'Top Climber' style Mast climber - SailNet Community

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Old 04-28-2011
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'Top Climber' style Mast climber

I'm considering picking one of these units up as I have some mast work to do.
The idea of not needing a second person as well as having both end of the hoisting line attached to prevent swinging seems to make a lot of sense. Has anyone used one? feedback?
Also, whats the best way to remove a frozen SS bolt in aluminum. I've alternated heat and WD-40 soaks with some success in the past. Better ideas?

Thanks,

James
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Old 04-28-2011
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We have one, it's fantastic! Seat feels very secure & comfortable, and you have the added advantage of being able to get yourself high enough to work on the masthead, having it at eye level instead of reaching your hands over your head. You need an external line to climb (like a spin halyard) - we showed ours to a friend in a newer Hunter and he had no free halyard forward that he could use it on! Otherwise, TopClimber is a lot of fun, we even use it to go up the mast just for exercise. Worth the seemingly high cost.
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Old 04-28-2011
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Even better to have a friend with one you can borrow.
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Old 04-28-2011
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bolt

James,

I learned the hard way recently about stainless steel bolts in aluminum. What worked for me was PB Blaster and patience. A lot of patience. Of four, one took a half hour and one took three days. Just keep soaking it, then waiting and turning just hard enough to see if you can get some movement. If not, wait and try again. Once you get any movement at all you have it beat - but still, go slowly with more PB Blaster. (Be careful with heat, I understand it can harden the steel.)

John
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Old 04-28-2011
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That looks like a "frog" system used by cavers. Should work fine but ALWAYS have a safety cam running above the seat cam.

I use a similar "rope walker" system to go aloft as I'm uncomfortable having someone else hoist me.

Chris
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Old 04-28-2011
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You are better off, and will save money, to buy an "ascender" and "gri-gri" from mountain climbing shop, along with a mountain climbing harness. It is MUCH easier to decend with a gri-gri. Get the store to show you how it works. I use mine all the time.
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Old 04-28-2011
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I have one. I like it for mid mast climbs, but I find the higher I ascend the cams get very tight against the mast and end up scratching it. I have the older ATN model that requires a dedicated line which I tie to the main halyard. I don't have a spare halyard, so I use an old lineman's belt for safety.
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Old 04-28-2011
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I use a few prusic knots and ascend my anchor rode which I use to obtain a fatter line. Any climbing gym rat can show you how.
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Old 04-28-2011
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I'm a bit too old and too fat for climbing up to the top these days. And, after looking at the price tag of the climber, $430 plus s&h, I think I'll opt to let the guys at the marina go up on their cherry picker--they charge $95 an hour, which for me is a real bargain. That's about 4.5 trips up the mast.

Cheers,

Gary
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Old 04-28-2011
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Thanks for the great response guys and gals. This forum is a fantastic resource for sailors!

Cheers
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