelling harness attached to the main halyard...", do you mean you will winch him up via the main halyard? Or is he going to shinny up along the fixed halyard?

I can't remember whether the Rhodes 19 has any substantial winches for hoisting someone. But it is getting on the small side for going aloft.

I have seen them hard over on their ears while sailing, and have even heard of some knockdowns where they flooded. This suggests to me that you MIGHT just be able to bring the boat alongside a dock, and hauling on the main halyard heal it over enough to reeve the jib halyard.

Alternatively, the mast is probably light enough that maybe you could unstep it real quick. That is one of the many beauties of smaller boats -- nothing is really a major operation.

Good luck and welcome to Sailnet!
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Old 05-03-2011
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The boat doesn't have any winches, but he's got a couple of very strong friends! We'd just attach one end of the main halyard to the rappelling harness and hoist him up.

And thanks for the welcome!
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Old 05-03-2011
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I realize we are not talking about any serious heights here, but any time someone goes up the mast on a halyard great care needs to be taken.

Normally, the halyard should be wrapped on a winch, and then from there led to a cleat, with two people working it (one to grind, one to tail). Better still if it also goes through a rope clutch. Most mast-climbers like to have a spare halyard as a back-up, too.

Given that those safety precautions aren't available on this boat, I would urge you to consider alternatives. I especially don't like the idea of going aloft on a free running halyard. It's easy to envision a result that is both very comical and very painful.
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Old 05-03-2011
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Take the mast down.
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Old 05-03-2011
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I (220 lbs) shimmied up to the top of a rhodes mast a few years ago. It did hold my weight but I was concerned about the stability of the boat. Provided that it didn't heel over at all, it would be fine but once heeling, I suspect that it might go over pretty easily.

I doubt that it will be very easy to hoist anyone up the mast on a Rhodes 19. The halyard is pretty light and the sheaves at the masthead probably have really high friction under high load.

By the way, is it a keel or centerboard? I don't think that I would go up the mast of a centerboard boat.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
Take the mast down.
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by klem View Post
I don't think that I would go up the mast of a centerboard boat.
Not a 19-footer, anyway.

Jim
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Old 05-03-2011
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I agree - unstep the mast - not worth the potential injury / damage to people and or the boat.

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Old 05-03-2011
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Hey I often go up the mast of my centerboard boat.! Was fixing my lazy jacks last Sunday My 180lbs don't seem to bother my 18000lbs Irwin Citation 40
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Old 05-03-2011
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I can't say about the Rhodes but you have to be really careful going up a J24 mast as any boat wake can start a pretty serious chain of events

even with the keel it's a tender boat with someone up the mast
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