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Old 21-08-2012, 14:28   #1
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Mast Steps and What ?

My new boat has fold out mast steps all the way to the top and I have decided that this is my primary method of getting (my wife?) up there. I have yet to decide on what sort of a back up system to employ. I'm thinking that I just use a halyard as a safety line attatched to a harness although this would require a second person on a winch. The advantage of this is that the climber can just concentrate on climbing the steps while the assistant just takes up the slack. Easy, but it does require two people.

Any suggestions?
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Old 21-08-2012, 14:34   #2
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Re: Mast steps and what?

G'Day Greg,

What y ou describe is what Ann and I did on Insatiable I which had steps on the mast. If you have rope clutches on the halyards, you don't even need a winch -- the tender just pulls the line through the clutch.

But, when I needed to go aloft to the first spreaders for conning the boat through coral, I just climbed up without any safety line. I'm sure that OSHA would have jailed me if they had known, but it doesn't really seem all that dangerous... you choose!

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Old 21-08-2012, 14:58   #3
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Re: Mast steps and what?

You could use an ascender and a spare halyard that was made fast. Then you would not need the 2nd person on the line. Still smart to have 'em standing by of course.
Ascenders | Petzl
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Old 21-08-2012, 15:12   #4
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Re: Mast steps and what?

Tie a Prusik Knot on a MADE OFF halyard and clip a harness to it. She moves the knot up and down by herself.

Prusik Knot | How to tie the Prusik Knot | Climbing Knots
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Old 21-08-2012, 15:18   #5
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Re: Mast steps and what?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesFCook View Post
Tie a Prusik Knot on a MADE OFF halyard and clip a harness to it. She moves the knot up and down by herself...
Quote:
Originally Posted by xeon_tsd View Post
You could use an ascender and a spare halyard that was made fast. Then you would not need the 2nd person on the line. Still smart to have 'em standing by of course...
You don't want anyone climbing the mast solo; but it's nice that they don't NEED a hoister.
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Old 21-08-2012, 15:25   #6
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Re: Mast steps and what?

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Originally Posted by xeon_tsd View Post
You could use an ascender and a spare halyard that was made fast. Then you would not need the 2nd person on the line. Still smart to have 'em standing by of course.
Ascenders | Petzl

Or a Prusik hitch(es).
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Old 21-08-2012, 16:08   #7
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Re: Mast steps and what?

We use the mast mate system. Just make sure you use the right sized slugs. The main halyard is used to hoist the system through the tracks. Then use a spare halyard to secure your ascending mate to his/her harness. Safest to do this with at least 2 people.

Mast Mate Home
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Old 21-08-2012, 16:28   #8
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Re: Mast steps and what?

I have folding steps and usually just use a safety belt around the mast, but I do have to disconnect it in order to get around the spreader. Next time I will be using that Prusik Knot. Thanks!
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Old 21-08-2012, 16:47   #9
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Re: Mast steps and what?

i tried using an ascender on a static line but found it a bit awkward. I did a day trip on a square rigger in the bay of islands in nz recently and they showed me how to use a climbing harness with 2 carabiners - i use that on my boat now - my mast steps are the triangular fixed type, dont know if the carabiners can be reliably trapped on a folding step.
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Old 21-08-2012, 16:58   #10
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Re: Mast steps and what?

I use the Top Climber from ATN. Has a really comfortable seat/harness and well designed foot straps. Have spent hours in the seat/harness installing hardware on the mast and the foot straps allow you to grip the mast with your feet. Could use it without the foot straps in conjunction with the steps. It's a climbing ascender type affair and has worked great for me. More than 40 trips up the mast without help. Has saved me a ton of time waiting for someone to come free and be able to winch me up. Here's a used on ebay ATN TOPCLIMBER (Mast Climber) | eBay

I had steps on my last boat but found them less than ideal for working on the boat. You have to have a rope/belt to tie you to the mast so you can have both hands free. The rope/belt chafes and gets uncomfortable real quick. Standing on the steps for any length of time is tiring on the legs.
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Old 21-08-2012, 17:01   #11
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Re: Mast steps and what?

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Originally Posted by charliehows View Post
I did a day trip on a square rigger in the bay of islands in nz recently...
What boat was that? The Soren Larsen?
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