Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 17-02-2008, 07:16   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2004
Boat: Pearson 323 Vision Quest
Posts: 40
How Do You Climb the Mast ??

Hi Everyone,

I would like to go up the mast without spending lots of money on equipment. I just want to tape off my spreader boots and replace a bulb.
Do people use halyards to hoist themselves up ?? What about a safety line. I have climbing ropes and a harness but was wondering how to rig up a seperate line to use instead of a Haylard ?

Thanks - Bob
__________________

__________________
bob_deb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2008, 15:48   #2
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Tasmania
Boat: VandeStadt IOR 40' - Insatiable
Posts: 2,317
Images: 91
We have two mainsail halyards (well, strictly speaking, 1 x halyard, 1 x topping lift, but the topping lift is 7/16 double braid wich is plenty strong enough as well).

To go up the mast, we tend to use a bosun's chair (every boat should have one) and a climbing harness (i.e a "sit" harness with a waist strap and leg loops). The main halyard goes on the bosun's chair, and is used to winch the person up the mast. The topping lift goes on the harness and is jus a back up. If there are only 2 of you, you just wind up 10' or so of halyard, then take up the slack on the other line, and repeat.
__________________

__________________
Weyalan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2008, 16:01   #3
Registered User
 
pogo's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 94
Agreed, we use a bosun chair also. One person riding up, another person on the winch handles.
The rider (in our case) pulls upward and the winchman (person) takes out the slack. The rider pulls themselves up, and the winch is used mostly to hold the rider, not to "lift" the rider in the chair.
Normally we put three to four turns on the winch. That makes it easier to hold the rider without tieing off the lines.
When the job is completed and the rider is coming back down, the three to four turns of the halyard makes for less effort on the winchperson to lower the rider back to the deck carefully.
Good luck...your boat looks a lot smaller from the top of the mast!
__________________
pogo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2008, 19:06   #4
Registered User
 
Oceansandmts's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Northern Vermont
Boat: "Piscator"
Posts: 87
Choices

We have gone up the mast in a variety of ways, all of which feel comfortable to me and I don't really like heights. No matter what the method we always tie knots, never use shackles, inspect the halyard and lines to be used, and test the set-up with the weight of two people at deck level, among other things.

1. The strong kid winches the old man up the mast. Of course the old man is also pulling himself up and hanging on, and ties in when he arrives.

2. I have used a three or four part block and tackle with lots of line to pull myself up the mast, first hoisting the fixed block to the top with a halyard.

3. We have used the same block and tackle with strong kid power.

4. The new boat will have mast steps at least to the spreaders, and probably all the way up as the strong kid is grown up and moved away.

Lots of other methods and equipment available.
__________________
John
Chuck Paine Sarah 32 under construction
Oceansandmts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-02-2008, 06:25   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2004
Boat: Pearson 323 Vision Quest
Posts: 40
Thanks for the input,
But I have another question ?
How much weight can the haylard hold ??
I have a Pearson 323 with part wire and half line halyard, looks to be in average condition ??

thanks - Bob
__________________
bob_deb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-02-2008, 07:55   #6
Registered User
 
Oceansandmts's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Northern Vermont
Boat: "Piscator"
Posts: 87
Just as a rough guess as to what's on your boat, brand new New England Ropes 3/8" sta set has a tensile strength of 4400 lbs. The wire in your halyard is probably at least as strong. BUT, they are not new and I for one am hesitant to go up the mast on a wire/rope halyard. You would need to trust the wire and the wire-rope splice and I would rather not. Inspect everything very carefully if you are going to do this, and consider the double or even triple weight test: the weight of two or three of you on the bosun's chair hanging on the halyard at deck level before you go up.

Don't forget, as you are winched up the mast you help climb and hang on, such that if the halyard broke you would be hanging on and could just slide down. While you are working you should be tied in independently of the halyard.

I believe books like Toss's Rigger's Apprentice cover going up the mast in more detail than we have here.

Finally, I don't mean to be too negative here, the view from the top of the mast is great, its just that one needs to be careful.
__________________
John
Chuck Paine Sarah 32 under construction
Oceansandmts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-02-2008, 07:57   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: St Charles MO
Boat: Easterly 36 Aft Cabin
Posts: 180
What dia is the halyard? A 7/16 halyard has several thousand pounds of breaking strenght, 5/16 is a couple thousand pounds.
__________________
7.25 years until the Carib
easterly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-02-2008, 08:23   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Newnan, Ga
Boat: Tartan, 41 TOCK- Bear
Posts: 79
I use rope assenders to go up the mast. This way I can do it without help. I hoist a 5/8 dynamic climbing rope on the main haylard, and then belay myself with carabiners and break bars with topping lift. This way is something happens to the haylard I can rapel down.
Load testing at the deck level may not be a good indication of load capacity at the mast head. Your most critical loading is when the line is the shortest.
__________________
EddieS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-02-2008, 09:54   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Boat: PDQ 32
Posts: 30
As an ex rock climber, I'm sold on ascenders. As Eddie points out, no help is needed.

When using ascenders, there are couple of ways to attach. The best is the so called "inchworm" method. The lower ascender goes to two loops, one for each foot. It really helps to put some shock cord on the loops so they don't slip off your feet. The upper ascender attaches to your seat harness.

To ascend, stand on the loops, raise the upper ascender, rest on the harness, raise your feet and the lower ascender. Repeat as needed. When descending, all weight must be removed from an ascender before it can be lowered.

For added safety, connect a short line, equal to the inchworm interval, from the lower ascender to the harness.

I've never understood the whole "winch up" approach to mast climbing. When I installed our radar, I was up the mast a number of times. I also found that when working up there, I often needed to go up or down a couple feet for the best angle at some task.

The notion that my wife needs to be "on call" for winch duty whenever I do a mast project is a big loser.

Charlie
__________________
charlie p is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-02-2008, 10:07   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,413
When I am completely alone and I must go up and I have no help I rig a multi part tackle and start hauling after I stand up on the boom. It takes a lot of line and you can't get to the very top because of the block and tackle.

But when there is someone around we use the rope gypsy on the windlass. This a real help because wifey is nt strong enough to wunch me up and she's not clever enough with tools etc to fix things. She can do the windlass though.
__________________
Sandero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-02-2008, 10:14   #11
Senior Cruiser
 
mikereed100's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Santa Barbara
Boat: 46' custom cat
Posts: 1,571
Images: 2
I use a 4 part tackle with a ratcheting block and haul myself up. More importantly, I always have a safety line making a double loop around the mast and connecting to the bosun's chair. If anything should fail the loop cinches tightly about the mast and I can't fall. It's a pain as I am ascending but it gives me an excuse to rest. I usually use a lifeline tether for this but just about anything will do.

MIke
__________________
mikereed100 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-02-2008, 10:25   #12
cruiser

Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 4,525
Another vote for standard bosun's chair and halyards.

We use both halyards in tandem. The main halyard does all the work, while the genoa halyard is pulled and cleated off every few feet of ascention, acting as a backup, which would only allow the bosun's chair rider a few feet of drop before it kicked in at the max.

My 99-100lb wife gets to ride skyward. I stay on the ground for 2 reasons:

1) She's easy to hoist up there and doesn't put much strain on the gear

2) I'm scared to death of heights - well, not so much scared, as my legs lock up, arms and hands shake, and I tend to cling to the mast for dear life... ha ha Mentally, I'm not scared, but my body says otherwise.

We did opt for a comfortable, high end bosun's chair for West Marine.

Like mentioned above, I don't trust the shackles, so I always tie a bowline in both halyards to hold the chair.
__________________
ssullivan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2008, 03:55   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Bolton, UK
Posts: 8
The firsy ever time I was aboard a cruiser was when my landlord at the time told me to come over and check out his boat down at the dock. Within 5 mins I was being hauled up the mast with a wind vein between my teeth trying desperately to learn German as I'm English but he is German. Anyway got to the top, plugged in and looked down.
Now I'm not normally scared of heights but this day I was. I dont truthfully know how high I was but I'm guessing 50ft, but as I looked down the boat below me looke like an ant. And of course we were rocking in the wind. I kept thinking that I'm a fairly heavy guy (196lb) and if the wind blows us over maybe one more deg then were gonna go over.
Has this ever happened?
__________________
sailawayjon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2008, 13:26   #14
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Eastern Seaboard
Boat: Searunner 34 and Searunner Constant Camber 44
Posts: 949
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailawayjon View Post
The firsy ever time I was aboard a cruiser was when my landlord at the time told me to come over and check out his boat down at the dock. Within 5 mins I was being hauled up the mast with a wind vein between my teeth trying desperately to learn German as I'm English but he is German. Anyway got to the top, plugged in and looked down.
Now I'm not normally scared of heights but this day I was. I dont truthfully know how high I was but I'm guessing 50ft, but as I looked down the boat below me looke like an ant. And of course we were rocking in the wind. I kept thinking that I'm a fairly heavy guy (196lb) and if the wind blows us over maybe one more deg then were gonna go over.
Has this ever happened?
Hey, I finally found the post!

I guess the short answer is it depends but if you are frightened, it’s probably best to just come down. You can always try again and if it turns out you were right you really wouldn’t want to have proved it anyway.

The long answer is strangely similar and starts with ‘it depends’ too. But if look at the stability curve for this Dudley Dix boat, it might be a good start. The boat has about 13,000kg of righting movement. Now, I think its been chopped off and what is meant is kg-meter but let's just say that all that righting ability is right at the water line and not several feet below.

And, hell, while we’re at, let’s ignore that the keel has to push against the water in the same way it’s difficult for you to wade through chest deep water. And because I like easy math, let’s say you were 220 or so (100kg).

If all that was true, in addition to the mast being 130 meters high and not the 17 or so you estimated, you would go into the drink (or the rigging of next boat).

Now, a friend of mine had a Catalina 24 years ago I went up the mast in a damned hard bosun’s chair as I was the lighter of the two and he's scared to death of heights. The Catalina 24 is assuredly a lighter boat and him lumbering about it would heel about a degree or two. That translated to about six feet or so from side to side. Now, I like heights. But that was enough to spook me even though I knew the boat wasn’t going over. So, I gutted it out…and ended up dropping a knife onto the boat which then bounced into the water, never to be found again. Stuff happens.


Now what I didn't address is that 13,000 kg is at a 60 degree heel. Now if you really want to give youself a chill, think of that 60 degree heel you friend(s) jump off and you go rocketing back like a trebuchet!
__________________
Maren is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2008, 15:09   #15
sitting on the dock of the bay

Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,513
Images: 6
Send a message via Yahoo to gonesail
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlie p View Post
The best is the so called "inchworm" method. The lower ascender goes to two loops, one for each foot. It really helps to put some shock cord on the loops so they don't slip off your feet. The upper ascender attaches to your seat harness.
have you tried this with prussics instead of mechanical ascenders? i am afraid the ascenders will damage the halyards.
__________________

__________________
sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most.
gonesail is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
mast

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How Do You Climb the Mast ?? bob_deb Deck hardware: Rigging, Sails & Hoisting 93 22-11-2017 10:45
The Portland Pudgy ? sailingpup General Sailing Forum 18 29-09-2015 16:48
Maintenance - Tricks of the Trade Bill_E Construction, Maintenance & Refit 35 05-08-2012 06:06
Crew Available: The Dream ... blumuse Crew Archives 26 24-06-2012 11:15
A True End to the Multi vs Mono Debate deckofficer Multihull Sailboats 106 23-02-2012 11:23



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:16.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.