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Old 28-03-2019, 08:29   #1
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Help wanted with first time ATN Climber use.

Blaine Washington: I am looking to add an ATN mastclimber to my bosun chair. My wife is no longer able or willing to winch me to the top of the mast. And I have various projects to do up there as well as routine inspection. I have watched all the videos, but my wife would feel much happier if the first time I tried out the climber I had someone with experience to give me assistance and advice. She doesn't want me to kill myself. If you live in the Blaine or Bellingham area and have experience with one of these devices and are willing to help out a fellow sailor I would be happy to provide transportation and or compensate you for your time. Thank you.
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Old 28-03-2019, 09:31   #2
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Re: Help wanted with first time ATN Climber use.

PM me if you think you might be able to help, thanks.
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Old 28-03-2019, 10:25   #3
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Re: Help wanted with first time ATN Climber use.

I've used an ATN mastclimber and it was exhausting. Granted I'm an out of shape 36 your old. It's a lot harder than the videos let on.

Another option is to buy a mast step ladder that goes up your main sail track and your wife can tail in a safety line attached to the bosuns chair. I think this is a lot easier. The ATN is a good option if you are single handing. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 28-03-2019, 10:48   #4
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Re: Help wanted with first time ATN Climber use.

At 64 I can still use my ATN. The BIG defect/area of concern with them is the round cotter pins. During my pre-climb inspection, I tape them to make sure they don't come out (again). During the post-climb inspection I remove the tape.
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Old 28-03-2019, 10:50   #5
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Re: Help wanted with first time ATN Climber use.

I've been using the ATN for some years and I like it a lot, I don't find it too tiring, I'm not in great shape and when I did my radar mount I was up and down a lot, that was a bit exhausting. It would be quite helpful to have a second person sending up forgotten tools and stuff like that.

For climbing there's not much too it. Make sure the ascendors are oriented the proper direction, then it's just a process of standing up and sitting down as you inch your way up. It takes a little bit to figure out the rythm of it and how high to move the ascenders. One thing that helps is have the line you are asending pulled really tight. If i'm going up solo I usually tie prusik knots for the foot strap and chair to a spare halyard as safety's that way I can still get down of things go completely wrong haven't needed them yet. If you have someone to belay you on a spare halyard probably better.

One thing to watch out for that I haven't solved is the ascendors can scratch up the mast pretty good, especially at the top so you'll want to puzzle through that. If you come up with a good idea I'd like to know.
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Old 28-03-2019, 13:55   #6
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Re: Help wanted with first time ATN Climber use.

I'm 74 and just went up the mast a week ago to change mast head light fixture. It's not a piece of cake to climb with a Mast Climber but if you find it too tiring to accomplish, you need to hit the gym ASAP. Don't rely on any snap shackle for line that will bear your weight. Use a bowline(s) or wraps around a cleat to secure lines. If you have the original black 'Mast Climber' ascenders you'll either have to have external halyards or use a climbing line attached to a halyard. Whatever line you climb on, the least stretch the better. Stretch in the line wastes energy big time as you can give up as much as half the progress you gain fighting stretch in a plain Dacron double braid.

Use two separate emergency lines to attach to second halyard. One line with Klemheist or Prusik knot as a permanently attached safety line to the seat or harness and backup halyard. The other in your tool bag to deploy as a foot loop so you can let yourself down should something happen to the Mast Climber primary line.

One of the best things about the Mast Climber is their bosun's chair. It's a combination harness and seat. The Mast Climber seat won't let you fall out of it yet is comfortable to hang in for hours. If you are going home brew 'Mast Climber' be sure that the bosun's chair has retaining straps so you can't accidentally slide out of it or pair it with a climbing harness. With a conventional chair on a halyard, learned that it's embarrassingly easy to be hanging by your armpits with cheap bosun's chairs.

Enjoy your trip up the mast. If you can use the black Mast Climber ascender hardware, have two that I'm asking $20 each for. You'd need a bosun's chair and foot sling to make your own 'Mast Climber' with the hardware. If you need a harness have a Black Diamond Mountain climber medium harness to fit up to 34" waist for $30.
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Old 28-03-2019, 14:29   #7
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Re: Help wanted with first time ATN Climber use.

Another happy ATN climber user here. Iím overweight and not particularly fit, but I donít find the climber hard to use. Physically, itís not much harder than climbing steep stairs. Most of the lifting is done with your legs.

I actually find it more challenging coming down that going up. Iím not vert flexible, and it is possible to overshoot the chair slide when coming down such that I end up unable to release the foot ascender jam.

Go slow. Take your time. And make sure the climbing line is as tight as you can make it. I use a dedicated low-stretch line for this purpose, which I hoist using the main halyard.
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Old 28-03-2019, 14:32   #8
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Re: Help wanted with first time ATN Climber use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ-Oldguy View Post
PM me if you think you might be able to help, thanks.
I never remember how to do PMs on this forum. I am in Tacoma and in no position to get up to Blaine right now due to a health issue. I would be happy to advise you on an ATN climb if you want to come down here with your boat and ATN gear anytime before the 4th of May. I have been up and down 3 different masts with my ATN gear many times. Many appropriate hints and cautions are contained in the other replies before mine. Really, this gear is super simple and safe to use. No, it is not as easy as the boat show demonstrator makes it look. But I have not found an easier way to climb a mast solo. Reply to paul98070 at gmail dot com if interested.
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Old 28-03-2019, 14:45   #9
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Re: Help wanted with first time ATN Climber use.

It is a great piece of kit, works well if you donít try and over extend. The natural desire is to move up and down with large moves, this doesnít help, especially on the way down. It is far faster and easier with smaller moves.

Two modifications I made was to put foam with sticky back on the metal components to minimise the scratches on the mast. The other was to sew an old pair of sneakers into the foot straps, far more comfortable and reduces the possibility of your foot slipping out.

Just practice to the first spreader and back a few times until you feel comfortable.
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Old 28-03-2019, 15:16   #10
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Re: Help wanted with first time ATN Climber use.

Hi, I expected exhausting, although it's not a race to the top. I'm 70 and I've got one knee replaced already and hoping to do the other one in the fall so I don't have any great expectations for this being easy. I'm hoping it will be doable. The fact that you are barely halfway to my age gives me pause however. Thanks for the reply

Glenn
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Old 29-03-2019, 08:44   #11
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Re: Help wanted with first time ATN Climber use.

Consider a Swi-TEC Mastlift with a 10:1 purchase and bosun chair. That is what I use.


https://www.swi-tec.us/108-mast-ascension
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Old 29-03-2019, 09:17   #12
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Re: Help wanted with first time ATN Climber use.

I had a lot of trouble, the first time I tried it, to get the line tight enough. Where do you all attach the climbing line to? The mid-deck cleat or what? Thanks!
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Old 29-03-2019, 09:26   #13
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Re: Help wanted with first time ATN Climber use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ-Oldguy View Post
Hi, I expected exhausting, although it's not a race to the top. I'm 70 and I've got one knee replaced already and hoping to do the other one in the fall so I don't have any great expectations for this being easy. I'm hoping it will be doable. The fact that you are barely halfway to my age gives me pause however. Thanks for the reply

Glenn
Well, with everyone else's responses maybe I'm just really out of shape. Lol When I climbed it was 85 degrees and 95 percent humidity which I'm sure didn't help.
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Old 29-03-2019, 09:31   #14
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Re: Help wanted with first time ATN Climber use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PNWSalmon View Post
I had a lot of trouble, the first time I tried it, to get the line tight enough. Where do you all attach the climbing line to? The mid-deck cleat or what? Thanks!
It will depend on each individual boat. I tie my climbing line to my main halyard (using double sheet-bend). I then hoist the climbing line with my halyard, locking the free end of the climbing line to a mast cleat. I then use the mast winch to make the climbing/halyard line as tight as I dare (very tight). It should be very tight.

If your lines all lead aft, then you can use the same approach, but youíd use the cockpit winches.
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Old 29-03-2019, 09:56   #15
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Re: Help wanted with first time ATN Climber use.

I'm 70, live in Tacoma and am still using this system after 8 years or so.
Pm me your number and I'll give you a call, if you wish.
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