Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: New Orleans
Thanked 40 Times in 37 Posts
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Getting to masthead using someone else's mast..
I'd heard about this and saw a photo of it once, but hadn't done it--until I had to.
"Remember, boys and girls, don't try this at home, I'm a trained professional, closed course/do not attempt, etc"
Halyard knot (not my knot, nor my boat, let me make that clear, ahem) on fractional rig came undone early in a late afternoon sail, main wriggles down the mast, halyard (internal) has disappeared into the mast. Oh joy.
How to fix it quick and get back out there? No dockside ladder or anything like that in the harbor.
Back to the slip, there's and adjacent-slip identical boat, same owner as the one I'm on, but *with* a main halyard. These boats aren't that big (2300 pounds, 24 feet) so not that "stiff" if you go up to the top, they'll heel some.
Anyway, after seeing that boat boats were tied up well, we connected jib halyards and winched the two mastheads together. Then crew cranked me up mast B so I could re-reeve the halyard (tied now to my belt) back into mast A.
It worked! The two masts/boats together were more stable than either would be separately, and the halyard did make its way down the inside of the mast without catching on anything, and we were able to fish it out the (very little) slot at the bottom of the mast.
the masts were no longer vertical so you have to clamp on with hands and legs at all times
didn't have a bosn chair so using a boat cushion as a chair leaves something to be desired
no redundant masthead halyard to use as a safety line/backup. I used the spinny halyard but that's useless above the fractional peak for that halyard
You really have to have calm water, no one else can make a wake, or the two mastheads can start moving around in a way you won't appreciate. One boat coming in stopped briefly and waited for us to finish--thanks, guy.
semi-scary, though not unduly so.
forgot to rig a spare line to the jib halyards (rookie mistake) so how to get them back down? Eventually I backed our boat out of the slip, then back in, which created enough slack we were able to grab them from the deck.
After all that, we actually got back out for a nice little sail.
I felt like "no, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night", or "no, but I watched a guy fix a Japanese transmission once" (take your pick) but all's well that ends well. I suppose many have done this, but I hadn't so it was new to me.