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  1. #71
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Glasgow
    Posts
    405

    Default Re: Going up the mast (solo) and what to expect at the top...

    Yes, I did think about just changing the forestay with the mast up, but weighing up the unknown age of the standing rigging (some of the rigging screws look ancient, probably original, so now 40 years old), then the furler top swivel being fubar'd, it made sense to just pull in the time frame and do the whole lot. I was already planning on replacing the standing rigging at the next lift out.

  2. #72
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    3,243

    Default Re: Going up the mast (solo) and what to expect at the top...

    A climbing harness and a couple of handed ascender which can be carefully used to descend.

  3. #73
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    South Coast
    Posts
    14,192

    Default Re: Going up the mast (solo) and what to expect at the top...

    The one thing that never seems to be expected at the top of the mast for some reason is bird carp, and usually a fair bit of it. My days of mast climbing are long past but quickly learned to take cleaning materials up with me. It was a real pain sometimes as this was before the days of ubiquitous plastic bottles and you would have to haul a bucket up if it was really bad.

  4. #74
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Bristol
    Posts
    4,276

    Default Re: Going up the mast (solo) and what to expect at the top...

    A really interesting thread. On our present boat we have fold away mast steps which I would recommend to the OP. For others who, like a previous contributor, are winched up by crew/wife/skipper/etc. there is an easier way, without climbing equipment. Main halyard tied onto a bosun's chair and down to a winch, via a clutch, hopefully in the cockpit. Tie a loop into another halyard or in our case the topping lift. Then simply climb the mast by putting your feet in the loop and each side of the mast. When you are standing up on the loop, your assistant tightens the halyard, then sit in the chair and they can tighten topping lift. In our case the halyard is led from the coachroof winch to the genoa winch and locked while i'm working at the masthead. We still do this now I can use the steps. I have no problem with the height but my partner would have a big problem winding 110kg of me up the mast.
    Allan
    Sailblogs.com search Brilliant with Hilary and Allan as crew. Password Bristol.

  5. #75
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Going up the mast (solo) and what to expect at the top...

    The proprietary climbers get you to the top of the mast but not in a condition to perform two handed work safely. And they are expensive.

    You need a length of climbing rope which you attach to the main halyard and haul to the top, then secure the halyard with clamp and knots. Take two ascenders (climbing gear) - the top one carries the bosun's chair and is clipped on to the climbing rope. The bottom one has a short length of timber attached with stout rope to act as a push bar for the feet. No bits of rope and prussic knots, swinging all over the place and unstable.

    You sashay up the climbing rope pushing the ascenders ahead alternately, advancing your weight.
    At the top you deploy a lanyard round your body (I use a galley strop) and the mast to steady yourself, whilst standing upright on the bar - this is stable and safe.

    Usually best to assemble all work gear in a stout bag at the foot of the mast, trail an attached line up with you, and haul it up when in position..

    Descent is the opposite of the above. You can also use a figure of 8 abseiler on a separate thick rope (12-14mm) hauled up at the same time as the climbing rope; stand on the wooden bar, transfer the bosums chair to the figure of 8 using a secure carabiner, step off the bar slowly placing your weight smoothly onto the abseiler and descend gracefully.

    There is a warning, of course. It is not that the halyard or climbing rope will part, or the bosums chair disintegrate. No need to have a second carrying line - it gets in the way and endangers the ascent. The danger is from inversion in the bosums seat; so progress has to be steady.

    I have used this arrangement for nearly 30 years and still do. When it's your life at stake you use only the best gear and check it all every time as if you were Chris Bonnington.

    PWG

  6. #76
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Chichester
    Posts
    795

    Default Re: Going up the mast (solo) and what to expect at the top...

    Quote Originally Posted by peter gibbs View Post
    The proprietary climbers get you to the top of the mast but not in a condition to perform two handed work safely. And they are expensive.

    You need a length of climbing rope which you attach to the main halyard and haul to the top, then secure the halyard with clamp and knots. Take two ascenders (climbing gear) - the top one carries the bosun's chair and is clipped on to the climbing rope. The bottom one has a short length of timber attached with stout rope to act as a push bar for the feet. No bits of rope and prussic knots, swinging all over the place and unstable.

    You sashay up the climbing rope pushing the ascenders ahead alternately, advancing your weight.
    At the top you deploy a lanyard round your body (I use a galley strop) and the mast to steady yourself, whilst standing upright on the bar - this is stable and safe.

    Usually best to assemble all work gear in a stout bag at the foot of the mast, trail an attached line up with you, and haul it up when in position..

    Descent is the opposite of the above. You can also use a figure of 8 abseiler on a separate thick rope (12-14mm) hauled up at the same time as the climbing rope; stand on the wooden bar, transfer the bosums chair to the figure of 8 using a secure carabiner, step off the bar slowly placing your weight smoothly onto the abseiler and descend gracefully.

    There is a warning, of course. It is not that the halyard or climbing rope will part, or the bosums chair disintegrate. No need to have a second carrying line - it gets in the way and endangers the ascent. The danger is from inversion in the bosums seat; so progress has to be steady.

    I have used this arrangement for nearly 30 years and still do. When it's your life at stake you use only the best gear and check it all every time as if you were Chris Bonnington.

    PWG
    The fact that you are still alive after 30 years is not evidence of safety. If I have understood you correctly, this is a dangerous system. I'll elaborate later when I have some time.
    Last edited by Poey50; 21-11-19 at 09:11.

  7. #77
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Southminster, essex
    Posts
    9,624

    Default Re: Going up the mast (solo) and what to expect at the top...

    Quote Originally Posted by peter gibbs View Post
    No need to have a second carrying line - it gets in the way
    PWG
    I think that is the wrong advice to place on the forum. I went up the mast one day & only had one halyard- breaking strain 4.5 tonnes so no chance of breaking.!!!
    When after 3.5 hours at the top of the mast I came down my son queried the state of the halyard.
    It was hot & with no water & with the uncomfortable position I was going faint. In my hurry to finish the job I found that i had drilled 2 holes through the rope. I think that if I had not started to loose consciousness & been lowered quickly I might have come down even quicker than I did.
    To make matters worse the new halyard cost me £220-00
    I know of a rigger who was fitting a radar to a mast who also drilled through the halyard he was hanging on to
    So please- Have a spare line attached. It is not that hard to adjust as ascending/decending. If it is then the system is wrong
    halyard 1 A (600 x 402).jpg

    Edit
    Since reading your post again- you mention abseiling down a separate rope. So presumably there are 2 ropes. But is this totally separate to the first? If not then my comments apply. However, It should , in my opinion, be operational, ie partially loaded, at all times to avoid a fall. Your system makes that a little awkward I suspect.
    Last edited by Daydream believer; 21-11-19 at 08:34.
    It is all down to the fact that my wife does not understand me !!

  8. #78
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    7,056

    Default Re: Going up the mast (solo) and what to expect at the top...

    I was up my mizzen mast just the other day, to install an extra aerial. Shackled the halyard to the bosun's chair, and with my wife taking up the slack, I quickly climbed up using the mast steps to the required position. My wife then made fast, and using the spare halyard, pulled up the bucket with all the bits and bobs. What's not to like?

  9. #79
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Gloucestershire
    Posts
    5,484

    Default Re: Going up the mast (solo) and what to expect at the top...

    Quote Originally Posted by NormanS View Post
    I was up my mizzen mast just the other day, to install an extra aerial. Shackled the halyard to the bosun's chair, and with my wife taking up the slack, I quickly climbed up using the mast steps to the required position. My wife then made fast, and using the spare halyard, pulled up the bucket with all the bits and bobs. What's not to like?
    That's what is not to like. I had a run in with the H&S adviser at SBS. He was horrified to observe that I used a "hand tied knot"!

    He asked for a shackle and I then demonstrated that it was ideally positioned to take out teeth. I also queried how the shackle was attached to the halyard. Another "hand tied knot"?

    Stupid prat.

    Shackles can slide on the webbing which a knot can be arranged not to do. I use a fisherman's bend.
    I'd rather be naked
    www.mastaclimba.com

  10. #80
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    7,056

    Default Re: Going up the mast (solo) and what to expect at the top...

    My halyard shackle, to which the halyard is spliced, is passed through the two stainless eyes on the bosun's chair, and then shackled on to the standing part of the halyard. What's wrong with that?

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