Mast climbing rig instead of bosun's chair - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 47 Old 01-24-2012 Thread Starter
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Mast climbing rig instead of bosun's chair

Instead of buying a bosun's chair, I put together a rope climbing rig for climbing the mast. It consists of Jumar ascenders with locking carabiners securing 4 and 5 step Fish aiders/etriers and 16 mm x 120 cm slings attached to the climbing harness with a locking carabiner: SailNet Community - jameswilson29's Album: Mast Climbing Rig - Picture

Am I missing any additional safety gear for this setup?
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post #2 of 47 Old 01-24-2012
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i have s buddy that uses the exact same gear for his catalina 27 mast
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post #3 of 47 Old 01-24-2012
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Is this strictly for solo ascents? If not, you should consider a safety back-up halyard that a partner can control.

Here's my much lower-tech mast climbing technique: Up The Mast
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post #4 of 47 Old 01-24-2012 Thread Starter
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Yes, it is for a solo attempt. Even if my wife is sailing with me, she is petite and could not possibly winch me up the mast (plus I have too much life insurance coverage).

I thought about self-belaying with a GriGri and the spin halyard, or wearing an additional sailing safety harness with a double wrap around the mast as a last ditch brake.
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post #5 of 47 Old 01-24-2012
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my buddy uses his halyards. if you think about it, those halyards reliably hold more weight than we are for hours on end.
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post #6 of 47 Old 01-24-2012 Thread Starter
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Using two ascenders, one on each halyard instead of climbing a single rope would provide redundant safety in the system, assuming 2 halyards are available.

I lost the main halyard up the mast in November on the Potomac River and someone in the marina helped hoist me up the mast with the jib halyard in his bosun's chair. The experience made me realize I need my own rig and I need to be able to climb without any help.
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post #7 of 47 Old 01-24-2012
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The climbing harness sure does get a bit uncomfortable for "the boys" after hanging aloft for a while. I'm going to try a bosun's chair next time...


Kept it simple by going up with a single halyard and a prussic wrap with a line around the mast. Had 2 with me so I could switch at the spreaders without unclipping. It ain't really rocket science.

Bene505 started a great thread on this:
The View From The Top

Get some pics!


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Last edited by smackdaddy; 01-24-2012 at 03:01 PM.
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post #8 of 47 Old 01-24-2012
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GREETINGS EARTHLINGS ; Beware the chair can pinch just below the jewls and leave brusing you will walk like John Waye after a nip or two, pad the edge with a bit of foam or cloth Enjoy and take a camra Please Thanks GO SAFE
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post #9 of 47 Old 01-24-2012
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This is what can happen when you don't belay your safety line and your climbing harness is set too loose...
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"Might as well take 'er out...If anything is gonna happen...It's gonna happen out there..."
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post #10 of 47 Old 01-24-2012
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I'm sure most everyone knows this but just in case.
It is considered best practice to have a dedicated climbing line.
You attach the halyard to the climbing line with a knot, not the shackle.
Hoist the climbing line to the top of the mast with the halyard.
Tie off the halyard
Attach your asenders, etc to the climbing line and climb up the line.

Much safer as your climbing is being done with purpose bought line that exactly matches the asenders, gregre etc. you are using.
Also can be moved between boats with no worries about line sizes.
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