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  Topic Review (Newest First)
11-01-2010 06:41 AM
ffiill No system can in my opinion safely take you above mast height as you run out of line wherever it goes over the mast head pulley.
I can stand up on my foot stirups but once I do there is the possibility of falling backwards and getting entangled.
Also Top climber which uses ascenders like my ascenders has a problem when you get close to the top of the rope because setting therope taut at an angle to the mast means you hang below the rope and reach a point where you find youself wedged between the rope and the mast.
Next time I use my Petzl ascenders intend to have rope loosly fastened next to mast.
You can use ascenders of one sort or another-check out climbing stores;safety equipment stores and those selling to tree surgeons and the like.They also do very competitive pricing on safety harnesses and here in UK are local sales tax free if relating to Health and Safety.
11-01-2010 05:45 AM
sailingdog One thing I recommend is adding a couple of mast steps near the top of the mast, so that you can put your feet in them and support most of your weight when working at the mast head. This also allows you to get high enough to work on the mast top mounted gear easily
11-01-2010 05:16 AM
Yofy Gene, I checked out the ATN Top Climber site and its interesting too. Does seem to me that it would require more effort to go up the mast and more time assembling the whole rig. I also tried to find Catain Al's but they seem to have dissappeared, other than for a few really negative reviews...

What I like about both ideas is that you can hoist yourself high enough above the masthead to work comfortably. In my bosuns chair, I tend to find myself straining with my arms in the air to get at whatever wiring, halyard, etc that I need to work on.

Its true that the mast mate wouldn't work for all sail tracks, but it would work on Yofy. I always use a safety line anyhow and would have some kind of harness/tool belt for work, so I don't see any safety issues.

Brak, I appreciate your feedback especially since you've tried other systems. And erps, that picture says it all! PCP I think the slides definetly would make climbing easier. That seems to be a modification they made in later years. Also the metal reinforcements for the top steps. Arf145, that is a good point about the wind and my slip generally has an aft breeze. But on anchor it wouldn't be an issue.

What I'm mostly thinking about is needing go up the mast when we are on our own. Robyn is a strong woman, but she can't hoist me in my bosun's chair. And she has serious vertigo, so I can't convince her to go up. I think having a maste mate would be a great solution. When I'm working on other people's boats I can still use my bosun's chair.
10-30-2010 02:56 PM
arf145 Same here--Mastmate (3 yrs old) came without slugs. Which makes sense since different masts have different channels. So you get the appropriate slugs and attach.
10-30-2010 02:35 PM
Gene T Two brands that I know of, Captain Al's and Mast Mate. One has hard steps I believe. You need to use slugs that fit your track. I needed to change mine to fit. It had been used on a C36 and I rigged it to use on a N30.

10-30-2010 02:23 PM
blt2ski Question for those of you that have them, How old are they?

Sounds like there may be some variations thru the years?!?!?! ie some now have mast slugs, some metal or equal at the top step so the foot does not roll. I would imagine that there may have been some advancements to the design? or knock offs?

I have thought about one of these for myself.

10-30-2010 02:08 PM
Yofy Denise, you are not invisible, I assure you!

And thanks to all of you who have responded. I'm thinking of buying one.
10-28-2010 08:56 PM
Originally Posted by Omatako View Post
And of course Harken Batcars preclude this process altogether.
So would a Tides Strong mast track IIRC.
10-28-2010 08:34 PM
arf145 I've got a Mastmate too, and love it. The top 2 stairs on mine have metal reinforcements so they are easier to stand on while working at the top of the mast. I use the optional work/safety belt that helps prevent falling backwards too.

Overall I love it and find it pretty easy to get to the top. As has been mentioned, of course, you have to take the main mostly out to feed the sliders into the channel, so no working on the main. One other minor difficulty I've found: tricky raising it when a good breeze is hitting it from the stern because the steps can wedge into the spreader joints
10-28-2010 07:12 PM
Omatako And of course Harken Batcars preclude this process altogether.
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