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Old 07-03-2008, 06:00   #16
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I have used prussic knots for acsending rope while climbing. I find them to work just better than nothing. I agree with you about the halyard damage though. That is why I hoist a line for climbing. Additionally, a dynamic climbing rope has a lot more stretch than a halyard. Thanks
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Old 21-03-2008, 03:18   #17
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I recall seeing a site where a thought provoking product for mast ascending was posted. It is a strong tape with slugs or bolt rope on one side for hoisting up the mast, sewn to the other edge is a series of foot loops. Run it up and then you are in control. It would be prudent to have a spare halyard keeping tab to you via a harness until you are totally confident to use it without assistance. Some self belay loop or rope for safety might be worth considering.

Here is the link, though I was considering making something similar using some heavy tape that is used to pack up Riviera Motor Cruisers for shipment overseas. They were dumping heaps of this tape in bins when we were last on the slipway, thanks Riviera !

Flexible, portable mast climbing ladder made of nylon webbing which attaches to any sail tra
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Old 21-03-2008, 07:53   #18
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That is why I hoist a line for climbing. Additionally, a dynamic climbing rope has a lot more stretch than a halyard. Thanks
i saw this after i posted ... thanks for clarifying. sounds good.
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Old 19-02-2012, 12:04   #20
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Re: How do you climb the Mast ??

Ok related question: Will my mast support my weight? I weigh 200lbs, the mast is deck stepped with good solid core, the mast is 28' off the deck and is extruded aluminium. I have this fear that if i go up the mast will buckle.
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Old 19-02-2012, 12:27   #21
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Re: How do you climb the Mast ??

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Ok related question: Will my mast support my weight? I weigh 200lbs, the mast is deck stepped with good solid core, the mast is 28' off the deck and is extruded aluminium. I have this fear that if i go up the mast will buckle.
Well, if it does, it will be a nice slow bend and you'll swing laterally for quite a ways... so It shouldn't hurt all *that* much when you slam into the side of the boat.

I can't actually answer your question without seeing the mast, but if it's the size of a 1.5" or bigger pipe I'd think it could support the weight. And seriously, it's not like it will just drop you, it will bend, and pull against the rig.
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Old 19-02-2012, 12:40   #22
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Re: How do you climb the Mast ??

I've been known to climb the rig without any safety lines, right up the mast like a monkey. Not safe. Also really hard to do any meaningful rigging while holding on with both hands and both feet. If you are really cheap, you will just tie up a harness out of some dockline, haul yourself up the halyard. Be careful!
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Old 19-02-2012, 13:00   #23
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Re: How do you climb the Mast ??

made this rope ladder for 60 bucks from materials from Home Depot. 30 feet long. Hope this picture file attaches!
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Old 19-02-2012, 13:44   #24
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Re: How do you climb the Mast ??

I recently read where in Fla a guy was being hoisted up the mast of 80 ft and the 2 women who were on the winch did not have sailing gloves on and lost control and the guy fell 50 ft free fall to his death and the 2 women had bad damage to there hands from rope burns. The 2 women will probably have horriable dreams of the guy falling right beside them and splattering on the deck.

We use an extra climbing rope tied to the hallard and use assenders and climbing harnesses, I'm 62 and I have no problem using my legs to push myself up the rope. I would suggest checking at your local REI or other rock climbing store for harnesses and assenders. If your worred about your boat healing with you up the mast get some rail meat ( aka help from your dock neighbors ) to keep the boat level and you won't have mast bending worries. Also keep the bottom end of the climbing rope tightly cleated off at the bottom of the mast.

Be safe and take your time, Good luck
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Old 19-02-2012, 13:46   #25
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Re: How do you climb the Mast ??

It is amazing how much can be supported. Took 2 of us to mount my new radar dome. I weigh 215. Wench away.
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Old 19-02-2012, 13:49   #26
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Re: How do you climb the Mast ??

I've got the ATN Top Climber, combination seat/harness with ascenders. Works like the inchworm previously described for ascenders. great for climbing the mast by myself. The ascenders haven't damaged the main halyard that I use for climbing with probably more than 30 trips up the mast. Can't recommend it highly enough though they aren't cheap. The big advantage over a harness and ascenders is the seat is truly comfortable for long hangs working on the mast. It's a very well thought out system. The foot stirrups can be linked or separate, run through the halyard. The harness/seat has multiple attachment points for gear. There are two locations on the seat for attaching the ascender so you can get above the mast head if working up there. New version called the 'Mast Climber, I believe, has ascenders that can be slapped on the climbing rope at any point ATN Mastclimber. The older ones that I have to be threaded on from the bitter end of the line.

They are a bit pricey but the best piece of gear I've bought for the boat. I've completely rerigged the boat, brought down the furling for a tuneup, painted the spreaders, replaced light bulbs, added lazy jackes, and just gone up the mast for a few zen moments at the masthead using it. The only time I've needed help was with the furling and that was just a few minutes lowering and hoisting it so the foils wouldn't be bent. It's been so useful, feel like I owe it money.

Using a winch, especially an electric one, to hoist someone up the mast is a set up for disaster. Recently a women was hoisting her husband up the mast with an electric winch and somehow got her hand in the winch essentially severing the hand. A good samaritan who tried to get her hand out of the winch ended up losing a couple of fingers in the process. In any case, always use a safety line with a Prussic knot.
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Old 19-02-2012, 13:53   #27
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Re: How do you climb the Mast ??

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
I've got the ATN Top Climber, combination seat/harness with ascenders. Works like the inchworm previously described for ascenders. great for climbing the mast by myself. The ascenders haven't damaged the main halyard that I use for climbing with probably more than 30 trips up the mast. Can't recommend it highly enough though they aren't cheap. The big advantage over a harness and ascenders is the seat is truly comfortable for long hangs working on the mast. It's a very well thought out system. The foot stirrups can be linked or separate, run through the halyard. The harness/seat has multiple attachment points for gear. There are two locations on the seat for attaching the ascender so you can get above the mast head if working up there. New version called the 'Mast Climber, I believe, has ascenders that can be slapped on the climbing rope at any point ATN Mastclimber. The older ones that I have to be threaded on from the bitter end of the line.

They are a bit pricey but the best piece of gear I've bought for the boat. I've completely rerigged the boat, brought down the furling for a tuneup, painted the spreaders, replaced light bulbs, added lazy jackes, and just gone up the mast for a few zen moments at the masthead using it. The only time I've needed help was with the furling and that was just a few minutes lowering and hoisting it so the foils wouldn't be bent. It's been so useful, feel like I owe it money.
That's great to hear. I've been on the fence about getting one. Might just pick one up now.
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Old 19-02-2012, 17:53   #28
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Re: How do you climb the Mast ??

Any rock climbing store can put a setup together for under $100

see
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Old 19-02-2012, 18:22   #29
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Re: How do you climb the Mast ??

Quote:
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I've been known to climb the rig without any safety lines, right up the mast like a monkey. Not safe. Also really hard to do any meaningful rigging while holding on with both hands and both feet. If you are really cheap, you will just tie up a harness out of some dockline, haul yourself up the halyard. Be careful!

Did this a lot when I was racing and a LOT younger in some earlier life. There are lots of good equipment options noted here. If you go to a sail boat show the ATN guy will let you try his stuff. It is much improved since a couple years ago.

We have powered primaries and the halyard will reach if I rig a turning block on the deck. Also, we have a Milwaukee 1/2 inch right angle 29 VDC drill motor and winch adapter. This is more than enough to go up painlessly. second from the top on the left. This is also the tool we use to furl the jib. It has awsome cosmic power.
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Old 19-02-2012, 18:42   #30
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Re: How do you climb the Mast ??

I'll underscore the ATN Topclimber. After the standard bosuns chair, the Topclimber is great. You are totally under control of your ascent/descent. You can precisely determine your elevation -- no more of the "give me 3 inches up" only to get 10. No worries about your helper getting distracted or injured. And, it's comfortable, and that counts for a lot when you're going to be up there for awhile.

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