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Old 18-05-2016, 15:42   #16
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Re: Plan for Ascending Mast

I've got a climbing line I use to go up masts. If a halyard looks old, I temporarily replace it with my climbing line. I like to know what I'm trusting my life too!


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Old 18-05-2016, 15:45   #17
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Re: Plan for Ascending Mast

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
If you do not trust the remaining halyard, why not make this the time to replace it? You can use the existing halyard to lead the new rope through the mast and over the sheaves and back down to you. Then you would have a nice new trustworthy halyard to be hoisted upon.


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I wouldn't go up on a wire to rope halyard myself. Can you swap out the halyard?
I might try. The problem is that the sheaves prob need to be replaced and I'm not sure what the chances are that the thicker rope will get jammed in the narrow sheave or by any barbed spots caused by the wire. I'm making it a point to inspect the sheaves while I'm up there.
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Old 18-05-2016, 15:48   #18
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Re: Plan for Ascending Mast

Plan B: could just take down the stick... then you have the opportunity to run halyards to your hearts content or even install mast steps
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Old 18-05-2016, 16:30   #19
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Re: Plan for Ascending Mast

^^^ what he said! If not sure what's going on up there, and it's time for some maintenance anyway.....
I detest the wire/rope halyards. Another option, make up a new dyneema halyard, with no cover on the end of the halyard that is wire now. It'll probably be stronger than your wire halyard, with no splice to worry about.
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Old 18-05-2016, 17:06   #20
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Re: Plan for Ascending Mast

Always two halyards.

If you can have someone on the deck, take a messenger line, should you need an extra tool.

If you go it solo, take ALL tools and parts with you ...

Bon voyage, jefe, take a selfie ;-)

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Old 18-05-2016, 19:20   #21
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Re: Plan for Ascending Mast

Never climb with a single rope. The advice that climbers do it is not helpful. Plenty stup8d humans stick there fingers in places they shouldn't.

Being safe means having redundancy in a degraded system. You want to minimize injury from potential falls.

As a minimum you want a safety to slow or arrest a potential fall if the main halyard fails. That could be a short loop around the mast.

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Old 18-05-2016, 19:21   #22
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Re: Plan for Ascending Mast

Realistically it sounds like bringing the mast down is not a bad idea if you are ready to afford it. I took mine down for different reasons and found the sheaves need replacing and I need to install the antenna anyway and a new steaming light and a flag halyard and I really should replace that backstay and and and it never ends....... After thinking about all that you may just climb up the mast extra fast!
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Old 18-05-2016, 21:51   #23
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Re: Plan for Ascending Mast

Thank you everybody. The stick will be coming down at some point in the future, but had no plans on that being this year. My Dad is going to help me test a few things this weekend including running a temporary all rope halyard. At a minimum I'll have a hitch tied to the mast at all times as backup for whatever halyard arrangement I decide on.


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Old 19-05-2016, 05:41   #24
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Re: Plan for Ascending Mast

Another alternative,- Your masthead is about 46' off the water, right? So, the end of the halyard aloft is probably around 43 or 44 feet up. Is there a 35' fixed bridge in your area with calm surroundings where you will not be surprised by a untimely wake? A person standing on the bridge with a boat hook could catch your halyard and pull a length down to your reach on deck.

There are obvious risks related to maneuvering and still water, but not too daring a move with basic cautions.
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Old 19-05-2016, 08:27   #25
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Re: Plan for Ascending Mast

If at a marina, why not use a gin pole with bosun chair? Much easier then climbing to be winched up.

I have single lined with ascenders a number of times but am getting too old for such shenanigans unless absolutely necessary.
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Old 19-05-2016, 08:39   #26
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Re: Plan for Ascending Mast

buy a top climber


doe invent the wheel
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Old 19-05-2016, 08:59   #27
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Re: Plan for Ascending Mast

I always just use one halyard. But have never had a wire halyard. Your biggest concern is more likely who's working on the bottom at the winch. I like to have a short lanyard, once above the spreaders I fasten it around the mast.... at least it will stop me at the spreaders. I also attach it at the top if I'm going to be working up there much.
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Old 19-05-2016, 09:06   #28
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Re: Plan for Ascending Mast

The idea that climbers do it all the time so you'll be ok is foolish!
Big difference between a dynamic climbing rope and a who knows how old halyard. The climbing rope is designed to stretch the halyard not so much!
For going up a rope I find a kliemheist hitch around a carabiner to be much easier to deal with than a prussic knot. A pair of ascenders is better.
If I have to go up a siingle halyard I always give it a good hard bounce test a foot or so off the deck. If it holds together with that fall factor I assume it will hold body weight.
A loop around the mast when you get above the spreaders back to your harness will keep you from hitting the deck if something fails. It will hurt and not be fun but better than cratering your deck!
Done smoothly the halyard won't see much above body weight during the ascent.
I use a piece of 8mm hi tech line to go through the thimble on a wire halyard to tie on the climbing rope. Double fisherman on the loop, rewoven 8 on the climbing rope.
I come down on a standard rappel (old ATC or DMM Bug) device on the climbing rope after escaping the system I used to ascend.
I never have anybody winch me up, that scares the crap out of me! rather do it on fixed lines with muscle power. I trust myself, nobody else when it comes to this.
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Old 19-05-2016, 09:16   #29
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Re: Plan for Ascending Mast

My rigger uses a block and tackle system that he raises to the top of the mast, then pulls himself up. It doesn't matter if it's wire or rope that holds the top block. The system is not cheap though.
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Old 19-05-2016, 09:32   #30
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Re: Plan for Ascending Mast

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Originally Posted by Siberianhusky View Post
The idea that climbers do it all the time so you'll be ok is foolish!
Big difference between a dynamic climbing rope and a who knows how old halyard. The climbing rope is designed to stretch the halyard not so much!

That would be true if one was falling and being caught by the rope. But being winched up the mast, there is no chance of taking 25 foot whippers. This isn't lead climbing. It is hardly even top roping. In this case, you are only concerned about the strength of the rope, not the stretch.

It is his boat, so he is well placed to know if it can handle his body weight. If it can hoist and fly the jib, it will hold his weight.


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