I'm about ready to get what I need to climb a mast.
I'm thinking of the harken seat as it got a good review from PS an is priced well.
I'm thinking of going with two ratchet blocks as this allows me to climb the mast with a 4 to 1 advantage by myself with no one winching me up..
What you do is use the halyard to hoist up the top block then hook the bottom block to your bosen's chair and just pull yourself up. The block with the becket is on the top so you have a 4 to one advantage.
Both blocks are ratcheting blocks. The top block is set on ratchet all the time.
The bottom block you can turn the ratchet on and off.
The way it works is that on the assent you have the bottom ratchet turned on.
Depending on your weight if you let go you will either stay in place or go down slowly.
To descend just turn off the ratchet of the bottom block and your weight will overwhelm the upper ratchet and you will descend.
You loose a few inches because of the blocks and I would bring a couple of foot straps just in case I needed to get a little higher.
I considered the ATN system but the above system while being a little more money requires less skill, I believe coming down would be faster and it can double a man-overboard retrieval.
I got the idea from at least two riggers I know who use the same system.
My son who is rigger personally uses a system with acenders similar to the the ATN but with extra gear so he can drop in about five seconds which is important to him. I tried it using his equipment and talked to a couple of his friends and my take is that the acender system requires some practice skill and strength all of which I'm afraid I may never have.
His boss and another rigger in the yard uses the ratchet block method above.
I am pretty happy with the blocks I've selected but was surprised that they are only good for 1,200 lbs. This means that my block system would be good for the following jobs.
- Lifting a small motor
- Taking the slack out of a shroud until I could get it pinned.
- Lifting a MOB
Basically anything I could lift by hand. If I can pull 150 lbs which I probably can't I'm lifting less than 600 which is significantly below the working load.
If I get cliver however and use the winch I'm pretty sure I could exceed the block loading spec. I would be afraind to trust it with my life if it was overloaded.
I would be willing to spend more for higher capacity blocks as even simple double braid is rated at 7,100 breaking so doing a 50% load of 3,500.00 on a 4 to one load would be about 7 ton.
That kind of block and tackle system could be used for serious work. Like moving the boat for example. I can not find ratchet blocks that can handle that however.
I'm thinking of going to a 7/16" 12 strand arborist line as I'm pretty sure the hand is better and it bag stuffs with little chance of knotting and the price is not too much more than double braid.