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  Topic Review (Newest First)
2 Weeks Ago 08:59 AM
arvicola-amphibius
Re: Mast (Climbing)- No Halyards

My current boat has a 34 foot mast of fairly heavy section material. It came with mast steps already fitted, obviously done properly by the spar maker. They are the greatest convenience since sliced bread. I can be at the top of the mast in under a minute, though I do take a little longer because I always go aloft with a safety harness and take a couple of turns around the mast with a strap which has to be unclipped and re-clipped as I pass the spreaders. Once at the position where I need to work I hang off the harness with my feet securely in the steps. With a second strap around the mast - just in case.

Other than windage which would not be acceptable to a pure racer, the only downside is that the main halliard can sometimes catch around one of the steps. I have learned to watch for this as I hoist the main.

When you do bite the bullet and unstep the mast, it may be worth having a pro fit proper steps. NOT with self tappers! Rivets would be the way to go. Depending on the cost, they could pay for themselves if you don't have a need to unstep annually.

Re unstepping, I am of the school who avoids it because I am too cheap to hire a crane. The mast is stepped on deck which made the following a bit easier, but it could be done with any mast:
Recently I found about two inches at the heel was corroded. The previous owner had used brass rivets into aluminium, but only in this one place. The solution was to slack the rigging off but not uncouple the turnbuckles, and double up with extra rope to deck cleats etc to stabilise it. Then we placed some spreaders on the deck and used a high lift ratchet jack under the spinnaker pole fitting to lift the mast up enough to get in and slice out the corroded bottom two inches. The plug at the heel was removed and cleaned up and repainted, as was the getting rid of the corrosion at the base of the mast. Then the mast was dropped back on to the heel fitting and refixed with alloy rivets. Now the mast is two inches shorter, and raked back slightly as I did not want to change the forestay length due to the self furler. But this has not resulted in any excessive weather helm (which I thought could be the outcome) and I feel so much better about getting rid of the corrosion at minimal cost.
3 Weeks Ago 07:00 AM
capt jgwinks
Re: Mast (Climbing)- No Halyards

I kind of chuckle a little when I read these posts where people are willing to do almost anything to avoid unstepping the mast. Really, it's not that big a deal. Up here in snow land, the boats come out of the water for six months every year, and some of the marina's don't even allow storing with the mast up of you're on jack stands. Some even have low power lines between the storage area and launch well. Many masts are unstepped every year, I try to do mine every couple of years. It's better for the mast and boat, and makes inspection and maintenance much easier. The marina I store at has a tall gin pole (hand cranked crane) that we use and it's free if we do it ourselves. Takes about half an hour for three people, and we could do it with two if we didn't have a jib furler.
3 Weeks Ago 07:49 PM
minigran
Re: Mast (Climbing)- No Halyards

Guys, at 69 I can't afford to fall, not enough time left to heal. I go aloft in a Boson Chair, Safety harness, ATM Mast climber, Main Halyard hooked to the Bosom Chair upper D ring and a safety line around the mast and hooked to the safety harness. Climber running up the Jib Halyard and a safety line preventing swing. Assistant on winch to take up slack and help my legs and a tail handler to watch my progress. I'm 189 lbs and even after 11 years of football and coaching 1/2 my life my legs are not strong enough to climb with out the winch assistance. "Old but not dead yet" remember safety first and not if but when it happens as quoted by Don Cassey.
05-16-2015 06:38 AM
tanzertom Every two years is way too often given your attitude and worthless opinion.
08-24-2014 05:47 PM
Night_Sailor
Re: Mast (Climbing)- No Halyards

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Night...... How do you feel about someone who quotes an 18 month old post and repeats advice given already?
I only get on here once every two years. I don't read other peoples responses, I write my own.

How old is it now? 4 years? Who cares?

As for the extreme clueless, there are people who are a danger to themselves and others. They should play golf to limit the damages.

In any event, I sometimes wonder if the administrators don't feed the forums with nonsense queries like this just to generate conversation.
02-04-2013 08:20 AM
savinhill
Re: Mast (Climbing)- No Halyards

Rent an extention ladder and tie it to the mast as you go up it works well and is quite safe!!!
05-29-2012 07:45 AM
Minnewaska
Re: Mast (Climbing)- No Halyards

Quote:
Originally Posted by Night_Sailor View Post

Mike sell your boat. You have no business being on the water with ideas like this. Trust me, I've been teaching sailing part time for over 40 years. People with clueless ideas like this are a danger to themselves and others. Get and RV and be safe.

For any real sailors out there. Try using a couple pieces of thin strong line and make loops and attach them to a thick rope halyard with prussic knots. It works but is a bit slow. I've done it. Ascenders might be better but at a higher cost. A mast mate works, although I've never used one. None of this works without a halyard and of course a second one for a safety.
Night...... How do you feel about someone who quotes an 18 month old post and repeats advice given already?
05-29-2012 07:27 AM
Bene505
Re: Mast (Climbing)- No Halyards

If I ever lose all halyards at once, I plan to us a couple lines, each wrapped around the mast 4 or more times, with some slack in the final loop. Then I'll use each of those as prusic knots, sliding them up one at a time, and letting them support the chair and foot loops on my TopClimber.

(I use this technique when installing my main sail solo. The top sliders go into the track first, which means I'm lifting significant weight while fiddling with getting the final sliders/cars inserted. The mast loops -- tied around the mast below the lowest inserted slider/car -- relieve the weight and make the job easy. Think of this as separating the act of lifting from the act of inserting the sliders/cars. It becomes a casual activity instead.)

Ascending the mast this way would be slow going, and I'd need to re-tie new loops after each spreader, but it would work, slowly. It would probably take 3 hours to ascend.

My lawyer just called. This is too dangerous, don't do any of this. Hire a professional rigger. They could use the work and they know what they are doing. And you'll likely get some hints on any obvious issues.

Regards,
Brad
05-28-2012 12:19 AM
Lake Superior Sailor
Re: Mast (Climbing)- No Halyards

Mike, glad to see you found sailnet! {Night Sailor;maybe you should curb your opinons!} Sailing is a lesson we are always learning--Enjoy!...Dale
05-27-2012 09:59 PM
Night_Sailor
Re: Mast (Climbing)- No Halyards

Quote:
Originally Posted by batshaven View Post
Hi all,
Glad to have found this group and am new here. Actually new to the whole
sailing thing.
Purchased our 72 26 MKII in April and had a great summer on it, motored
everywhere since we can not raise the sails because both halyards are done. I
believe the jib block is there but nothing for the main sail. Any ideas on how
to climb the mast?
Wondering if those metal shelf brackets that you can get at home depot would
work if you could somehow use self tapping screws to make a ladder to the top of
the mast? Would it be strong enough? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
Also spent the day clearing out all belongings, getting ready for a refit and
look forward to using some of the ideas I have seen in this group.
Thanks

Mike

Mike sell your boat. You have no business being on the water with ideas like this. Trust me, I've been teaching sailing part time for over 40 years. People with clueless ideas like this are a danger to themselves and others. Get and RV and be safe.

For any real sailors out there. Try using a couple pieces of thin strong line and make loops and attach them to a thick rope halyard with prussic knots. It works but is a bit slow. I've done it. Ascenders might be better but at a higher cost. A mast mate works, although I've never used one. None of this works without a halyard and of course a second one for a safety.
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