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post #1 of 8 Old 04-07-2004 Thread Starter
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Mast question

I work aboard ships and love the feeling of being aloft while underway. Could your standard aluminum yatch mast support the weight of a harnessed 165lb man?
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post #2 of 8 Old 04-07-2004
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Mast question

yes
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post #3 of 8 Old 04-07-2004
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Mast question

The mast might handle the load, but the question is can the boat take that much weight up that high? With racing articles talking about how 5 pounds shaved off the masthead is like 80 pounds hiking out on the rail, the lever arm of a 160-pound guy will make a big difference in the boat''s behavior pretty quickly on anything less than 30 some feet. A bigger boat may be more stable, but the ride can still be rough. You might want to wear a helmet and hockey pads.
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post #4 of 8 Old 09-21-2004
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Mast question

I suggest you go up one at the dock and have a crewmate walk around on deck. You''ll get the idea....
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post #5 of 8 Old 09-22-2004
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Mast question

If we''re talking a boat in the 30 foot plus range, then the loads on the rig are many, many times the 165 pound weight you''re talking about.

What you do have to consider is the range of movement......on a 30 foot mast the tip moves through about 15 feet at 15-20 degrees of heel....with a good puff this can happen in seconds. In other words, unless you are very firmly attached you are going to get slapped around something fierce....

So, the only way I would go up at sea is if a repairable equipment failure is becoming a safety issue, and then I would only do it in calm seas, with the boat stopped and as stable as possible under the conditions.

Oscar, c-42 "Lady Kay"
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post #6 of 8 Old 09-22-2004
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Mast question

If we''re talking a boat in the 30 foot plus range, then the loads on the rig are many, many times the 165 pound weight you''re talking about.

What you do have to consider is the range of movement......on a 30 foot mast the tip moves through about 15 feet at 15-20 degrees of heel....with a good puff this can happen in seconds. In other words, unless you are very firmly attached you are going to get slapped around something fierce....

So, the only way I would go up at sea is if a repairable equipment failure is becoming a safety issue, and then I would only do it in calm seas, with the boat stopped and as stable as possible under the conditions.

Oscar, c-42 "Lady Kay"
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post #7 of 8 Old 09-23-2004
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Mast question

Thala,

Bear in mind that the mast is part of a suspension system that includes the standing rigging and the deck or keel upon which the mast is stepped. So the weight aloft is supported by this system, rather than the mast alone.

I won''t bother to do a thumbnail calculation. I''ll merely point out that America''s cup boats, which are engineered so that mast and rigging are "just" strong enough to bear the loads expected from maximum winds specified in the race conditions, with the stays and shrouds tensioned to near 100% of their working load capability, often have a person aloft to sight wind upcourse on the upwind legs. If these carbon fiber masted boats with rigging tightened to within an inch of its capability can withstand someone aloft beating to windward, I suspect that most cruising boats with aluminum masts and rigging capable of sustaining three times the static loads placed on it could easily handle someone aloft as well. The point other posters make about how well you might be able to hang on is, of course, a good one.

Allen Flanigan
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-23-2004
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Mast question

This topic reminds me of a scene in the movie "Wind," which was about America''s Cup racing.During a beat,the American boat sent "Spider" aloft to free some gear, if I recall correctly. "Spider" couldn''t clear the problem fast enough.In an effort to avoid loosing the race,the skipper made a rash decision to tack the boat "Spider" was told to "hang on!" After the mast swatted "Spider" a few decisive times, the crew slowly lowered his beaten body back down.

If I ever have to go aloft on the big stick while underway, I don''t want to be referred to as any type of bug! 8^)
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