Page 3 of 7 FirstFirst 1234567 LastLast
Results 21 to 30 of 67
  1. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    2,822

    Default

    There are only two of us aboard our boat, my wife and myself. Last year we had an "incident" with the genoa furling, when the lug broke off the swivel. This necessitated a trip up the mast, to retrieve the halliard. Luckily, there was another yacht anchored in the loch, whose crew immediately offered assistance.

    During the past winter, I fitted folding steps to the mainmast. I had already fitted fixed steps on the mizzen, the previous winter. A few weeks ago, just prior to launching, having re-stepped the mainmast, I found that the masthead tricolour wasn't working. This meant that the new steps were used rather sooner than expected. It was a dawdle. I climbed up, "wearing" the bosun's chair, with my wife taking up the slack on the spare genoa halliard on the winch. On my reaching the masthead, she made fast the halliard, and I was able to work at the light, in complete comfort, with both feet on the twin top steps.

    The steps mean that we now have a safe, simple way of getting up the mast without requiring assistance from anyone else. I highly recommend them. Obviously, they must be used with due care, and with either a harness, or a bosun's chair. The harness is easier to climb with, but not as comfortable once you get there.

  2. #22
    prv is online now Registered User
    Location : Southampton
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    18,645

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin_J View Post
    Another thing that seems to have been missed was that the halyards used should be internal to the mast (in one direction). i.e. Do NOT do this on a halyard that goes up and down outside the mast and just passes through a block at the top.
    A good idea if you have the choice. But for those of us with wooden masts, there's no option.

    In my case the preferred approach is to bring the mast down, which can be done afloat without external assistance, and I don't even own a bosun's chair. But with a bigger boat that's not feasible. With two independent halyards, I'd be reasonably confident that both blocks weren't going to let go at once.

    I wonder if tying a giant prussik knot around the mast itself would work as an emergency brake, on a gaff-rigged boat where there are no spreaders and the mast is of constant diameter?

    Pete

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    2,822

    Default

    The point is not that the halliard is internal. What IS required is that the halliard passes over a sheave in the mast, and not a block hung from the mast, as is the case with many spinnaker halliards.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    14,948

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by electra View Post
    On one previous occasion I saw a topping lift being used as the safety line but I was not convinced of its strength in an emergency so I personally would avoid that.
    It is a good idea to have your topping lift of the same diameter and strength as the main halyard. That way it is perfectly acceptable as either hoisting line or backup, and can be used to replace the main halyard if the latter fails whilst sailing. You might be surprised at how thin a line you can use to hoist someone. Personally I would never dream of using anything less than 10mm polyester, and my halyards are 12mm, but a look at the http://www.marlowropes.com/index.php...ing&Itemid=219shows that 6mm Doublebraid has an average breaking strain of 1360 Kg. That is about 18 times my weight, so even allowing for the loss of strength caused by the knot it would still have a fair safety factor!
    Working on immortality - One day at a time.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    14,948

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by prv View Post
    I wonder if tying a giant prussik knot around the mast itself would work as an emergency brake, on a gaff-rigged boat where there are no spreaders and the mast is of constant diameter?

    Pete
    I don't know about a Prussik knot, but a webbing safety line clipped to my harness and taken a full turn and a half round the mast and the other end clipped on will not slide down if I put my weight on it. I have used that as a backup safety when I had to ascend on the spinnaker halyard with its mast head hung block, using the main halyard as backup, because I could not reach the spring clip holding the wind instrument on if I did it the other way round.
    Working on immortality - One day at a time.

  6. #26
    Martin_J's Avatar
    Martin_J is offline Registered User
    Location : Portsmouth, UK
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,928

    Default

    prv - You have a good point about the wooden mast with all halyards run outside the mast. Prusik knot - Since the rope used in the loop has to have a diameter much less than that of what it's wrapped around - in the case of a halyard then the loop I use is about 6mm diameter rope. I guess that on a mast you could make a loop with 12mm rope.. it's worth a try.... Leave it slack as you descend but if weight is suddenly taken up on it then it could slow the fall.. Perhaps using a locking carabiner (as used in climbing) to attach to the loop then it would be easy to pass the spreaders.
    Edit - Norman E just beat me!

  7. #27
    prv is online now Registered User
    Location : Southampton
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    18,645

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NormanS View Post
    The point is not that the halliard is internal. What IS required is that the halliard passes over a sheave in the mast, and not a block hung from the mast
    Right, but my mast has no sheaves in it. All the blocks are attached either to a band at the hounds, or to wire strops looped round the mast and resting on wooden thumbs. Whatever I did, if I were to go up it I would be relying on blocks and their shackles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin_J View Post
    I guess that on a mast you could make a loop with 12mm rope.. it's worth a try.... Leave it slack as you descend but if weight is suddenly taken up on it then it could slow the fall
    That was my thinking. Whether you'd slide, and if so how fast, would depend how recently the mast had been varnished

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin_J View Post
    Perhaps using a locking carabiner (as used in climbing) to attach to the loop then it would be easy to pass the spreaders.
    That part at least is easy - gaff masts have no spreaders at least as far as the hounds, because the gaff and mast hoops (or lacing) go right round the mast and have to go up that high. Masts with tall mastheads for big topsails may then have crosstrees above that, but mine doesn't.

    Pete

  8. #28
    Elessar's Avatar
    Elessar is offline Registered User
    Location : River Itchen, Southampton
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    4,843

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pteron View Post
    After a few too many fatal accidents with bowlines, the climbing schools now teach the rethreaded figure if eight. It's what I use when going aloft.
    Nothing wrong with a online for going aloft as it's under tension. Bowlines can fail only when slack. And almost everyone here can tie a bowline, few will havof heard of a rethreaded figure of eight, so risk getting it wrong. So "use a bowline when going aloft" is sound advice.

    ( ok they may have heard of it but the point is the familiar knot is more likely to be done correctly )
    Last edited by Elessar; 19-04-11 at 07:08.

  9. #29
    Blue5's Avatar
    Blue5 is online now Registered User
    Location : Hampshire and Portugal
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    2,171

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Elessar View Post
    Nothing wrong with a online for going aloft as it's under tension. Bowlines can fail only when slack. And almost everyone here can tie a bowline, few will havof heard of a rethreaded figure of eight, so risk getting it wrong. So "use a bowline when going aloft" is sound advice.

    ( ok they may have heard of it but the point is the familiar knot is more likely to be done correctly )
    My thoughts too, also old dog and new tricks came to mind, having said that the figure eight follow through does seem very secure, perhaps get SWMBO to try it first

  10. #30
    prv is online now Registered User
    Location : Southampton
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    18,645

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NDH View Post
    My thoughts too, also old dog and new tricks came to mind, having said that the figure eight follow through does seem very secure
    It also looks right when it's right and wrong when it's wrong, which might help someone who's not tied it before realise if they've made a mistake.

    To me it seems a simple and obvious knot, although perhaps that's just from long familiarity (think I probably learned it in Cubs along with all the other basics).

    All that said, until now it wouldn't have occurred to me to use anything but a bowline in a nautical context. I don't believe there's anything unsafe about a bowline for this purpose.

    Pete

Page 3 of 7 FirstFirst 1234567 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •