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Thread: Mast steps

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    solent
    Posts
    366

    Default Mast steps

    When my rivet supply arrives, and I tackle this trident mast and standing rigging I am going to fit mast steps. I will be making them myself, as we have the facilities here to do so for no money, and it will give someone the training opportunity of a repetitive job on the manual folder.

    I was thinking of something like these(link below), as they are simple, and no edges to catch anything. Any reason we should do it another way? Again, we are casual cruisers, not racers, but I am very keen to have mast steps. That way I can always escape the wife - and as she is a mere 4ft 10 on a good day, if I start the first rung high enough she will not be able to follow me up. Just think crows nest full of real ale and whisky ;-)

    https://www.force4.co.uk/force-4-fix...B#.WiWXqvll81I

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    solent
    Posts
    366

    Default Re: Mast steps

    As an adjunct to that post, I am an experienced climber, I understand all the safety implications and will be using a sit harness. I just want the steps to take the hard work out and give me a positive connection to the mast. Rocks tend to stay still, but I have heard these mast things get around a bit

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    5,795

    Default Re: Mast steps

    Good for you. I have two masts, and made the steps for my mizzen mast myself, and they're fine. However when it came to the mainmast, I decided to splash out, and bought folding steps, and to be honest, they are even better.

    When fitting them, use the upper face of the spreaders as your datum, and depending on the length of your legs, space them out from there. Mine are at 0.5m, that is all the ones on each side are one metre apart. If I was doing it again, I would space them slightly closer, but as I say, it depends on the length of your legs. It's worth having two at the same level at the top, for working at things at the mast head.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    solent
    Posts
    366

    Default Re: Mast steps

    never thought about two equal work steps at the top! Thank you

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    474

    Default Re: Mast steps

    Quote Originally Posted by solent clown View Post
    Any reason we should do it another way?
    Two possible reasons: first they increase windage, second they spoil the appearence , especially on a small boat. (Obviously the second of these is subjective.)

    As a climber why don't you use a Croll chest jammer and any other jammer to prussik up? That's what I do - usually with a back up rope or at least a cow's tail attached to the cap shroud above the spreader to halt a fall. I go up the mainsheet but tether it at the bottom with some thick shock-cord to keep things fairly taught.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Rio Dulce, Guatemala
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: Mast steps

    I made some very similar steps for my last boat, and found that they eventually started to move fore and aft, leading to a couple actually failing. Present boat's steps have a three point fixing and are as solid as a rock.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    solent
    Posts
    366

    Default Re: Mast steps

    because I have a knackered back, shoulder and one lung left, and middle age has left me boring and weak. The tyranny of age, and old injuries conspire.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    solent
    Posts
    366

    Default Re: Mast steps

    Quote Originally Posted by Madeo View Post
    I made some very similar steps for my last boat, and found that they eventually started to move fore and aft, leading to a couple actually failing. Present boat's steps have a three point fixing and are as solid as a rock.
    That seems a really obvious possibility now you have pointed it out ;-)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    5,795

    Default Re: Mast steps

    Yes, the ones that I made, out of 8mm round s/s, with pads to take the rivets, have a three point fixing.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    474

    Default Re: Mast steps

    Quote Originally Posted by solent clown View Post
    because I have a knackered back, shoulder and one lung left, and middle age has left me boring and weak. The tyranny of age, and old injuries conspire.
    Fair enough.

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