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Old 23-08-2011, 10:07   #1
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Comfortable Boatswain's Chair

How many sailor's does it take to change a light bulb? ......three,- one at the winch, one to tail, and one in the chair! I went up today to change my anchor light and install some new LED spreader lights. I'm comfortable with the height, but while in my chair I'm expending much energy, not unlike isometric exercises, keeping my upper body forward to my work and using my legs against the mast to keep me close to the work. My chair fits me like a large diaper with a stong board at the seat with the halyard tied at rings near my sternum. I also wear a harness with a safety line, but there is no stress on the harness except in an emergency. I'm unable to do good work aloft because after about ten minutes I'm shaking from muscle fatigue trying to maintain my position and my legs are suffering from the poor circulation from the pressure of the front edge of the board. There must be a boatswain's chair that is better. I need something that doesn't sap my energy. Please give me some suggestions.
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Old 23-08-2011, 10:14   #2
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Re: Comfortable Boatswain's Chair

do you wrap your legs around the mast or just hold on like riding a horse? most of those i send up mine wrap around like holding on for dear life.
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Old 23-08-2011, 10:52   #3
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Re: Comfortable Boatswain's Chair

Take a rope about 4' long and tie the ends together. Then form a large figure 8 with it. Take and put it around your shoulders so that the cross of the figure 8 is at the center of your back and the two loops are at your chest. Then use a carabiner to join those two loops across your chest. Then put the halyard from your harness or chair through this carabiner. It will support you in an upright position.

That's what climbers do.
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Old 23-08-2011, 10:54   #4
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Re: Comfortable Boatswain's Chair

And throw out that chair and get one of these:
Black Diamond Momentum AL Climbing Harness at REI.com

http://www.chockstone.org/TechTips/Chest.htm
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Old 23-08-2011, 12:43   #5
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Re: Comfortable Boatswain's Chair

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
do you wrap your legs around the mast or just hold on like riding a horse? most of those i send up mine wrap around like holding on for dear life.
Not at all! I'm pushing off the mast with my feet in order to leverage my upper body toward the mast so my hands are free to work. I'm just glad I came back down before my mast started pumping as it would with resonance during a 60kt wind! No big deal for you West US Coast sailors, but I didn't think you would feel moderate earthquakes on a boat in the water.

Palarran, Thanks for the climbing harness and chest harness thought. This is likely what would suit me well. I'm sure that if I can support my upper body and keep the circulation in my legs I'll do fine. I've always put up with the strain of my old chair, but this work with installing new spreader lights really exposed my weakness.
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Old 23-08-2011, 13:33   #6
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Re: Comfortable Boatswain's Chair

+1 on the climbing Harness why pay triple the price from a marine Store when you can get the same harness for $50 . And/or you can make your own harness out of $10 in webbing. Making your own is not the most comfortable as the webbing tends to dig in. Not the most comfortable but works. t The preferred method would be a factory harness with padding and wide leg straps to distribute the load.
I've been up my mast 4 times in the last week with my climbing harness works great.


Option below for the budget oriented.
Hasty Webbing (Emergency) Harness | How to Make a Hasty Webbing (Emergency) Harness | Rescue Knots
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Old 27-08-2011, 03:13   #7
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A bombproof system which i have used to climb 150" masts in icing conditions is to Utilise a climbing harness with three small micro ascender (eg.Gibbs); two on the main line for climbing and one the safety line in case the main line gets cut. The climbing ascenders are rigged with one attached to harness and the other ascender attached to leg loops. With a figure eight you can be up the mast in seconds and down just as quick
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