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Old 14-01-2014, 05:12   #1
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pirate To Fat to go Aloft?

I have a Tartan30 and I need to do some work at the masthead.
I need to check and lube the sheaves, replace antenna, install new LED anchor light, ad light to windex, pull new antenna wire and electrical wire, see if there is a place to add a tang for another halyard block, add a couple of mast hounds for topping lift etc.
The issue is I am a 350lb kinda guy, which is a whole issue in itself but the question is....how much weight is too much to put on the halyards, and the sheaves?
I know it would be more simple, and maybe wiser to pay some young skinny Yard Hand to go up there and deal with it all, but at $75.00 an hour labor rate that could add up pretty quick, and not only am I fat, but I am also Cheap!
I also pretty much would like to know I can go there in case I were to need to go up when I am solo.
It would take four men and a boy to crank me up, so I would use the Mast Climber type of rig with hand and foot ascenders and bosuns seat with lots of safety stuff.
The mast is 40ft+-, the halyard is 3/8".
There is a second back-up halyard.
The Tartan30 has a 4'11" fin keel that is right at 5000lb..
The mast is stepped in the keel.
Maybe I just need to make find some skinny friends.....lol
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Old 14-01-2014, 05:30   #2
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Re: To fat to go aloft?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, scottydaum.

Maybe you do just need to find some skinny friends; or since you're planning a lot of work, pull the mast.
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Old 14-01-2014, 05:37   #3
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Re: To fat to go aloft?

Stand on the dock and pull the mast down towards you?
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Old 14-01-2014, 05:56   #4
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Re: To fat to go aloft?

hire a crane to lower you to the top of the mast?

Would be a lot cheaper to just find a friend who will do it for a bottle of booze or an afternoon's sail or dinner.

Interested in your solution. I'm a 220 lb kind of guy who's looking for ANY excuse not to climb up there and clean out all the lightning damage.
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Old 14-01-2014, 06:03   #5
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Re: To fat to go aloft?

This is why I married a 98lb 5' women.
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Old 14-01-2014, 06:06   #6
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Re: To fat to go aloft?

Do you rent her out?
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Old 14-01-2014, 06:48   #7
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Re: To fat to go aloft?

UIAA climbing gear is engineered around a 187 pound (85 kilo) climber.

Most OSHA gear and standards are engineered around a 275-pound limit; heavy rated harnesses are available, but they must be combined with re-engineered systems.

3/8-inch halyard (unknown age and condition) is too small for safe accent. 170-pound climbers go up 3/8-inch lines on ocation, but it makes their knees shake; 7/16-inch is standard. For large man it is far too small.

Remember also that assenders weaken the rope 30-70%, depending on the design. I've watched assenders peal the sheath off a 1/2" rope at 1200 pounds; imagine old 3/8".
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Don't have the skinny guy move drums, and don't have the big guy climb.
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Old 14-01-2014, 07:54   #8
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Re: To fat to go aloft?

Thanks everyone for the reality check.
I knew it was kinda dumb but I am usually one who says "I can" rather than "I can't".
I am now sure this is a time where I should say......"better not".
I just had the idea of getting the Grand Daughter who thinks nothing of going up there, and using our iphones and face time, so she can point the camera, and give ME a look at the masthead.
She can do the things I need done, I just hate it when I have to farm stuff out.
Have to remember that when she is around the boat, I seem to get a lot more "visitors". Maybe I can draft some other young skinny talent.
I have been watching and reading this site for a few years......have learned plenty THANKS! Hope I can be of some help sometime.
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Old 14-01-2014, 08:02   #9
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Re: To fat to go aloft?

The option to pull the mast is one well worth considering. Working on a horizontal mast at waist high is faster and more efficient than having a skinny guy at the top of a mast. While the mast is down you can do a thorough inspection of fittings, halyard sheaves, and any new wiring that needs to be done.

On older masts one important thing to check is the axles and bearing for the mast head sheaves. On many boats you can't check those while sitting in a bosun's chair with the halyard wrapped around the sheave.

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Old 14-01-2014, 08:04   #10
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Re: To fat to go aloft?

In memory of Rodney Dangerfield, " Take my wife. PLEASE, TAKE HER"

However, I'm a 240lb 6'2" kinda guy and I've been to the top of my deck stepped Columbia 29, with a modified/full keel at 3000lb. Nothing bad happened except a little grion discomfort! Oh that and my buddies having a fun game of rock the boat while Andy's up the mast. I just use the main halyard and a bosins (sp) seat. A trusted friend on my old Meriman single speed whinch and away we go! I climb they take up the slack. I've seen the mast ascenders before and would love one but alas I too am a cheapskate!

I have also been to the top while out and about but much prefer to send the 110lb Mrs up! I though she would say no way but she volunteered when I accidently let the spin halyard go to the mast top... . So I'd find an outgoing lightweight gal to date and give her a night to remember at the top of your mast!
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Old 14-01-2014, 08:28   #11
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Re: To Fat to go Aloft?

This is why you have sons and nephews. At least once a year they get drafted to work aloft....it always something up there that needs attention... Even if only cleaning.
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Old 14-01-2014, 13:00   #12
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Re: To Fat to go Aloft?

The concept of pulling the mast out and going over it with a fine-toothed comb does have some appeal (just not monetarily, I'm afraid). Our mast was 21 yrs. old when we had it out, and the rigger who was helping us [we did some of the work; he did some] found some cracks at the spreader bases, which he repaired and repainted. We had not known those cracks were there, nor indeed, how long they'd been there.

Also, it's really easier to re-reeve your running rigging if it should need renewing, and of course, servicing the sheaves and axles, as mentioned above. Ditto running new coax for the VHF, etc. Nothing is forever, and it sure felt good to me to have everything renewed. Just my two cents' worth.

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Old 14-01-2014, 13:37   #13
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Re: To Fat to go Aloft?

Your sails put a far greater load on your rig than you do. However for humans the normal safety margin seems to be 15 to 1. For your sails 4 to 1 or 5 to 1 seem to be plenty.

If you are 350, you want gear rated to 350 x 15, or 5,250 breaking strength. 3/8 Sta-Set is 5,100, so it fine if it is new and not compromised (by knot, etc).

If you want to go up your mast, you might consider a 3/8 high-tech line or 1/2 double braid. That is tons of safety margin (30 to 1 for sta set). You can swap it for the halyard and use it to go up the mast. When you are done swap it back and store it in indoors until next time you want to go up the mast. Make sure you use splices and not knots to attach yourself so you do not weaken the rope.
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Old 14-01-2014, 14:23   #14
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Re: To Fat to go Aloft?

Use your second halyard, topping lift as a safety.
Winch up a few feet, pull second line tight and cleat, winch up a few feet...
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Old 14-01-2014, 14:55   #15
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Re: To fat to go aloft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scottydaum View Post
I just had the idea of getting the Grand Daughter who thinks nothing of going up there, and using our iphones and face time, so she can point the camera, and give ME a look at the masthead.
Great idea! And if she falls on her head its only knocking sense into the younger generation!
The Facetime solution is one that many can use when a rigger, etc, has to go up.

I really disagree with pulling the mast out. A lot of trouble and expense and you'll need a rigging tune up after it, so saving $75 for an hour by paying $500 seems bonkers.

Anyway, the kid will love it.

Finally, those Mastclimber bits of kit are only for athletes. Had a mate who is under 30 and fit as hell and he had great difficulty coming down due to muscle tiredness.... And there was no way i could wind him down because he was using all the halyards. I thought i'd have to cut the ropes and watch him bounce and splash

Second time he had to go up a few days later he made me wind him up.
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