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I have a Milwaukee right angle 1/2" chuck uses a lithium battery 18 volts I think. I use it in self tailing winches to raise the 440sf main... and I have used it to hoist wife up the mast in a bosun chair. Mast track needs to be clean and lubricated... No it doesn't just shoot the main right up. I don't need nor use for trimming sail.
I no longer have the strength to these lifts with manual winching.
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Hi Coney Island Kid,

A few years ago someone on The Boat Gallery mentioned using this technique during a discussion about using the Mast Mate for going up the stick.

We use a Milwaukee 24v right angle drill with a winch chuck adapter. The first mate takes me to the top in a couple minutes no sweat. Also used in the cockpit when we are too lazy to crank winches. ;-))

As one whose wife swears she will never get on a sailboat with me, I keep an eye out for single-handed solutions like the Mast Mate or the ATN Mastclimber... :cautious:

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Red
 

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I've used the ATN mast climber, and own one. Actually it was one of those things that lead me to realize I had a physical problem. Turns out I was diagnosed shortly thereafter with RA.
I am feeling better now (miracles of modern medicine), and am wondering if I can use the ATN now. Even with my knees screaming at me the last time I was able to get halfway up the mast. I am a big guy at 6ft1in and 265lbs, and if my joints were a bit better I'm sure it would work fine, well worth the $$.

I have a windex to replace and a halyard to retrieve.. I've been dragging my feet on doing it. Doesn't help that I'm not fond of heights though.
 

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It really depends on how big your winch is.

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I weigh ~150, I tried raising a 200 lb friend using the tiny mast winches on his Bristol and only succeeded in giving him an atomic wedgie, couldn't get his feet off the ground.
He got a mast climber, it worked but that's a lot of effort for a big guy.
 

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There's a point where some jobs must be hired out to pros.
This is true... and many jobs can / should be done by a boat owner. Part of owning a boat is maintaining, outfitting and repairing. In so doing you know your boat and are less helpless. And... there are no handy mechanics offshore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have a Milwaukee right angle 1/2" chuck uses a lithium battery 18 volts I think. I use it in self tailing winches to raise the 440sf main... and I have used it to hoist wife up the mast in a bosun chair. Mast track needs to be clean and lubricated... No it doesn't just shoot the main right up. I don't need nor use for trimming sail.
I no longer have the strength to these lifts with manual winching.
View attachment 143800
Thank you Sander. I think I'm going to take a chance and purchase one. They have a 20 volt on Amazon for around $100.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I weigh ~150, I tried raising a 200 lb friend using the tiny mast winches on his Bristol and only succeeded in giving him an atomic wedgie, couldn't get his feet off the ground.
He got a mast climber, it worked but that's a lot of effort for a big guy.
Thanks TB. I $200 lbs. and its a hassle getting people to hoist me up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have a Milwaukee right angle 1/2" chuck uses a lithium battery 18 volts I think. I use it in self tailing winches to raise the 440sf main... and I have used it to hoist wife up the mast in a bosun chair. Mast track needs to be clean and lubricated... No it doesn't just shoot the main right up. I don't need nor use for trimming sail.
I no longer have the strength to these lifts with manual winching.
View attachment 143800
I'm going to purchase one and give it a try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi Coney Island Kid,

A few years ago someone on The Boat Gallery mentioned using this technique during a discussion about using the Mast Mate for going up the stick.

We use a Milwaukee 24v right angle drill with a winch chuck adapter. The first mate takes me to the top in a couple minutes no sweat. Also used in the cockpit when we are too lazy to crank winches. ;-))

As one whose wife swears she will never get on a sailboat with me, I keep an eye out for single-handed solutions like the Mast Mate or the ATN Mastclimber... :cautious:

--
Red
One of the members in my club has the mast mate and offered it to me. I'm keeping this as a second option, just cause I'm lazy and don't want to mess with taking down the main sail. If the angle drill doesn't work, mast mate will be the way I'm going up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
This is true... and many jobs can / should be done by a boat owner. Part of owning a boat is maintaining, outfitting and repairing. In so doing you know your boat and are less helpless. And... there are no handy mechanics offshore.
Where I'm at sailboat riggers and diesel mechanics are as available as unicorns.
 

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Where I'm at sailboat riggers and diesel mechanics are as available as unicorns.
And I'm sure, at DOUBLE the cost! 🤣

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Seriously, I am so used to shoddy work being done by others where I am, that I try to do almost everything possible myself. It is a whole lot less frustrating... Having access to good mechanics, riggers, workmen of any type is a luxury that many just don't have. :cry:
 

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Thank you Sander. I think I'm going to take a chance and purchase one. They have a 20 volt on Amazon for around $100.
Ahhh....but does it come with a battery and charger? That my friend is the question.
 

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I had a friend killed falling from the top of a mast.

I now do what @Mama's Mink suggests.
Certainly going up the mast is not something to be taken lightly, but with the right equipment and preparation it isn't really a big deal.

My rules:
use a proper bosun's chair or harness. A home made bosun's chair is not good enough.

Never trust your life to a quick release shackle. If the halyard has such a shackle, tie a figure 8 knot instead of using it.

Use a 2nd halyard as a safety line if you have one.

Make sure you trust the person on the winch, and make sure they have the strength to do the job. I tend to only trust fellow sailors who are familiar with the use of winches, clutches etc. Ideally 2 people down below, one to belay the safety line and one to grind the winch.

The halyard you are using should go through a closed rope clutch. Do not use a halyard that can't be locked.

By concern with the OP's plan is that if the winch he is using is not powerful enough to grind a person up by hand then is the same person going to be able to hold a drill against the torque required.

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Edit. I also purchased some ascenders to use if my main is stuck in the up position and my mast climber requires the track. I always tie in to a real harness and use at least 2 points of suspension, usually 3. With the ascenders or my mast climber I can go up my mast solo.
 
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