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Baloo_it 01-14-2013 05:18 AM

Climbing the mast

On my boat invicta 26 I would like to install a system to climb up the mast.
I found these removable systems: ATN Mastclimber , MastMate or Topclimber but in my opinion they all cost too much ($ 3-400).
The alternative and mybe the better choise is to install the steps on the mast. But since in this case the prices are a real robbery the solution would be to selfmade the steps from a flatbar fastened with rivets.
In your experience what is really the easiest and cheapest way to climb up the mast (also alone)?



Minnewaska 01-14-2013 06:17 AM

Re: Climbing the mast
Most 26ft boats are going to be fairly sensitive to having additional weight on the mast. In fact, many aren't going to like having a climber at all, let alone permanent steps.

Do you have an routine need for going up the mast? If not, I would just unstep it when you need to do something.

jameswilson29 01-14-2013 07:42 AM

Re: Climbing the mast

Originally Posted by Baloo_it (Post 975208)
In your experience what is really the easiest and cheapest way to climb up the mast (also alone)?

Rope climbing gear. Climb with a harness, ascenders, and aiders. No fuss, no muss.

cookwithgas 01-14-2013 08:45 AM

Re: Climbing the mast
I purchased an ATN mast climber and have used it twice. It takes a good bit of energy to get to the top, but it works. I always plan to have a second person on a spare halyard and winch just in case something gives. Good luck!

marcusc130 01-14-2013 02:17 PM

Climbing the mast
Just FYI, you can put together your own ATN setup for about half the price from REI or any other outdoor sports shop. It's simply a harness and Prussik setup, and I'd use that over the mast steps any day.

harbin2 01-14-2013 09:58 PM

Re: Climbing the mast
I have a Mastmate for my 30' Islander. It works great. You must remove the mainsail slugs and that's a pain but it's very easy to climb and you need no assistance.

knuterikt 01-15-2013 01:47 AM

Re: Climbing the mast
Mast steps add weight to the mast and tend to snag halyards.

I have tested different solutions for climbing or help the person at the winch hoisting me.

This movable step is made of a piece of plywood, one cleat and two eye straps.

You need a free halyard to put the step on.

I use it with a good bosuns chair like this - I strap securely into this.

When going up the mast with a helper on deck the procedure is like this.

1) I stand on the step.
2) Helper take the slack on the halyard's (use two for safety)
3) Lift the step using my foot
4) Stand up in the step
Repeat 2-4 until at the top

Doing work at the top can get awkward hanging in a bosuns chair.
If I need to get higher up I can stand on the step.

Going down i bring the step with me as my helper lower me down.

I have found that this step is more stable than foot loops.

This step can be used in combination with ascenders if you like to climb solo.

VallelyJ 01-16-2013 11:20 AM

Re: Climbing the mast
I'll second Marcusc130.
PS reviewed several systems a year or 2 back and one of their highly-rated climbing harnesses was a Petzl rock climbing harness with stainless steel hardware for a couple hundred bucks. I bought a mid-range Petzl rock climbing harness at EMS on sale for $60. It has anodized hardware. As long as I don't store it in brine I figure it will last only about 190 years, instead of 200. I'll take the risk.
The whole rig, including 3/8" utility line, some webbing and anodized locking carabiners, was less than $100. I go up my 40' mast quite easily without any assistance from the deck.
The sit-harness is adequately comfortable for the kinds of jobs I've had to do up there. I don't think you need to spring for equipment made, and priced, for the boat market. Rock climbing gear is just as reliable, and people use it in salty coastal areas just as they do inland. Just make sure your halyards are up to the job. Having faith in your gear makes mast climbing pretty stress-free.
One tip--if you make web slings for your feet, join them with about a foot of webbing, so your feet stay beside the mast.
John V.

justified 01-16-2013 12:48 PM

Re: Climbing the mast
knuterikt - Nice rig :) If you don't mind I'm gonna copy it. Simple and safe.


knuterikt 01-16-2013 01:23 PM

Re: Climbing the mast

Originally Posted by justified (Post 976572)
knuterikt - Nice rig :) If you don't mind I'm gonna copy it. Simple and safe.


Please copy I have copied the design from others :)

The measurements in this picture are mine.

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