Join Date: Jun 2004
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I was just in the local REI and I stopped in the climbing section and talked to the local mtn climbing expert. His whole frame of reference were mtn faces/cliffs (no clue about sailboats and how they''re rigged) but between us (I think) we figured out the same system as your ''ATN clone''.
However, one area neither of us were sure about is whether mast climbing systems for sailboats used ''ascenders'' that climbed wire or line (mtn climbing ascenders have small teeth that ''bite'' into rope and thus would not be proper for wire). We simply ''bypassed'' that unknown by using the wire halyard to hoist a length of climbing rope to the masthead (thereby giving the mtn climbing ascenders their proper ''medium'' to purchase).
Total cost for a top notch climbing harness, two hi-grade ascenders, webbing (for feet) and the carabiners, etc. needed was not over $250.
But a situation in another thread brings up a point: What if the halyard itself has parted and that''s what you need to work on/replace. I''m thinking for long term singlehanded voyaging it might be a good idea to have a ''climbing rope'' permanently installed that is independent of any halyards in the mast.
In ''designing'' the mtn climber rig both the mtn climbing guide and myself decided to secure (belay in his terms) both the halyard AND the rope ''tail'' (at the bottom of the mast). That way it would minimize any tendency to swing outboard with the roll and avoid the problem of the tail getting inadvertently jammed.
I''m not familiar with the ''Mast Mate''. Not sure I''d like a web ladder approach. I just have these images of trying to climb a narrow ''rope type'' ladder 30-40 feet (especially while underway). How do you secure yourself so you don''t fall? I hope you don''t have to stop, unhook/reattach a safety line every few feet.