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Old 20-05-2011, 18:28   #1
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Self Hoisting Systems

What do folks who are single handing or short handed do to haul themselves up the mast? Ideas we've heard are to install a rope ladder, some self hoisting rig...?

Thanks for any ideas!
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Old 20-05-2011, 18:45   #2
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Re: Self hoisting systems?

Climber's harness, ascender strapped at chest, doubled climbing rope hoisted on a halyard. Switch to descender ring for descent. Sometimes use an ascender strapped to an ankle for easier climbing. The ascending leg of the climbing rope is bar tight to mast base to hold me near the mast. Safety is either the other descending leg of the rope or a strap around the mast. All Petzl equipment.

Advantages are simplicity, two hands and two feet to hang on with, climbing rope runs smoothly in the gear, access to stays and shrouds is possible.

Disadvantage is that one needs to be trim and fit.
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Old 20-05-2011, 18:48   #3
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pirate Re: Self hoisting systems?

Mast steps and a safety line are your best bet... all the rope systems are really hard work... especially in a seaway..
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Old 20-05-2011, 19:18   #4
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Re: Self hoisting systems?

Yeah, steps are handy.

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Old 20-05-2011, 19:23   #5
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Re: Self hoisting systems?

Mast Mate makes a good webbing ladder system. Though it is supposed to be hoisted in the track, it works fine free if tensioned with a winch.

In a seaway? ANY system is going to get you beat up. If it is clam enough to be sane, either would work. You will have a second line for a safety belay.

I will tell you this; the steps are WAY faster than the climbers that are in vougue, and I have both. Never use the climbers (and yes, I have done MANY climbs with accenders in the mountains--it is NOT lack of practice).
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Old 20-05-2011, 19:56   #6
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Re: Self hoisting systems?

ATN Top Climber on a low stretch synthetic halyard. No need for anyone else around to go to the masthead or anywhere else up the mast. Comfortable seat hang out as long as needed to get the work done.

For navigating from the spreaders, would have steps that go that far, Steps to the masthead weren't functional as they were uncomfortable to work from
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Old 20-05-2011, 21:11   #7
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Re: Self hoisting systems?

As above the ATN works great. As long as you can sit down and stand up you can use one. No chance of swinging away from the mast unless your halyard is loose. Just unshackle the main halyard, wrap it around the boom base, reshackle around the halyard then winch tight. No swing.
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Old 20-05-2011, 21:56   #8
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Re: Self hoisting systems?

I climb the halyard with it attached at the base and winched tight. Not as convenient as steps, but steps have other disadvantages. However, I use prussiks instead of ascenders. Much cheaper and more compact. All you need are a couple lengths of small diameter, high strength line, one short and one long. The short one goes to your harness and the longer one to a foot. They can both be attached to the harness for redundancy. When weighted, the prussik grabs the rope. When unweighted, it can be released and slid (just like an ascender).

I also take a short loop of rope and a couple carabiners up to attach my harness to the spin halyard's pulley shackle. That way I can hang out comfortably at a useful height to work and use both hands. The two steps at the top of the mast aren't enough on their own for me to feel secure.
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Old 21-05-2011, 05:23   #9
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Re: Self Hoisting Systems

Not intended to stifle this conversation, but here's just a few of our earlier discussions on the subject:

How Do You Climb the Mast ??

Climbing the mast

Climbing the Mast Safety

Mast Climbing

Challenge: Climbing a Mast Using Prussik Knots

mast step help , please

Prime Climb Mast Steps
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Old 21-05-2011, 07:09   #10
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Re: Self Hoisting Systems

Hello , I have the ATN mast climber and have used it 30+ times. It works well but I am selling it for 225$. You can email me at condo at yahoo dot com. Thanks chris
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Old 21-05-2011, 08:42   #11
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Re: Self Hoisting Systems

For 30 years I've used a 3/1 purchase block N tackle that I raise on the main or spinnaker halyard. I tie a single half hitch on the bosun's chair ring when in position. Both blocks are the LARGE Harken "ratchet" blocks. Used with 1/2" NER regatta braid, you can hoist each pull with BOTH arms, as the blocks hold you between pulls. To come down slowly, just let go and the rig will come down a bit at the time. You may have to shake the line. If in a hurry and ready to come ALL the way down, just disengage the bottom ratchet. NOW it will come down at will.

The system is safe and works great! It has the advantage of leaving both feet and for short duration, one hand, free for holding oneself in position or fending off.
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Old 21-05-2011, 09:02   #12
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Re: Self Hoisting Systems

Mast steps are the way to go. I've had to go up offshore and they are the only way, IMHO. Wear a safety harness and clip in when you get to where you want to be. When I was younger and a bit lighter I could shinny up the forestay with a rolled sail around it--very fast and a lot easier than going up the mast, but I DO NOT recommend you do the same.
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Old 21-05-2011, 10:00   #13
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Re: Self Hoisting Systems

Mast steps.

Second best are various climbing gears plus a climbing harness. I have seen harness that is not just the typical straps but rather like a sort of climbing shorts - much more comfortable if there is any work up likely to take longer than half an hour.

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Old 21-05-2011, 13:32   #14
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Re: Self Hoisting Systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Johnson View Post
For 30 years I've used a 3/1 purchase block N tackle that I raise on the main or spinnaker halyard. I tie a single half hitch on the bosun's chair ring when in position. Both blocks are the LARGE Harken "ratchet" blocks. Used with 1/2" NER regatta braid, you can hoist each pull with BOTH arms, as the blocks hold you between pulls. To come down slowly, just let go and the rig will come down a bit at the time. You may have to shake the line. If in a hurry and ready to come ALL the way down, just disengage the bottom ratchet. NOW it will come down at will.

The system is safe and works great! It has the advantage of leaving both feet and for short duration, one hand, free for holding oneself in position or fending off.
M.
That looks superb. What do you do for a safety line?
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Old 21-05-2011, 14:02   #15
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Re: Self Hoisting Systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Johnson View Post
For 30 years I've used a 3/1 purchase block N tackle that I raise on the main or spinnaker halyard.
Using arms to climb with is the hard way. Leg power is much better and leaves the hands free for hanging on, which is critical if offshore or power boaters are around. Ascenders or steps are much better in this regard in my opinion.

I don't much like steps on the mast because of the clutter, weight and aesthetics. I'd have them if I had a heavy cruiser boat. Maybe some little nubs is all I would need. Like those at a rock climbing gym.

Climbing the furled headsail is an interesting idea. I'm going to try that.
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