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post #1 of 14 Old 04-03-2006 Thread Starter
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bosum's chair

I have never used a bosum's chair.
I wanted to give a shot to replace a wind indicator at mast top.
Is this something I should leave for the experienced?
Is it safe to do this while the boat is sitting at on the stands at the yard?
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post #2 of 14 Old 04-03-2006
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You should do this for the experience but NEVER do it while the boat is on land!!
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post #3 of 14 Old 04-04-2006
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I think we had this discussion - going up on the hard - just amonth or so ago and found the board split on whether this practice was OK. It seems to me, that if one drops off the mast they are going to go pretty much straight down and will hit the deck so what difference will it make if one the hard or in the water?
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post #4 of 14 Old 04-04-2006
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I believe the difference lies in the uncertainty of how secure the boat stands are. Center of balance is of course higher while at the mast head. If the boat lists while in the water, the keel's ballast will counter the motion. If inertia take over while on the hard, there is no pendulum effect - only a devastating fall of boat & bosun.

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post #5 of 14 Old 04-04-2006
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The difference is that your widow will simply be able to sell the boat if it is in the water. If it falls off the stands she will need to pay for the repairs out of your estate. I recommend Mr. Clean for getting the blood off the deck in either case!
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post #6 of 14 Old 04-05-2006
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Also, the support points on the hard, usually boat stands of some sort, provide much less support area, and are usually below the water line...so the effective mass of a person up the mast is greater than if the boat were in the water.
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post #7 of 14 Old 04-05-2006
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You guys are killing me here.
If your boat is not stable enough to go aloft on while sitting on blocks and stands, your boat is going to blow over the first little squall that blows through the yard.
I've been up dozens of masts on the hard. I do check to make sure the boat is blocked properly and that there are at least three stands on each side. I won't go up anything that I would feel is too tender to go aloft on in the water, I try to keep my weight as close to the center of the boat as possible and I never have liked the feeling of being up a mast that doesn't move a little but for crying out loud it's not that big a thing.
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post #8 of 14 Old 04-05-2006
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Don't look down too much..clamp your legs around the mast for stability..ust the flag halyard to run tools, etc, up and down. On the way down, resist the temptation to put your feet down on the spreaders, it's counterproductive.

And a picky English major point, it's "bosun" or "bos'n" which is phonetic pronunciation for "boatswain" from the old English meaning, literally, "boat young-man"
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post #9 of 14 Old 04-05-2006
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I couldnt help but read through the topic. I am 25 and have been sailing since I was 14 so I am sure to some I am still considered a minor here. But I used to deckhand and be second in command on a Swan 46 "Dakota" for racing and cruising. Going up the mast was always my job due to my weight and limberness.

We first off never used a wooden chair, they do not secure you enough. I went with a nylon style chair that had a harness clip in the front and wrapped around back. The other style is the climbing harness which straps around your legs and waist kinda like climbing gear so you can monkey around up top.

Anyways he had a 65 foot mast so going up for me was fun. A double set of spreads and B&R rod rigging. Well going up be sure to do this first, take your halyard and loop it through the U-hook or whatever you have as the attachment point, tie a bowline then bring the actual halyard clasp down to the attachment point and secure. This way you have a nice secure setup, if the clasp lets go you are still on by the know and vice versa, good to have a backup. All heavy tools should be tied on by small lanyards, I used clips at the end for easy access.

When going up the rigging you should have one if not two men down low. I went with two, one to hoise you up faster than just cranking a winch and the other to tail the winch and crank. When being lifted help the guys out by using your feet to push you away from the mast and walk up it. This gives them better leverage to pull and you better access to climb. Do not stand on the spreaders and when going up or down always look in the direction you are going to be sure you are free of obstacles or snags. Continuously check your line and where it is so you are not wrapped around anything above.

Once in your work spot have the person or people down below keep the line secured around the winch and the self tailer if you have one and then have the line cleated off as well, again a double secure. Typical reasons to head up a mast are generally taping the spreader wingtips and checking and lubricating the top of the mast and lights as well. I use Sailkote on the pulleys, sail tracks and only tape, not those rubber boot tips for the spreaders, they cause more friction on the sail than tape.

I used to go up during races as well to free or retrieve halyards and sails and such. This I used the climbing harness to allow more mobility, especially when the boat is heeled over and your doing 8-10 knots (remember it was a Swan 46, big boat) offshore. That is when you can climb around lift yourself up and really feel the stresses on the boat such as the shrouds.

I would also not recommend going up the mast while the boat is on chaulks. The boat should be secured enough for working on but once up the mast even if you only weight 150lbs. that weight is increased the higher you go so the center of gravity can be changed. I would only recommend going up while in dry dock if you are going straight up and down along the mast, not off to the edges of the spreaders.




Last edited by WindCheck; 04-05-2006 at 10:40 PM.
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post #10 of 14 Old 04-06-2006
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hello,vast experiance i have not. but i can read! try it too at http://www.briontoss.com/education/fairleads.html and read the october 1999 article ........sad news from aloft ............then ?good luck jeff
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