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Old 09-23-2011
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A bad day up the mast

Earlier this week captainrizzo dropped by to help me go up the mast for some minor work. About three feet from the masthead (65ish feet off the water) I watched the block I was going up on coming apart. This is not something you want to see happen to your lifeline. Thanks to captainrizzo of Domingoman and Forbes of S/V Java (who heard the noise of the block breaking and came right over) for getting me back down safely on another halyard.





A few days later Dan and Jaye (wingNwing) of S/V Cinderella took me back up to replace the block.



This was more adventure than I really wanted.
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Old 09-23-2011
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Whew, UNCOOL!! Glad you made it down ok.

Yep...that's the "sky of doom" that has been over us now for what, almost 2 weeks with no relief in sight?
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Old 09-23-2011
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After you replace the block, tape the seizing wire. Your sail maker won't thank you, but that's his/her issue.

(Did you go up on two halyards, or just one?)
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Old 09-23-2011
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Any sail cloth gets to the wire and I have all kinds of other problems. *grin*
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Old 09-23-2011
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How in the world did you even get down? (this is why I stay away from things like 'going up masts', etc. etc.)

duh, I read it now they lowered you on another halyard. Wow, that's too spooky man.

Last edited by emoney; 09-23-2011 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 09-23-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emoney View Post
How in the world did you even get down? (this is why I stay away from things like 'going up masts', etc. etc.)

duh, I read it now they lowered you on another halyard. Wow, that's too spooky man.
As a guess. Someone on deck runs up another halyard (eg main halyard) up to him, he hooks on. Tension that halyard, then slack the bad-block halyard and detach (or not), now you're on a good halyard and on your way down.

Edit--oops, didn't read your last sentence before typing. Need coffee.
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Old 09-23-2011
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Uhh, if you truly value your life, never, ever go up the rig on a halyard that does not run through a masthead sheave...

Am I understanding this correctly, you actually went up an external (spinnaker or similar) halyard? You're a far braver man than I, Dave... (grin)

I really like having a 2:1 spinnaker halyard for stuff like hoisting my tender clear of the water, etc - but there's no way I'd ever trust it to go up the rig...
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Old 09-23-2011
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Mast Ascender

We were shown and now utilize a method of going up the mast that is probably about as safe as it gets.......
We have a mast ascender that is a 4 to 1 block and tackle arrangement with ratcheting blocks that is raised up on a halyard and attached to the bosuns chair. You can actullay pull yourself up the mast with this. Then a second halyard is tied to a safety harness and the other person on board is solely resposible for watching this safety line and keeping it lightly tensioned.
So the person going up the mast has complete control of their speed up and down as they are doing it themselves and the person on the safety line can focus solely on making sure that they are ready should something happen on the primary ascending line.
This system works very well for us...we are both a bit scared of heights so having control helps alot...and I feel having two lines is a huge safety benefit.
The ascender was a bit of an investment but the benefit of this arrangement has made it extremely worthwhile. And we are much more likely to go up our mast now! I would highly recommend it to anyone.
Regards,
Tanya
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Old 09-23-2011
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Holy crap - that's a little scary dude.

I use a simple prussik around the mast - just as a backup. You actually need a couple of short ropes for this to switch off at the spreaders (which is a pain in the butt), but it sure can make you feel a lot more secure when you start hearing that cracking noise above you.

I had a masthead sheave come apart on me while I was going up a couple of summers ago - jamming the halyard. I just secured the prussik, and hung out while my buddy sent me up the other halyard.

Always an adventure.

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Old 09-23-2011
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I always go up on TWO halyards.
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