Originally Posted by SPCarroll
Thanks for all the responses. This helps a lot. Yes part of the reasoning is to keep an eye out for shoals, not just to run up the mast
and rig things.
I would add that the pure joy of laying aloft should be high on the list as well!
The ability to send a lookout aloft can be very important during an emergency
. Recently, we were called in a MOB
situation to find a woman floating alone in sloppy seas. I skinnied up the mast
of our little O'Day as far as I thought I could go without causing a new set of safety
issues. The idea was to spot the woman in the water
, not to worry or distract the crew. Fortunately, a pair of younger eyes on deck
soon saw her, and I couldn't have been more pleased.
Sailors have been climbing masts since long before time was invented, and it is so much safer to do it today. Each ship has its own way to access its higher parts
. I'm a bit dubious that the designers of modern boats would like to have you stepping out on their spreaders, but I'll bet that all but the smallest can easily hoist your weight by its main halyard