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post #21 of 32 Old 12-15-2017
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Re: Drone for rigging inspections

Can't beat a climb up the mast and the Mark I eyeball for a rig inspection. The ATN Mast Climber isn't cheap but way less than a drone. ATN Mastclimber | Single Handed Bosun Chair | Climbing the Mast It also will survive a dunk in the ocean which I understand is an all too prevalent excuse to buy a new drone. But hey, if you need an excuse to buy one of those gadgets, go for it.

Last edited by roverhi; 12-15-2017 at 08:09 PM.
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post #22 of 32 Old 12-16-2017
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Re: Drone for rigging inspections

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
.....The ATN Mast Climber isn't cheap but way less than a drone.......
I've not used one, but a guy in my marina has one. He's single, so has no one to grind him up on a chair, unless he asks for help. The thing looks like a mid-evil torture device. He's doing some serious huffing and puffing to get up the stick.


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post #23 of 32 Old 12-16-2017
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Re: Drone for rigging inspections

Obviously you need two people in almost all cases to go up the mast...unless you have steps of the climber rig. My solution is to use Millie... the Milwaukee right angle lithium battery drill with a winch bit. I use the rope gypsy on the windlass before that... But with Millie I don't have to use a snatch block and so forth. The chair is more comfy to work from. I don't care for the look of steps and I don't think they are as safe... or easy.

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post #24 of 32 Old 12-16-2017
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Re: Drone for rigging inspections

I did look into this once and found that you can get a a 50' camera pole fairly cheap. Put your gopro on burst pictures and let her fill up the card.

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post #25 of 32 Old 12-16-2017
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Re: Drone for rigging inspections

I'm 73, more than single digit pounds over my high school weight and not in great shape yet I find it no problem to climb the mast with the Mast Climber. It's not a walk in the park but it's not torture either. I usually take a zen break at the spreaders to have a look around the neighborhood from the unique viewing point but have gone all the way to the mast head in one fell swoop just a few weeks ago. Wouldn't break any records getting there but could and have made it without triggering the pacemaker defibrillator, just kidding about the pacemaker. If you couldn't get to the top of a 40' spar without serious threat of heart attack using a Mast Climber, itmight be a good idea to renew your gym membership or take the stairs instead of the elevator.

Of course the big selling point of a Mast Climber or Mountain Climbing Gear to get to the top of your mast is you can do it solo. Having to rely on other people to get you up and down the mast and/or rely on an electric tool is probably the reason most people don't ever go up there mast. Know that trips to the mast head before the Mast Climber were few and far between. From experience, IT'S REALLY A GOOD IDEA TO GET UP THERE AND CHECK THINGS OUT. A few years back I decided to get a little exercise and use the Mast Climber to go to the masthead for the hell of it. As I was looking around up there discovered two broken strands on the 1x19 wire swage on the headstay. Of course that lead to replacing the stay which resulted in climbing to the mast head 7 times in a morning when I was a youngster of 67. Sometimes it's better to stop and think what you'll need before engaging Mast Climber and don't drop things while you are up there.

For those who don't know, a Milwaukee Hole Hawg runs $249 for the bare tool. By the time you buy the batteries, needed charger, bit for the winch, and a good bosun's chair you could almost own a mast climber. FWiW, using power devices to get hauled up the mast is not a no brainer. There's a women who lost a hand not too long ago in the Caribbean. She was using an electric winch to haul her husband up the mast and somehow got her hand trapped in the winch. A good samaritan who tried to help her also lost a couple of fingers. Probably safe to say they wish they'd used a Mast Climber.





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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I've not used one, but a guy in my marina has one. He's single, so has no one to grind him up on a chair, unless he asks for help. The thing looks like a mid-evil torture device. He's doing some serious huffing and puffing to get up the stick.

Last edited by roverhi; 12-16-2017 at 08:47 PM.
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post #26 of 32 Old 12-16-2017
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Re: Drone for rigging inspections

Golly gee whiz, what's cheaper than a halyard and a friend? Might cost you a beer or two.

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post #27 of 32 Old 12-16-2017
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Re: Drone for rigging inspections

This thread reminds me of a meeting I had with the manager of the Empire State Building. (He has a large, very nice office on one of the higher floors.) He had his TV on. It was showing a video they had made of the stone facings that cover the outside of the building. Water gets into cracks in the stone and grout, freezes, and they need to fix it before it falls on somebody 80 stories down. To make the video they had mounted a camera on a little rolling carriage and dropped it down the side of the building. Guide wires kept it lined up as it went down, with a voiceover saying the floor and noting issues as it went down. Very boring - he was glad to see me. A GoPro camera could be mounted the same way (does your kid have any toy cars?) and run up and down the mast a few times using different halyards as guides to obtain views of the mast and rigging from every angle. More stable than a drone and cheaper.
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post #28 of 32 Old 12-16-2017
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Re: Drone for rigging inspections

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Originally Posted by paulk View Post
This thread reminds me of a meeting I had with the manager of the Empire State Building. (He has a large, very nice office on one of the higher floors.) He had his TV on. It was showing a video they had made of the stone facings that cover the outside of the building. Water gets into cracks in the stone and grout, freezes, and they need to fix it before it falls on somebody 80 stories down. To make the video they had mounted a camera on a little rolling carriage and dropped it down the side of the building. Guide wires kept it lined up as it went down, with a voiceover saying the floor and noting issues as it went down. Very boring - he was glad to see me. A GoPro camera could be mounted the same way (does your kid have any toy cars?) and run up and down the mast a few times using different halyards as guides to obtain views of the mast and rigging from every angle. More stable than a drone and cheaper.
Really? You've got to be joking!
Let's see. A 1238 foot tall, by approximately 424 ft east–west by 187 ft north–south building versus a 35 or even 70 foot mast about a foot in diameter? And you are suggesting something other than a halyard and someone's eyes, perhaps taking a few pictures with your phone?
Ha, ha, ha, very funny.

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post #29 of 32 Old 12-16-2017
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Re: Drone for rigging inspections

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Originally Posted by capta View Post
Really? You've got to be joking!
Let's see. A 1238 foot tall, by approximately 424 ft east–west by 187 ft north–south building versus a 35 or even 70 foot mast about a foot in diameter? And you are suggesting something other than a halyard and someone's eyes, perhaps taking a few pictures with your phone?
Ha, ha, ha, very funny.
I agree that it might make more sense to climb the mast and have a look, but the OP doesn't seem to want to do that, and drones are problematic in this scenario. Hoisting a webcam up the mast on a rolling carriage would provide views that might be useful. If you don't like the idea, don't use it.
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post #30 of 32 Old 12-16-2017
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Re: Drone for rigging inspections

Check your local regs, drones are becoming pretty heavily regulated in some places. Any where near prisons, military bases and especially airports can be problematic. Might not be the best idea if you are in a major city with an airport on the water like Vancouver, Toronto, New York City etc.
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