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Old 19-08-2006, 10:54   #1
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rats in the lines

Ahoy You Salty Dogs and Cats...

Happy August 19th to everyone. I've got a question regarding "ratlines" or "ratbars". Let me set the background for this question first.

I've always liked the salty look. I would prefer scaling my rigging rather than drilling holes in my mast and they are more economical. So, having said that, has anyone put "ratlins" or "ratbars" on their boat?

My concerns would be: Additional stresses placed on my lowers whilst scaling. (I'm 225lbs) -- clamping bulldog clamps to my rigging -- the sloppy feel of standing on rope -- OR -- the possibility of the bars snapping under load.

Subquestions would be: Aside from bulldog clamps for the "lines" is there a way to lash them to the shrouds? What type of wood is best for the "bars".

I'm still not convinced this is the way to go, however, I've seen a few boats here in White's Landing with them and they've renewed my interest.
Another concern I have is "clamping" or "lashing" to the SS shroud may create a haven for oxygen depletion in the strands resulting in crevice corrosion of the SS.

Open and Enthusiastic about All Replies,

Mike
S/V Manukea
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Old 19-08-2006, 11:07   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Da BigBamboo
My concerns would be: Additional stresses placed on my lowers whilst scaling. (I'm 225lbs) -- clamping bulldog clamps to my rigging -- the sloppy feel of standing on rope -- OR -- the possibility of the bars snapping under load.

I'm still not convinced this is the way to go, however, I've seen a few boats here in White's Landing with them and they've renewed my interest.
Another concern I have is "clamping" or "lashing" to the SS shroud may create a haven for oxygen depletion in the strands resulting in crevice corrosion of the SS.
I think you've hit the nail on the head. The riiging is a very vital part of your vessel and messing with it, I would think, would be like attaching stuff to the wings of an airplane.

I use climber's repelling equipment w/foot sling to get up & down my mast. stand-sit, stand-sit, stand-sit going up, and repell down......................._/)
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Old 19-08-2006, 11:37   #3
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DelMarrey - I use the same system. Although, I didn't buy the ATN brand. I purchased the components and built it myself .. with the exception of the bosun's chair (WM deal: their $140 chair for $65). Instead of the side-by-side foot rings, I purchased a mountain climbing entinair (sp???) [French for stairs]. This allows a little greater mobility and above the top of the mast reach.
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Old 19-08-2006, 18:18   #4
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I've pretty much built my own too. I bought 2 assender clamps and a climbers harness. They're more comforable then the bosun's chair. I made a two footed strap for the lower assender and connect the harness to the upper assender. I just take a small line up with me so I can pull a bucket/bag up when I get up there. In case I forget something too the Admiral can put it in the bucket, if she knows what it is

I go up on my genoa halyard that is clamped to the deck and repell back down on the spinnaker halyard.

And your right about getting above the masthead. I go up to about my lower ribs. The top comes off my mast head and it makes it real EZ to check the halyard sheeves............................._/)
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Old 19-08-2006, 19:22   #5
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I have the ATN unit, and I suspect, that is what convinced Elusive to build his, however, I have rat lines on Kittiwake. They are lashed to the lowers, and for going aloft for visibility while underway, they are great. I put very little strain on the steps themselves, but rather use them for traction while climbing the shrouds. I have had no problems with the rig, but it is time to replace the lashing. They do not go above the spreaders, and I do not think it would be practical to rig them above the spreaders. I have also used mast steps to go aloft underway on Lakbay Dagat's boat. I like them, and intend to install them al the way up on the tri, but for my oldwood boat, rat lines are my first choice for function and form.
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Old 19-08-2006, 19:33   #6
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Kai is right - I used his ATN unit and really liked it. Each method has advantages and disadvantages. For MY use... what I put together works for me
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Old 20-08-2006, 00:55   #7
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So true. Of course, a set of rat lines always makes the boat look salty Honestly, I do not think there are any benefits over more modern systems, but it is a look. I also do not feel there are any particular draw backs
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Old 20-08-2006, 02:57   #8
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The ratlines will add considerable wind resistance up the mast which may well make a significant difference in bad weather.

If you want to get up the mast easily I draw your attention to a mast ladder
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Old 20-08-2006, 06:23   #9
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Talbot - I actually looked at one of those. I decided against it because I would have to take the main off the mast before I could use it. With the ATN styled climbing system, I can use the main or spinnacker halyard to raise the climbing line (I use a seperate line attached to the halyard so the assenders don't chew up the main halyard).
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Old 20-08-2006, 09:49   #10
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I have a separate track on my behind mast reefing system where I can attach it.
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Old 20-08-2006, 10:01   #11
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Ahoy All You Salty Dogs and Cats,

Thanks for the great info and ideas. I do have a multi-purchase self-hauling gear with a large diameter line and it is quite easy to "go up". I think I was looking for more of a quick jump up to the spreaders when necessary. I had mast steps on my Mariner 31 and they were great. A bit pricey and 8 hours sitting in a bosun's chair to install them isn't something I'd look forward to doing again. I suppose all things considered I'd go with the "ratlines" rather than the "bars"

Kai, your ratlins are lashed to the lowers...did you use rolling hitches? I'd rather lash them than use bulldog clamps.

Hey! Here's another one: Anyone know how to make Baggy Wrinkles?
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Old 20-08-2006, 10:42   #12
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I will try to add some photos of the rat lines tonight. As for baggy wrinkles, again, I refer you to "Good Old Boat" And, again, I forget what issue, but it was there.
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Old 21-08-2006, 19:47   #13
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A little behind schedule, but as promised, here are a few shot of Kittiwake's ratlines.
http://www.cruisersforum.com/gallery...ages.php?c=503
Lashing on the top rung has failed, hence my need to replace them, but they have been up for years. Easiest way to climb this style is on the inside, using them like knots in a rope, not like ladder rungs.
I have been up them a few times, an I am no lightweight.
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