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One of None
Hunter 34
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The mast on my boat is 35 feet + - few inches, boom to top, and about 4 above the cabin top. 14" alternating port to starboard? Math gives me a headache lol
 

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I recently did mine , started 24" off the cabin top and went approximately 16" spacing. Put two at the top adjacent to stand on when working at the top, about four feet from the top.

That would be the maximum spacing in my opinion.
 

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Need to space them according to your own personal step height. No good spacing them 30" if you can only lift your leg 24''.
 

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That's true. Think about ladder rung spacing for a comparison. Remember- you want more rather than less, couldbe going up in less than ideal conditions.
 
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Courtney the Dancer
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Denise- I've never installed steps but had steps on our previous boat. I think you should start at the top - figure out how far down from the top of the mast you want the two steps to be (essential to have two steps to work from IMO, we only have two steps on our current mast - near the top). From my experience I would say you want your head and shoulders well above the mast top so maybe 2 -2.5' feet. If you are 6' tall top steps would be 3.5 -4' down from top. Then figure out how much distance from there to the top of the boom and divide by the spacing you want. The steps we had were much further apart than typical ladder rungs and it was no problem climbing them since you are also pulling up with your arms (fewer the better -windage and snagging halyards).
 

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OSHA says "shall not exceed 12" and will be uniform though out." My mast mate is 17" and I can tell you that is too damn far to be efficient. Why would you exceed an established industry standard for STATIONARY ladders? One of my pet peeves on sailboats is tall steps, pretending sailors are young and have good knees.

I'm 5'8" and like climbing just fine.
 

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measured my steps this arvo....on each side they are 36''....so an 18'' step each way up. yes, start at the top....the squiggle room can be made at the bottom. My first step easy....then a step on the boom and then on and up to the next step..on and on and on to heaven....
 

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One of None
Hunter 34
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Are you installing mast steps on the boat you're trying to sell? Steps are a controversial upgrade. Some people like them, others don't. I think they will limit the buying audience.

Or better yet, there is no good reason to sell your boat anyway, so go ahead and add them. :)
Well I must admit I didn't think about the "sell ability" and I was just thinking of the cost to drop and lift and re insert the mast.

thanks everyone for the input!
 

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Just remember, the spacing you like now may be too far in a few years. We're not getting younger.

Or maybe I'm touchy because I just had my knee scoped in September. But what is the harm in a few more steps?
 

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Schooner Captain
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Just remember, the spacing you like now may be too far in a few years. We're not getting younger.

Or maybe I'm touchy because I just had my knee scoped in September. But what is the harm in a few more steps?
$$$$$$$$$$
at $17-24 each spacing could mean $200.
 

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One of None
Hunter 34
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
cheap compared to paying a crane or yard to pull and place it!
 

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$$$$$$$$$$
at $17-24 each spacing could mean $200.
Whoopee. A rounding error in life.

Have you priced knee surgery lately? I tore my meniscus during a high-step on to a rock... kinna like a too-wide rung spacing. I'd pay 6-figures to have my original knee back.

If pennies matter to you, there are much cheaper ways to climb a mast. I still have zero interest in steps and would give them back if they were free.
 

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I spaced mine at 50 CM (almost 20 inches). They work just fine. More would be too much for me (I am short and 54 years old).
You do not climb a mast every day, so you do not need to make it very comfortable. You pull yourself up with hands as well, for me 50 cm works. You can skip a step at each spreader.
I installed mine while the boat was at anchor with mast up. So I had to work from deck going up.
The steps saved me a lot of troubles so far:
We fixed lost mainsail halyard mid Atlantic,
We fixed jammed Genoa furler mid Atlantic,
We fixed mainsail which did not want to come down due to a loose screw at track
We installed new wind instrument, fixed windex, replaced mooring light, replaced broken spin block, ....
They worked well in rough weather mid Atlantic. In that case spacing was not the issue. The danger of banging at mast with your had was a concern.
aha: The boat is 47 feet sloop (Beneteau Oceanis 473).
 
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