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Old 30-07-2008, 08:36   #1
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Bosun Chair

I'm new at this so please bear with me.
I need to change some lights on the mast so I think I need to aloft go up on a bosun chair.

I have a 27ft sloop and think I need to connect both the mainsail and jib lines to the sling that pulls the chair. The question is the winch. Do I wind both lines on the same winch or do I wind them separately (one on jib winch and one on mainsail winch)?

Any help would be appreciated.



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Old 30-07-2008, 08:48   #2
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One halyard on one winch. Grind up on the winch and take the slack up on the second (safety) line by hand. Make sure the stoppers are locked or if using a cleat on the safety line, cleat it every time after taking up the slack. If doing lights go up on the genny halyard and use the main as a safety.

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Old 30-07-2008, 09:15   #3
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Thanks. I will need another winch handle but I can do that. appreciate the help.
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Old 31-07-2008, 01:01   #4
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However you go up the mast, be sure to have a safety line.
I have hauled myself up the mast with a 3 part tackle. With that the main thing is to have a bag of something strapped to you to put the line in as you go up. Imagine being up there and finding out the line laying on deck got snagged on something! That length of that line will be 3 time the mast height.

The best safety method I have used, was told to me by a fire rescue person I kenw, after a fellow sailer fell to the deck.
You attach a spare halyard to the base of the mast and tension it, and cleat it off. Make a loop of line, from about 5//16 braided line, and tie a Prusik knot (google it) aroung the spare halyard. It is a kind of rolling hitch. Clip the loop to your safety harness. As you go up the mast, slide the Prusik knot up the spare halyard. If you fall, the knot will jam, amd most likely save your life. I tested it after I was taught it, and it works great. since then, I use it every time I climb the mast.

I can't remember the issue, but Cruising World published this when I told them about it.

I shudder to think of the old days when my mate would crank me up the main halyard, and at the same time take up slack on the jib halyard as a back up. 1 person dealing with 2 halyards, and my life!

Be safe. check out the Prusik knot and try it. You will be a believer.
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Old 31-07-2008, 01:59   #5
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Can't agree more about the safety line. About 20 years back, my mate hauled me up using the maim halyard (and yes, I did use a safety line). Next week I was out sailing and started to hoist the main in a gentle breeze when the main halyard parted.

I look at the broken ends of the halyard and couldn't get the image out of my head of me going up the mast only the week before using the same halyard. I still get a funny feeling when I go up any mast.

BTW, the halyard LOOKED OK at the time.
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangereous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence
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Old 31-07-2008, 03:53   #6
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Not haveing a second halard on my boat, I opted to use the topping lift.
I did rig a safety line and a tree climbers loop. (tie to yourself 2x around mast and back to self.) After about 45 min or working up there trying to get a spin halyard up, long story, I came back down. On my next cruise I was going to hang a flag on my topping lift so I pulled it down only to find 6 strands holding it together. While I was up there the topping lift almost cut through because I was twisted around the mast.


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