Halfway up mast, jury rig that worked--once.. - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 15 Old 11-20-2012 Thread Starter
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Halfway up mast, jury rig that worked--once..

I say "once" because it worked but I doubt I'd try it again without any improvements.

Sunday, out with friends in light air and calm seas, i decided to "fly the kite" on our 25' sport boat.

What was i thinking while I tied the halyard knot?? I don't remember, but whatever it was, the knot opened up halfway up and left me with a dangling end up past the spreaders. It's an internal halyard so I didn't want to leave it up there to eventually disappear into the masthead sheave. Also I'd promised the spinny would be fun, or at least scenic.

Boat (not mine) is just a fast day sailer and lacks a bosn's chair. It does have 2-speed jib winches though.

Can I shinny it? Fail. Wow, when these anodized masts get so slippery?

Snag it with something? too far up, no knot in the end, no boathook.

"bright" idea takes vague shape--part-lower the main, stand on boom, grab mast, stick your foot on top of one of the sail slides, lead halyard to winch, crankity-crank, and it will lift me up there, right? It might squeeze my Topsidered foot a little, but not for that long....

Well it worked, but by the hardest.. it *really* squeezed my foot, but by upweighting briefly the sail would jerk upwards, and as I straightened my knee I was in fact 'climbing' the mast.

Things you (meaning "I") don't think of til you're halfway up: the main is aft of the spreaders (duh) meaning my 'elevator' stops there so it that halyard is a little higher up than you thought (it was), it's going to be a close call.

Little more..little more.. WOW, my foot hurts, and the shoe is starting to pull off sideways, I really don't want to finish this in stocking feet...

Got it!! Wow, foot hurts, pull that spin. halyard down quick, and get down the mast. Ease off FAST but don't jerk it please, my shoe's almost off..now it is but almost there on deck.. WHEW, it worked.

Okay, it worked but next time I'm going to jury-rig something different. or maybe rig a loop off the sail slide cringle, sort of a mini-foot bosns chair?

Oh, P.S. -- when your foot hurts a lot, you forget that the halyard you are sending down goes *forward* of the spreaders, not aft. Duh... now what?
Tie long piece line to a half full water bottle, throw it up and forward over the spreader (on third try), then tie to halyard end and pull the spin halyard over. Wow, was *that* a well-earned spinnaker raise.

I think I'm getting too old for some of my jury-rigs. They did like the spinny, though. And on the radio, the Saints won. Into the harbor at sunset. Lovely afternoon on Lake Pontchartrain.
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Last edited by nolatom; 11-20-2012 at 11:46 AM.
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post #2 of 15 Old 11-20-2012
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Re: Halfway up mast, jury rig that worked--once..

Creative. I would have worried about the main ripping. Next time why not use the main halyard with a loop?
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Re: Halfway up mast, jury rig that worked--once..

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Creative. I would have worried about the main ripping. Next time why not use the main halyard with a loop?
I almost thought of that but would still have needed to have the halyard loop also tethered to the mast somehow without jamming, or I'd so "the split". The sail I figured wouldn't jam (but sure did squeeze my foot).

i think much of this was "ready...fire...aim" so am thinking of how to swap out those latter two.

The luff of the main is well-taped and pretty sturdy (just ask my foot ;-)
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Re: Halfway up mast, jury rig that worked--once..

Next time try this... take the main halyard off....hold onto it and wrap it aorund the loose halyard by trying to tangle it. If you need to knot and extension on it so you can get 4 or five good wraps...then bring the main halyard down

dave


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Re: Halfway up mast, jury rig that worked--once..

Next time try this.

Tie a short line with a loop to the halyard at the head of the main - put foot into loop.

Less squeeze on the foot, less stress on the sail but the main still keeps you up against the mast and as a bonus you learn to tie really good knots.

But creative thinking none the less - it's easy for us to be clever once introduced to the concept.
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Halfway up mast, jury rig that worked--once..

I've used a coil of rope as a bosuns chair several times. Make a coil that is about 4 feet long and sit in the middle. Tie the halyard to the two ends of the coil. Spread the lines out across your butt and it is surprisingly comfortable.
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post #7 of 15 Old 11-20-2012
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Re: Halfway up mast, jury rig that worked--once..

I'm sure there MUST be pictures???

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Re: Halfway up mast, jury rig that worked--once..

... Or, you could fashon a Swiss Sit Harness out of a length of line or webbing. Not really smart for real rock climbing but to get you up a mast in a pinch... I also use a tether to clip to myself, around the mast and back to me. I have to reclip at each spreader, but it has kept me from banging and bouncing on the mast while the boat is under way. I also use it so I can go down along the headstay on the return trip. Cuts down on a lot of bruises. One more thing - Never be the lightest guy on an ocean racer!
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Re: Halfway up mast, jury rig that worked--once..

You could lower the main, detach the halyard, put a loop in the end, and stand in that.

But the real moral of the story is to get or build a bosun's chair. For the first 30 of my sailing years, I had homemade ones. It ain't that hard gentlemen.

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post #10 of 15 Old 11-21-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Halfway up mast, jury rig that worked--once..

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I'm sure there MUST be pictures???
Ha ha, 'fraid not.

The guy with the very nice camera, and a photo hobbyist to boot, was the grinder.


Thanks for the comments, all welcome. I like the coil of line idea. Then all we'd need is a jury-rig spreader bar ;-)

Or a special shoe with thick sole and teflon edges for the mainsail idea.


Or, I could devote more effort into getting a bosns chair instead of ever-weirder jury rigs, but that wouldn't be as much fun to post about....


Happy Thanksgiving all
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