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Old 02-09-2011, 20:19   #1
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But I Don't WANT to Go Up There !

Well...we bought a sailboat..pretty cheap...with full intentions to "learn" some of the things we might need to know when we become full time cruisers (soon I might add.) Aaaannndd..we've been replacing some of those electric "things" that have needed updating, most recently, the mast lights. So we put in a new "thru-deck" receptacle and plug and bingo-bango, the steaming light works...but of all things, the anchor light at the top of the mast doesn't! Grrrrrrrrr!!! I don't have a bosun's chair yet! I guess what I'm asking is...should I buy one and keep it when we move to the bigger boat in a year of two or do I just "borrow" my neighbor's and fix the light? Might I need it a later time and write it off as one of those "must have's"?
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Old 02-09-2011, 20:39   #2
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Re: But I don't want to go up there!!

it depends on the size of the boat. If its a small boat say, 24 ft, you need to consider your wiegh tup there and whether it will pull the boat over. I know a very experienced guy who ended up very wet still attatched to a partly submurged mast because the crew members in the cockpit all moved to one side and started the boats heeling action. Physics and gravity took care of the rest.

To answer your question. Borrow one for now. particularly if youre only bay and day sailing. Different for an extended cruise of course.
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Old 02-09-2011, 20:59   #3
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Re: But I don't want to go up there!!

Many late model boats don't come with anchor lights (at least the two I have owned didn't) so unless you are sure there is one, it may be a bigger job than just going up to replace a bulb. Are you sure you have one?

In both of my boats, I had to run a new line and install a new light. While technically it could be done with the mast is up, I feel it is more of a job for when the mast is down (In both of my cases, I had to open up both ends of the mast to complete the job).

As for an anchor light, there are alternatives that you can use, such as running a light up with a halyard (just remember to tie a line so you can get it back down again). In fact, I have seen many boat that don't do even than and just use patio lights hanging from a shroud. That can take care of you in the short term. Personally, I like the assurance of a reliable anchor light on my masthead so I do recommend you consider doing a proper installation in the future.

That being said, owning bosun's chair is a nice to have but not a requirement, IMO. If you are a seasonal sailor you may find you rarely if ever need to have it. In my ten years of sailing I have required one 4, maybe 5, times. And frankly I was always able to get by on the "kindness of strangers". However, I now have one (which was given as a gift) so I won't have to mooch anymore...
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Old 02-09-2011, 21:19   #4
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Re: But I don't want to go up there!!

Learn to splice and build your own. Canvas with a hard seat sewn in is most comfortable. As well as checking your anchor light, you need to check the halyard sheaves at the top of the mast, unwrap a spinnaker and check the shroud and stay attachment condition from time to time... Capt Phil
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Old 02-09-2011, 21:34   #5
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Re: But I don't want to go up there!!

OZSkipper...we're on a 25ft. boat..and I will definitely never forget your words as I never want to experience that on our small boat! And ADMPRTR..I kinda entertained the "temporary" fix myself at first but quickly decided it doesn't teach me to take care of things once we get the big boat and are out cruising...and your advice helps a lot! So...if I have a bosun's chair..whether I make one or not (thank's capt Phil for that idea) I will definitely use it at least enough times to justify having one. Oh!!! Speaking of which...seeing as we've only had our boat a few months..what's a "halyard sheave"? I'm a super quick study...and I will google it at a moments notice...but what signs and symptoms am I supposed to check for?
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Old 02-09-2011, 23:31   #6
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Re: But I don't want to go up there!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BareFtGrl View Post
OZSkipper...we're on a 25ft. boat..and I will definitely never forget your words as I never want to experience that on our small boat! And ADMPRTR..I kinda entertained the "temporary" fix myself at first but quickly decided it doesn't teach me to take care of things once we get the big boat and are out cruising...and your advice helps a lot! So...if I have a bosun's chair..whether I make one or not (thank's capt Phil for that idea) I will definitely use it at least enough times to justify having one. Oh!!! Speaking of which...seeing as we've only had our boat a few months..what's a "halyard sheave"? I'm a super quick study...and I will google it at a moments notice...but what signs and symptoms am I supposed to check for?
If its just an anchor light youre concerned about, you dont need it to be on the mast head. It is quite normal to have a light on the bow. Those cheap solar lights work a treat for casual anchoring. Its the same with your nav lights. They can be on each side of the deck and quite within COLREGS in most countries.



A halyard Sheave is the "pulley" wheel that the rope runs over inside an exit box on the mast. To generalise however, a Sheave is any pulley wheel inside a block/pulley system.
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Old 02-09-2011, 23:54   #7
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Re: But I don't want to go up there!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BareFtGrl View Post
Well...we bought a sailboat..pretty cheap...with full intentions to "learn" some of the things we might need to know when we become full time cruisers (soon I might add.) Aaaannndd..we've been replacing some of those electric "things" that have needed updating, most recently, the mast lights. So we put in a new "thru-deck" receptacle and plug and bingo-bango, the steaming light works...but of all things, the anchor light at the top of the mast doesn't! Grrrrrrrrr!!! I don't have a bosun's chair yet! I guess what I'm asking is...should I buy one and keep it when we move to the bigger boat in a year of two or do I just "borrow" my neighbor's and fix the light? Might I need it a later time and write it off as one of those "must have's"?
Learn to tie a bosun's chair. Not hard, like a double bowlin knot. It'll get you up there, and, believe me you'll come down as fast as you can, hurts like a sum-a-n-bitch. Sittin' with all your weight in a single strand of rope hurts.
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Old 03-09-2011, 01:37   #8
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Re: But I don't want to go up there!!

Some of us have masts equipped with steps/folding steps to reach stuff on the mast.



For now in your situation, I'd borrow the bosun's char.

In your place, I'd borrow the bosun's chair.

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Old 03-09-2011, 03:07   #9
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Re: But I don't want to go up there!!

Make your own chair as Phil suggested. I very much doubt if you are able to capsize a boat by going up the mast, unless as stated, everyone moves to the same side.
My first boat was a 26 foot bilge keeler, no worries about going up mast.
Just remember to tie off any tools you take up with you, a dropped spanner, screw driver at worst will seriously hurt someone, at best, will put a ding in your deck
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:56   #10
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Re: But I Don't WANT to Go Up There !

G'Day BFG,

I'd say that the acquisition of a usable bosuns chair is almost a necessity at some time before you set out cruising. Besides all the uses previously mentioned, eventually you will have a halyard escape someones hand and rush to the masthead. Being able to get up there to retrieve it will save the day. Since this sort of accident is more common in one's earlier days of sailing, why not get it now ?

Besides, the view from up there is great!

Cheers,

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Old 03-09-2011, 11:00   #11
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Re: But I don't want to go up there!!

Quote:
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Learn to tie a bosun's chair. Not hard, like a double bowlin knot. It'll get you up there, and, believe me you'll come down as fast as you can, hurts like a sum-a-n-bitch. Sittin' with all your weight in a single strand of rope hurts.
Buy some insulated pipe wraps to put on the line prior to getting in the rope rig will soften the ropes a little
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:15   #12
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Re: But I Don't WANT to Go Up There !

What my father used to do in the 1970's (27 foot boat) was to borrow a bosuns chair (an old style plank of wood - knotted rope at each corner, like a garden swing).......and then winch up a small child

Probably laws against that sort of thing nowadays

Safety line was rope tied under armpits, or that could have been for something else

As I got older, I told him to f#ck off ........so he used to drop the mast In your case as only an anchor light I wouldn't bother replacing the bulb until you need to do something else up there, in the meantime use an Anchor light hauled up the mast on a halyard (with a down haul!) or otherwise above deck level.........with some skippers you are lucky if they are looking forward let alone up, so a light at eye level has an advantage when in collision range.

Having said all that dropping the mast on a new boat and checking all ok is no bad thing and on a small boat is not difficult - just about being organised, methodical and a few pairs of hands.
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:23   #13
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Re: But I Don't WANT to Go Up There !

I love all the good lessons I am learning here! Yay for me! I've been drooling over the mast steps but don't think I should bother on our temporary vessel but it's already been declared a "must have" for our next (way bigger) sailboat. So...since I didn't even think of half of the things like tying the tools or a fly away halyard, I guess I will be bosun chair shopping. Thanks Don for the rope idea...I guess only in an emergency. My poor buns hurt just imagining that! I have to say though...I didn't even realize how simple the wiring and electric stuff is. Just a pain in the butt to reach some of it. Heck, I'm sure I could rewire the entire boat myself if I were so inclined. Probably be in our best interest to just put in a whole new light fixture once I'm up there. I've got $20 in reward coupons from West Marine so I might was well make good use of them.
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:31   #14
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Re: But I Don't WANT to Go Up There !

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What my father used to do in the 1970's (27 foot boat) was to borrow a bosuns chair (an old style plank of wood - knotted rope at each corner, like a garden swing).......and then winch up a small child

Probably laws against that sort of thing nowadays
That is what children are for. I personally have never been up but my kids have saved the day on a number of occasions.

What I am holding out for is a ATN Mastclimber so I can get myself to the masthead. I understand it is a good workout to climb up but having the control over my own situation is something that appeals to me.
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:33   #15
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Re: But I Don't WANT to Go Up There !

David you really make me LMAO! I think you could quite possibly have saved our next weekend outting. I could just buy one of those inexpensive anchor lights and haul it up so that we can hang out (weather permitting) on the water all weekend, which is what I really want to do, and then get the project underway in a few weeks. Ok...got my fingers crossed for no hurricane funny stuff in the Gulf this coming weekend!
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