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Old 04-05-2011, 15:34   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Mobile Bay, Alabama
Boat: Hermann Lazyjack 32 schooner
Posts: 70
Swiss Tech Mast Lift ?

Does anyone have first-hand experience using the Swiss Tech Mast Lift system for going to the masthead? I've used both the ATN Topclimber and the Mast Mate web ladder, and am still looking for a system that will meet my needs maintaining the rigging in my 32' schooner. I like the looks of the Mast Lift but would like to hear from some users before making the investment.

Mike Turner
Lazyjack 32 schooner "Mary'Lis"
Mobile Bay, Alabama USA
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Old 12-09-2011, 17:20   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Mobile Bay, Alabama
Boat: Hermann Lazyjack 32 schooner
Posts: 70
Report: I bought one

I never did find anyone who had used the Mast Lift, so I bit the bullet and bought one. We used it for the first time today and it worked as advertised.

Pros: It works as advertised - hoisting effort is considerably less than the physcial effort of using the ATN Top Climber. Simple for one person to use, although for safety purposes I prefer having a second person on deck.

Cons: A tad heavy to hoist the winch drum to the masthead, but managable. Each pull on the hoist line only raises you around 10-12", so it takes a while to get up to the masthead. Arms got a bit tired in the process but you can always stop to rest. When you begin descent, there is an initial 2" or so sudden drop while the internal brake disengages - not bad once you're used to it, but unsettling when you're not.

Cost of course is a major factor - this may be a more viable purchase for a yacht or sailing club or group, or marina, than for an individual. The total package (drum, endless line, bosun's chair) is bulky and heavy and could present a storage challenge.

Bottom line: On first blush, I'm pretty happy with it. I'll be using the system later this year to paint our masts (the main reason I bought it) and I'm pretty confident it'll perform in that project.
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