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  #31  
Old 11-25-2012
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Re: Mast climbing

Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
david - I think the fundamental flaw in your plan is doing it alone. Being a long-time rock-climber myself - you need backup (a belayer). It's that simple. Anything else is asking for real fatigue and much higher risk.

Yes, there are many solutions to solo...just as many people solo rock-climb. But they're definitely inferior in every way from the safer solution of a belay.

With that one more person on the boat with you, your options become far cheaper, far simpler, and far safer.

Just get a friend that knows something about this to help you out. He/she can grind you up with a winch, you can have a prussic backup (and/or a second halyard), and you won't be exhausted when you get to the top.
In practice I would not do this alone. I would however reduce the helpers role to that of fetching tools and maybe clearing a snag on my free line.

Just having someone hoist me up with a winch is certainly cheaper but, arguably I am now depending on them to do their job and that the shive will not break and that the winch will not fail and that I will not drop something on their head.
So while a second person with a cell phone is a good idea the block system depends on fewer things out of my control.

And from a practical matter I did get the job of hoisting Brad on the Beneteau 50 up his mast. I had a really hard time as the winch man. He had to help me by climbing or at least pulling to reduce the weight.
In my case most of the people I would be with would not be stronger than me so while a helper is good for safety I would not plan on them winching me up.

Last edited by davidpm; 11-25-2012 at 03:56 PM.
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  #32  
Old 11-25-2012
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Re: Mast climbing

I would like to tie some kind of belay device to the harness attachment point so when I get to where I want to me I can easily attach the line to the harness.
I could tie of knot of course but if their is an easier way I would like to know about it.
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  #33  
Old 11-25-2012
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Why waste money on gear, how much safety stuff did you need to climb a tree when you were a kid? Here's a video of my first time climbing my mast, a harness made up of three bowline knots fastened to a halyard with a rolling hitch. https://picasaweb.google.com/1106691...38915606243746

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  #34  
Old 11-25-2012
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Re: Mast climbing

David- those sound like the same blocks I have. There is nothing positive about the line locking in. If you keep tension on the line the fact that there are some little ridges and the sheave doesn't turn help you to hold the load but if you let go for any reason; inattention, grab the wrong line, dizzy spell, etc. - I think my rock analogy is appropriate. If all goes well and you are strong and don't make ANY mistakes (pro rigger?) the system you describe will work, but rarely do many of my boat projects turn out that well. Just saying you don't have any insurance built into it.
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  #35  
Old 11-25-2012
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Re: Mast climbing

Quote:
Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
Do you plan to raise the top block on a halyard? That alone would be risky without a second halyard or a mast attachment as a safety.
Yes the top block is raised with a halyard. As I mentioned before It seems an acceptable risk that I can visually identify a halyard that can't hold 10 percent of its rated load.
Also with my 350' of line in the bag I could, if I wanted to risk my line, sew the end of my line to the halyard and pull the old halyard out completely and still have enough line to climb a 50' mast.

I did an internet search and found several falling out of mast disasters and non of them were caused by a broken halyard.
This is what I found:
  • Attached safety line to back stay and slid down stay.
  • Tailing person let go.
  • I've heard of mast mounted winches falling off.
  • Fell out of chair

It would be easy to tie off the halyard to the boom and put a winch on it to test it to several hundred pounds.

It is easy to inspect the line even if it it internal.

For the halyard to be that week I'm hoping it will show some how.

In fact I'm much more concerned about the for-stay failing and dropping the mast on my head.

The cleat I'm tying the halyard off to is more a risk than the line itself. So I would take the tail of the halyard and tie it to something else just to be safer.
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Old 11-25-2012
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Re: Mast climbing

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Originally Posted by jrd22 View Post
David- those sound like the same blocks I have. There is nothing positive about the line locking in. If you keep tension on the line the fact that there are some little ridges and the sheave doesn't turn help you to hold the load but if you let go for any reason; inattention, grab the wrong line, dizzy spell, etc. - I think my rock analogy is appropriate. If all goes well and you are strong and don't make ANY mistakes (pro rigger?) the system you describe will work, but rarely do many of my boat projects turn out that well. Just saying you don't have any insurance built into it.
Good point. I plan on having a line between me and the mast. Maybe that would be some insurance.

My rigger friends say that the 150 lb guy can let go completely of the line and with two ratchets engaged they will hold him. The 200 lb guy will sink but not too fast.

But I see your point the ratchets are a help not the thing.

Last edited by davidpm; 11-25-2012 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 11-25-2012
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Re: Mast climbing

Agree with you entirely on trusting anyone to not drop you. Friends and wives are usually not up to the task. Maybe I'm just not a trusting person. Your rig sounds like it will work fine with you at the controls. I'm almost always single-handed and have been up the mast plenty of times alone in complete control. It just takes maximum planning about things like what to bring, how to bring it up, what to do with removed parts, which hands to use, where to tie off, and how to sequence what you're going to do.
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  #38  
Old 11-25-2012
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Re: Mast climbing

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Originally Posted by adriana View Post
Have been using mastmate ( see mastmate.com) for a few years now. Easy to use, and can be operated without assistance.

For work aloft which takes more than 10 minutes it can be advisable to hoist the bosun chair to the required level and step in after climbing up.
Agreed, unless one has to go out to the spreaders, or up the rig with the main hoisted, nothing comes even remotely close to the relative ease, and security, of my MastMate... Especially, if you need to make repeated trips up the rig in succession, hoisting oneself up using a 4:1 purchase gets old VERY quickly...

Must confess, I'm a bit perplexed why anyone crewing on OPB's would feel the need to provide his own means of going up the rig... Any boat worth crewing on should have its own equipment to do so, seems to me... In any event, if I had to schlep 350' of line, my own harness and related gear in addition to all the other crap I have to bring along on every delivery I did, I think I'd start looking for a different line of work... (grin)
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  #39  
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Re: Mast climbing

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Agreed, unless one has to go out to the spreaders, or up the rig with the main hoisted, nothing comes even remotely close to the relative ease, and security, of my MastMate... Especially, if you need to make repeated trips up the rig in succession, hoisting oneself up using a 4:1 purchase gets old VERY quickly...

Must confess, I'm a bit perplexed why anyone crewing on OPB's would feel the need to provide his own means of going up the rig... Any boat worth crewing on should have its own equipment to do so, seems to me... In any event, if I had to schlep 350' of line, my own harness and related gear in addition to all the other crap I have to bring along on every delivery I did, I think I'd start looking for a different line of work... (grin)
The Mast Mate set-up looks very convenient but it apparently has no secondary safety line. Going up on just one halyard would make me very uneasy. Do you tie off somewhere else as a safety.
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  #40  
Old 11-25-2012
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Re: Mast climbing

Quote:
Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
The Mast Mate set-up looks very convenient but it apparently has no secondary safety line. Going up on just one halyard would make me very uneasy. Do you tie off somewhere else as a safety.
We bought a used (very little) Mast Mate ....

Mast Mate Home

....but haven't used it yet, but will the next time we are at the boat.

I'll pull the Mast Mate up with the main halyard but will also wear a safety harness my wife made (Sailrite) and....



.... will probably use a line from it to the main halyard, as shown above, with either a prusik knot or friction device as a safety. I can slide it up or down the halyard as I ascend or descend.

The first time up I'm putting in another block up there and will then also have a line thru it to me and to the wife below. She is the backup safety to the prusik loop I'll be using. I don't want to put her in the position of number one safety. Also once up I could unclip from that line and use it along with her to raise tools/parts up to me.

One negative to the Mast Mate on the water is that you have to drop the main out of the track to use it, but I've read of some that have had luck leaving the main in the track and not using the track but pulling the Mast Mate up next to the mast free standing and then tying it off to the mast as you go up to keep it next to the mast. It needs to be tied off below next to the mast to do this.

Also the Mast Mate we got came with a belt kind of like a lineman's belt that you can keep around the mast as you ascend and descend. It also has a tool pouch.



I have a couple permanent steps that will be placed near the top of the mast to stand on while up there and can lean back on the belt or put a simple chair on the line my wife will control.

Another negative to the Mast Mate is that if you wanted to deal with a 70 foot mast you would have to get one of the appropriate length.

I had looked at all the other options that have been mentioned in the other posts. Being close to 70, but in good shape, we felt the Mast Mate would probably be the best solution for me/us. I guess I'll know a few months from now,

Sum

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Last edited by Sumner10; 11-25-2012 at 06:50 PM.
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