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  #11  
Old 05-16-2012
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Re: Opinions: What do YOU think is the best method of climbing your mast

At age 71, I don't climb up most things anymore--it's just not too smart. I go to the marina across the river that has a cherry picker, pay them $75 to go up there and do what needs to be done. Most marinas have cherry pickers and most charge the standard, hourly, labor rate to take care of things up the mast.

Good Luck,

Gary
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  #12  
Old 05-16-2012
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Re: Opinions: What do YOU think is the best method of climbing your mast

I researched this multiple times and finally settled on tree climbing equipment and techniques. I reasoned that tree climbers really know climbing and a mast is more like a tree than a rock (wall) or cave.

Arborist's saddle (New Tribe has nice ones for fair prices) with a bag, appropriate length of arborist climbing rope (I chose Tachyon), a suitable semi-automatic belaying device (I'm getting an Edelrid Eddy), a hand ascender (I like the Heightec Pulsar), a micro-pully (I bought a CMI), some carabiners (I like DMM Ultra-O Locksafe), a Petlz CARITOOL (for hanging misc stuff off of) and a few feet of any old double-braid with which to make a pair of foot loops. Learn Single Rope Technique (SRT) for tree climbing.

I've been practicing on trees using the doubled rope technique (DRT) with a Blake's hitch and a Prussik hitch. That's a lot of work, tho. I'm not going to try to go up the mast until I get my belay device and hand ascender. Then I'll use Single Rope Technique (SRT) by hauling my climbing rope up the mast with the main halyard.

I'll be able to do it single-handed, if need be, but normally I'll have somebody manning a safety line. (One of the jib halyards.)

Even if you want to do the somebody-grinding-you-up-the-mast route, I'd still go with an arborist's saddle over a traditional bosun's chair. Much more secure. I would not recommend most rock harnesses. Arborist's saddles are much more comfortable for long hang times.

Btw: With arborist's SRT you can do a "hybrid" kind of a thing. E.g.: You can either climb or be cranked up. You can either descend on the belaying device or be lowered.

Jim
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Old 05-16-2012
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Re: Opinions: What do YOU think is the best method of climbing your mast

I used a mast mate that I borrowed from a neighbor. It worked well with the exception of the safety harness which had to be unhooked at the spreaders and then again at the top of the upper shrouds. I would have felt safer if the harness had two straps so that one was never unhooked from around the mast. I also have a bosuns chair but have not used it. i think if my anchor light goes out again I will install a new one on the solar power stantions to avoid going aloft...hey Im 57 and not afraid of hieghts but I am concerned about safety
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Old 05-16-2012
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Re: Opinions: What do YOU think is the best method of climbing your mast

Quote:
Originally Posted by sebez View Post
i think if my anchor light goes out again I will install a new one on the solar power stantions to avoid going aloft...
Technically speaking: An anchor light has to have 360 degree visibility. Hard to do that anywhere on a sailboat save the masthead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sebez View Post
hey Im 57 and not afraid of hieghts but I am concerned about safety
Hey I was 59 when I started learning to climb ropes, arborist-style, two years ago. One must always pay heed to safety, but, done right, there's no reason climbing a mast need be any less safe than crossing the street.

I've only gotten to about half or two-thirds the height of our mast, in a tree, so far. Even that was a bit disquieting from time-to-time. But I never felt for a second that I was unsafe. Big, strong tree limbs. Big, strong rope. Very secure saddle in which it's even safe to invert (or so the maker claims--I don't plan to test that claim).

I'll get up that mast yet!

Jim
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Old 05-16-2012
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Re: Opinions: What do YOU think is the best method of climbing your mast

My mast climbing method is fairly straightforward and simply uses halyards and a rock climbing harness (Black Diamond BOD). You can read the details here in this blog post.
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Re: Opinions: What do YOU think is the best method of climbing your mast

OP's a rock climber so....

Short time, and solo, climbing harness. Ascenders on a 10 or 11mm climbing rope tied with a double fisherman's to a halyard to avoid wear and tear on said halyard. back up with prusik on second halyard.

Long time, get a hoist up in a bosun's chair, hang out, get stuff done. Figure 8 on a bight, backup halyard and a trustworthy 'hoister' for the hoistee.
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Old 05-16-2012
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Re: Opinions: What do YOU think is the best method of climbing your mast

Climbing harness (big wall is more comfortable), two ascenders, gri gri for descending and fall arrest, dedicated climbing rope tied (double 8) to main halyard. I'll have someone winch me up if they are available and know what they're doing.
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  #18  
Old 05-16-2012
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Re: Opinions: What do YOU think is the best method of climbing your mast

Climbing harness.
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Old 05-16-2012
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Re: Opinions: What do YOU think is the best method of climbing your mast

MY dock mate had mast steps but didn't like the free fall feeling it gave him. I don't know if he would use some sort of safety system or just go straight up. I have the top climber and have used it many times. I like it. I like the safety of it all, and the fact I can use it by myself.
Brad
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Old 05-16-2012
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Re: Opinions: What do YOU think is the best method of climbing your mast

I can't wait to climb my mast....

I have a bosuns chair, and ratcheting block with enough line and additional tackle to do a 3:1 if not 4:1 so I can pull myself up with someone tailing (winch) the trailing end for safety...

I hope that works...
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