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Thread: Mast steps

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
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    solent
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    393

    Default Re: Mast steps

    Quote Originally Posted by Poey50 View Post
    Fair enough.
    out of interest, you say you go up the mainsheet, as it seems do most others. I was planning to stick a dedicated pulley block up top just for climbing and maybe hoisting errant crew (wife aloft) as a warning pennant to others. Any reason not to do so?

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    up on the moors.
    Posts
    31,574

    Default Re: Mast steps

    Solent, I think you are probably OK with stainless-aluminium corrosion issues, but just a reminder when speccing the rivets.


    I note that when BT put "mast steps" on their poles, the flat bit for the feet is on top. That seems a sensible orientation to me, as it means you can plant your feet without trying to wiggle them into a triangular hole. If you sputter a few bits of weld to the top of the flat bit, you have a non-slip surface.

    I can't see why mast steps are orientated to make it difficult to stomp your feet firmly on them, any way.
    I think, therefore I am. I am, therefore I sail.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    solent
    Posts
    393

    Default Re: Mast steps

    Quote Originally Posted by sarabande View Post
    Solent, I think you are probably OK with stainless-aluminium corrosion issues, but just a reminder when speccing the rivets.


    I note that when BT put "mast steps" on their poles, the flat bit for the feet is on top. That seems a sensible orientation to me, as it means you can plant your feet without trying to wiggle them into a triangular hole. If you sputter a few bits of weld to the top of the flat bit, you have a non-slip surface.

    I can't see why mast steps are orientated to make it difficult to stomp your feet firmly on them, any way.
    thats a good point, my only guess is slippage sideways? I like the weld sputter grip idea! Add that to the powder coat epoxy tex
    tured grip I will give them and it will be unslippable.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    up on the moors.
    Posts
    31,574

    Default Re: Mast steps

    You will be hanging on to the mast with your knees so hard that your feet will not be able to slip ! And you have a chest strap, as well. (That's another reason to have the base of the triangle at the top: if you do fall, the chest harness will catch on the next step down, as opposed to sliding over the hypoteneuse of the triangle.
    I think, therefore I am. I am, therefore I sail.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Hopefully somewhere warm
    Posts
    6,929

    Default Re: Mast steps

    Quote Originally Posted by solent clown View Post
    thats a good point, my only guess is slippage sideways? I like the weld sputter grip idea! Add that to the powder coat epoxy tex
    tured grip I will give them and it will be unslippable.
    Been up and down countless times, mast steps are great!! Much prefer the "enclosed" style, getting your foot in is a non issue and it gives a good bit of security.

    Great for pretty piccys of the anchorage as well

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    474

    Default Re: Mast steps

    Quote Originally Posted by solent clown View Post
    out of interest, you say you go up the mainsheet, as it seems do most others. I was planning to stick a dedicated pulley block up top just for climbing and maybe hoisting errant crew (wife aloft) as a warning pennant to others. Any reason not to do so?
    I've only ever climbed up and down with jammers on a fixed rope. I would think an extra top-roped line would be a good idea in addition to the one on the bosun's chair. or climbing harness. (Preferably controlled by someone else to give a properly independent back-up. ) But someone else who does it this way will be able to advise.
    Last edited by Poey50; 04-12-17 at 21:55.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    West Mersea. north Essex
    Posts
    3,951

    Default Re: Mast steps

    Quote Originally Posted by solent clown View Post
    maybe hoisting errant crew (wife aloft) as a warning pennant to others. Any reason not to do so?
    I often see a boat round our way flying (wearing?) a black pennant with a silhouette in white of a witch on a broomstick.

    Underneath it says "Danger - Wife on board"
    davidej

  8. #18
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Daytona Beach, Florida
    Posts
    14,925

    Default Re: Mast steps

    When in the very dim and distant past I had my Trident the mast was mounted in a tabernacle which allowed it to be lowered easily using a simple 'A' frame with it's base at the shroud plates and apex connected to a tackle to the stem. Two people could raise/lower the mast easy peasy as we did at beginning and end of each season for boat storage ashore in the YC.. On later boats I used a hoistable mast ladder but always had two mast steps at same level near the masthead to 'stand tall' on

    Be warned too that one very good reason for fitted steps is easy resolution of the resultant halyard snags on the steps themselves.

    As age drew on I relied more on bribery to get another 'volunteer' up the mast in a bosun's chair, usually SWMBO, and aided by the electric windlass, but that was a 50 foot mast on a 41footer.
    Sermons from my pulpit are with tongue firmly in cheek and without any warranty!

  9. #19
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    March
    Posts
    437

    Default Re: Mast steps

    As an extra safety measure, and as a way to secure myself to the mast horizontally to leave both hands free, I use a galley strap, I thread this through the harness and bosuns chair, if I'm using one:

    https://www.jimmygreen.co.uk/item/247/galley-strap

    It has the advantage that you can't fall lower than the next step, and is ideal if you are single-handed.
    1976 Westerly Centaur, GEMINI

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    North West Scotland
    Posts
    136

    Default Re: Mast steps

    I have a 34 ft yacht that came with the enclosed triangular style of fixed mast steps. I find them invaluable and much better than climbing a halyard. Only drawback is hoisting the main when singlehanded with the boat rolling - the halyard flips around the steps. On occasions I have been forced to rig a downhaul so that I can keep the halyard under tension when hoisting so as to prevent this.

    Like a previous poster, I am a one-time mountaineer and although I wear a climbing harness and use a climbing jammer as protection on a halyard it has always seemed much easier to climb and descend the steps themselves. I am usually singlehanded and so don't have the option of being winched.

    From a safety point of view I think it is important to be deeply suspicious of all your protection gear when high up the mast. Jammers fail, rivets fail and so on; so never put all your eggs in the one basket. Lots of redundancy in the systems will keep you alive. Occasionally clipping a loop in a second halyard into your harness is great insurance if all else goes wrong.

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