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Old 04-09-2011, 04:57   #31
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Re: But I Don't WANT to Go Up There !

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Originally Posted by BareFtGrl View Post
So I did look on ebay for the rock climbing harness and they are unbelievably less expensive.......
Be careful of ebay climbing gear. My friends and myself have been burnt on gear over auction sites. Stitching sometimes ripped, cracks in carabiners. Not bad over all where we learn our lesson, but enough that you think "really?"
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Old 04-09-2011, 05:23   #32
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Re: But I Don't WANT to Go Up There !

The one problem with a harness or a bosuns chair is they stop just short of the top of the mast so you are working above head height You can't really see what's going on.

I prefer the mastmate, so you can get above the top of the mast and work downwards. Ours folds down into a day sack so takes up little room.

Mast Mate Home

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Old 04-09-2011, 06:14   #33
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Re: But I Don't WANT to Go Up There !

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Well...we bought a sailboat..pretty cheap. . .
Since it is a "little" boat - 25 ft with a deck stepped mast, I for one would not be comfortable with putting close to 200 lb at the top of the mast with the boat in the water (or on land for that matter). So, take the mast down and go through it carefully. You may find other things wrong up there beside the light. It is a good chance to inspect the masthead fitting, the halyard sheaves (pulleys), rigging tang plates and bolts, standing rigging wire terminals (swags) for cracks or broken strands of wire. Also there are the spreaders and their attachment fittings and bolts. It is not uncommon for the ends of the spreaders to start to split and crack.
- - All of this will be both educational for you and also give you a respect and confidence in the mast and all the stuff that is up there at the top. And you will have a really good mast and rigging that you will not have to worry about for years of fun to come.
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:57   #34
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Re: But I Don't WANT to Go Up There !

osirissail, the OP just said they were about 5' with not much mass, so I don't know where you got 200 lbs.
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Old 04-09-2011, 07:28   #35
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Re: But I Don't WANT to Go Up There !

That is less than what I used to weigh and with age a lot of us put on some serious extra weight - then add a few pounds for tools, etc. And I have seen some 5 ft folk that seem to have the same dimension standing or laying down .
- - Either way unless you send a kid, as others have suggested - you can be getting close to making such a small boat unstable and most certainly experience some pretty good swings back and forth when another boat passes and wakes you.
- - But my main point is based on the statement given that the boat was bought "cheap." It would be worthwhile to thoroughly inspect and service the whole mast system and unstepping such a small mast would be a whole lot easier than a mast on a 40 footer. Fixing problems and inspecting the mast system is a whole lot easier if the mast is off the boat.
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Old 04-09-2011, 07:51   #36
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Re: But I Don't WANT to Go Up There !

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But my main point is based on the statement given that the boat was bought "cheap." It would be worthwhile to thoroughly inspect and service the whole mast system and unstepping such a small mast would be a whole lot easier than a mast on a 40 footer.
That is true and a very good point.
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Old 04-09-2011, 07:54   #37
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Re: But I Don't WANT to Go Up There !

Yeah. But there is big difference in using the climbing harness / bosun's chair: the harness is fine for quick jobs, the chair is better when you expect to spend a longer time aloft.

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Old 04-09-2011, 09:17   #38
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Re: But I Don't WANT to Go Up There !

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That is less than what I used to weigh and with age a lot of us put on some serious extra weight - then add a few pounds for tools, etc..
I agree. My beer gut is quite light. Almost a 6-pack. Its the tools that weigh me down.
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Old 04-09-2011, 09:58   #39
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Re: But I Don't WANT to Go Up There !

I bought an ATN Top Climber off of Ebay. It's been a very valuable asset that's gotten used more than any other maintenance item on the boat. No problems climbing the mast without the need for anyone else's help. I've got no excuse for not going up the mast now. More important, the Top Climber saved me from a dismasting. Climbed to the top of the mast for the fun of it and discovered a couple broken strands in the headstay. No telling how long before the stay failed completely. Don't know how useful it would be on a 25' boat. Might want to send the wife or kids up first.
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Old 04-09-2011, 11:26   #40
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Re: But I Don't WANT to Go Up There !

MarkJ, it's the beer in my tool bag that used to weigh me down! CP
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Old 04-09-2011, 11:58   #41
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Re: But I Don't WANT to Go Up There !

A 25 foot boat? Get real, drop the damned mast, re do everything that needs doing and be done with it.
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Old 04-09-2011, 12:42   #42
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Re: But I Don't WANT to Go Up There !

If I was mad enough to fit out a boat from scratch again I'd make sure the mast had proper steps fitted as standard.

The reason is that I seem to need to be winched up the mast by my wife about once a year. Ours is a manual winch and I weigh about 200 lbs. Lights, antennas, shrouds etc all need to be inspected if not actively repaired. We have a good bosun's chair as kit and do use it quite frequently.
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Old 04-09-2011, 16:56   #43
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Re: But I Don't WANT to Go Up There !

the last time I went up a mast was in 2008. I used the mast steps, and only had to go up to the lower spreaders. My buddies put a halliard around my waste and I started to climb. At 295 lbs, it wasn't fun. You need solid work boots to keep the step from cutting into your feet. Sneekers don't cut it. Once I got up there i had to hold on with one hand while trying to put the strop around the mast to take it down.

That was the last time. I now use a hired midget and a rock climbing harness. I keep my butt firmly on deck. I peaked out at 366 lbs and am now struggling to get back down to around 200-225. I'll get there if it kills me but mast work? not bloody likely.
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Old 04-09-2011, 18:09   #44
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Re: But I Don't WANT to Go Up There !

had steps on my first off shore 30 cruiser. too noisy for me. Things tangled. Did have a couple about 3 ft from the top of the mast on my larger boats so i could stand on them working on the masthead.
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Old 04-09-2011, 18:13   #45
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Re: But I Don't WANT to Go Up There !

LMAO! You guys...I only weigh 56 kilos! And since I'm the wife that's why I figured I'd be the one going up the mast.
That mast mate is a really cool idea! And I didn't even think about looking at the rigging and spreaders while I was up there (which I will now do TYVM.)
As far as "cheap" goes...well, I did have a full time live aboard and charter Captain look at the boat first. I didn't want to bother with the survey on this boat...the big one...well, of course I will. And I have to admit...I think about dropping the mast to give it a good going over but it's a bit daunting I guess 'cause I'm new to this. I am going to have it hauled in a few months and have a rigger fix stuff while I watch and ask a million questions. I don't really have a lot of sailing friends yet to bug about this stuff.
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