winching up the mast, - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 17 Old 01-07-2013
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Re: winching up the mast,

We take three wraps around a halyard winch and then off to the capstan on our horizontal windlass. That way the line is arrested by the halyard winch in the unlikely event that it accidentally jumps off the windlass.

My wife can winch me (130kgs) to the masthead with her big toe on the deck switch and is not standing under me. I have a second halyard to belay myself as I go up.

Coming down is as easy as slipping the halyard on the halyard (mast) winch.

I will, before I go cruising be putting mast steps on because to me this is still the best option.
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post #12 of 17 Old 01-07-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: winching up the mast,

I like mast steps, just have a problem with screw points sticking inside of mast, cause with MY luck something is going to get messed up.
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post #13 of 17 Old 01-07-2013
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Re: winching up the mast,

Lots of good advice in this thread and elsewhere on SN about mast climbing. We ALWAYS use the sheet winch as for the primary, and have used the mast winch for a back-up safety halyard. However, I prefer keeping the deck below the mast clear of people in case of an accident, so using sheet winches for both primary and secondary is preferred.

You can read the details of our technique here: Up the Mast

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post #14 of 17 Old 01-07-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: winching up the mast,

Good sound advice. Thanks, All!
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post #15 of 17 Old 01-07-2013
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Re: winching up the mast,

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Originally Posted by AirborneSF View Post
I like mast steps, just have a problem with screw points sticking inside of mast, cause with MY luck something is going to get messed up.
I use "blind" rivets, don't know what they're called where you live, could be pop rivets. The Monel 5mm rivets are easily strong enough to hold the weight of a human being, I have used them for years on steps and never had a failure. They have a blunted end inside the mast that will do no damage to sails, halyards or electrics.

The Youtube clip below shows two 5mm Monel rivets fitted in 1.6mm steel plates and tests them to 730lbs before failure. Normally a mast step would be fitted with a minimum of three and mostly 4 rivets and the material thickness of both the mast section and the step material would be thicker than 1.6 so the shear would be enhanced. You would probably have a safety factor of 300% or more depending on the number of rivets used.


Just be sure not to use ordinary aluminium rivets, they're nowhere near as strong as Monel.

Just thought this may help.


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post #16 of 17 Old 01-08-2013
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Re: winching up the mast,

I found the Hake video very informative. I particularly liked the trick with the bridle cable. I was trying to figure out how to rig something like that up ; but was stuck on "hardware", not "soft-ware" LOL
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post #17 of 17 Old 01-09-2013
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Re: winching up the mast,

If the person ascending the mast can do some of the climbing it will take a lot of work off the winch and person winching.

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