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Old 02-08-2014, 01:57   #16
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Re: Bosun's chair

I got a much better idea...first of all buy a chair manufactured, cheaper, easier and better in most cases. Secondly start your wife on a training program. No not one that gets her in shape to lift you but one that teachers her what she has to do when SHE gets up there rather than you. Works for me and I'm 35 lbs, lighter.
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Old 02-08-2014, 02:21   #17
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Re: Bosun's chair

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I got a much better idea...first of all buy a chair manufactured, cheaper, easier and better in most cases. Secondly start your wife on a training program. No not one that gets her in shape to lift you but one that teachers her what she has to do when SHE gets up there rather than you. Works for me and I'm 35 lbs, lighter.
Plus, it's FUN going aloft. The views are spectacular, you can take a pic looking down at your deck! Or off towards the horizon.

There are arguments for sending the lighter partner aloft, if you are willing to delegate that responsibility for all the rigging....... Skippers vary. And some people are uncomfortable with heights.

Ann
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Old 02-08-2014, 02:33   #18
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Re: Bosun's chair

Very true Anne..my wife is a pretty smart cookie and is a quick learner and a 120lbs so she goes to the top 75% of the time but I still go up occasionally. Seems to work well for us.
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Old 02-08-2014, 03:19   #19
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Re: Bosun's chair

I have winched lighter people up my mast and have not been there myself much to my dismay! I also need to lose a few kilos (OK more than a few)

Each person I sent up was not as mechanically inclined as I would like and all have complained that the chair and or harness (we use both) could not get them high enough to adequately work on the top. This is a limitation of the halyards pulling the person being belayed into the mast.

I just bought and received from a member here a brand new "Mast Climber" which is basically a web ladder. I can still climb a ladder so I am looking forward to receiving it and at long last getting a good look at the rigging, sheaves and replacing the windex.

I plan to wear the fall harness and the safety line will be the spin halyard and perhaps the genoa halyard. The main halyard is used to hoist the climber.

I am hoping that the climber will allow me to get well clear of the top.
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Old 02-08-2014, 03:28   #20
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Re: Bosun's chair

The problem I found with a bosuns chair is that you can't get high enough to see what is happening on the top of the mast. Also you are working above you head when you really want to be above looking down.

I found a flexible mast ladder much better at being able to climb and then move around at the top. Most have mast slides but with inmast reefing I have a bolt rope to go up the tri sail track instead.

A spare halyard and prusik knot add some safety.

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Old 02-08-2014, 04:33   #21
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Re: Bosun's chair

Another option is to put 2 folding steps on either side of the mast that when standing give you the perfect height to work from. I like to have a short strap around the mast hooked as well and that gives me a nice work station.
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:35   #22
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Re: Bosun's chair

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Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
The problem I found with a bosuns chair is that you can't get high enough to see what is happening on the top of the mast. Also you are working above you head when you really want to be above looking down.

I found a flexible mast ladder much better at being able to climb and then move around at the top. Most have mast slides but with inmast reefing I have a bolt rope to go up the tri sail track instead.

A spare halyard and prusik knot add some safety.

Pete
I like this idea, but then I realize that my only interest in these steps would be at the top. I'm wondering if I might hoist a pair of these steps to a point about five feet under my mast head in order to give me the support at that one location. Then, I know that these would require the use of another halyard and I've already assigned one to my primary lift and one as a safety back-up.

Does your plan to use these steps require three halyards or two?
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Old 02-08-2014, 19:00   #23
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Re: Bosun's chair

I picked up a self climber setup at Bacon Sails in Annapolis for cheep. I can get over the mast head with it but it is a work out to get up my 60 foot mast.

Kurt

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Old 04-08-2014, 11:01   #24
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Re: Bosun's chair

Mast climber is good but make sure you use a fall device attached to halyard or mast. If considering a bosun chair ......just buy one. West Marine puts them on special every year $150.
I bought one and it works fine. If I am hauled up as far as the halyard will take me, I can reach the top of my mast....some tops are higher than others so this obviously varies.


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Old 04-08-2014, 11:33   #25
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Re: Bosun's chair

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A64pilot,

At your size and weight, I think you might be more comfortable teaching your good lady to use the winch to take you aloft. Normally, we do this with the anchor winch on our boat, but if she used a Milwaukee tool, she'll be able to winch you up okay. The deal is, her job has your life in her hands.

Using the winch to lower you, the most critical thing is to keep concentration on leading the line straight, not allowing a "wrap" to get on the winch, an overlap, and knowing what to do if it does occur*, and keeping concentration on lowering you at the speed you want to go, stopping to look at tangs, cotter pins, state of wires, and *stuff* as you are lowered, and shift from side to side. It is the maintaining concentration on an essentially boring job that is the hardest bit for me; unfortunately, it's essential.

Jim and I use toy store walkie talkies to communicate during this process, so we don't have to holler for the other to hear us. We got 'em at Toys R Us 15 yrs ago or so, still work for this application.

If you prefer to go aloft by yourself, which I actually think is better in some ways, then you'll need to work out a dedicated line with enough blocks in it, and be able to ascend and descend on your own. Thinwater can help you with that way better than I can.

One other note, for working at the masthead, often the combination of going aloft on the spinnaker halyard using the climbing harness, will get you high enough up to work on the stuff on top of the mast, the tricolor, the wind instrument, etc.

Good luck with it. I like seeing the fun you're having learning. Yes!!

Ann

* do you have sheet stoppers, rope clutches? If you do, and she got an over-ride or wrap, she could secure the rope clutch and un-do the wrap.

So far it was the Son who worked the winch. He or my wife won't go up, period, don't like heights.
Helps to understand my Wife, our boat has couches in the living room, and a porch. Not a salon or a cockpit and I don't correct her very often. This weekend I smiled and told her the porch was the cockpit and she said that was silly, it's not an airplane. Hard to argue with that.
My youngest Daughter has gone to the top, but she has no mechanical skills so other than a thrill ride, there wasn't much point. Be the same with the Wife, even if she would go up, she couldn't / wouldn't do anything when she got there.
We do have a clutch, which of course doesn't help on the way down, the Milwaukee will pull me to the top, plus if it couldn't, I could help it by climbing some anyway.
From the learning thing, yes I'm learning, haven't done many dumb things yet, but I am a year away from having gone through every system probably, re-built all the winches etc.
I've got a lot to learn, but that's half the fun
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Old 04-08-2014, 13:43   #26
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Re: Bosun's chair

I have the Mast climber with the ascenders, works great to get a 58 year old 6'4" 240lb guy up the mast. I like it because I can stand over the mast and I use my leg muscles to get up top. I use a Ĺ” line tied to my spare halyard for an ascend line. For a backup I have a Black Diamond harness connected to the spinnaker halyard wife moniters that safety line. Big fan of redundancy when my life is on the line. To descend the wife lowers me down using the winch. I take picture and enjoy the view.
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Old 04-08-2014, 15:38   #27
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Re: Bosun's chair

A64pilot,

Robertsailor suggested the folding steps for you to stand on, with a safety line as he described, and I'd like to second that, they get you up just that little bit more and provide a firm platform to work on. If your boat's POs haven't used anti-seize on the stainless screws going into the aluminum, you're going to have some cursing moments trying to remove them.

Ann
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Old 04-08-2014, 16:54   #28
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Re: Bosun's chair

If you go with a self-ascender rig please read Near Catastrophic Failure of Mast Climber Gear

In summary, I did a pr-climb check - all ok. Unnoticed by me during the climb, the circular cotter pin worked its way out. This could have allowed the pin to come out of my ascender. Since the circular cotter pin was away from my view, I did not see it come out. It as during my post-climb gear check that I noticed that the pin had come out.

I now wrap the cotter pins during the pre-climb check and check at the top. During the post-climb I remove the tape.
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Old 04-08-2014, 22:04   #29
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Re: Bosun's chair

I always use two backups. A bosuns chair plus a harness on separate halyards works. Never use a short tether aloft. Any issues and you are going to have a very hard time being rescued, plus the shock loads can be very high.

Coming down is the dangerous part. I am keen to get a stop/go which locks up if you free fall, but otherwise just follows you up and down. This would be a perfect backup system, as long as its on a halyard for rescue.

A simple bosuns chair from wood works fine for occasional use provided you have a proper climbing harness.

Dont forget to clear a safe area below with no people allowed, and lanyard all tools.... Hardhats anyone?
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Old 14-08-2014, 06:06   #30
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Re: Bosun's chair

Dont forget to clear a safe area below with no people allowed, and lanyard all tools.... Hardhats anyone?[/QUOTE]

I was at the mast head a while back and dropped a wind indicator. It fell to the deck on to the head of my little dog, who had wandered to the mast base. Gave him a nasty shock and a little cut. Given that his head is a cople of square inches and the deck is big, the odds against it happening were high - but that didn't help his case. So Ben's advice is good.
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