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Old 16-10-2013, 04:28   #16
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Re: Fall protection

I rely on an Petzl ASAP fall arrest device on a back up rope as my main protection, but with a few extra things I also have solo climb and descend gear. This is what I do:

For back up ropes I use two halyards to pull up a 60m long mountaineering rope doubled with the centre fold secured to the deck. One rope serves as the ascending rope and the other to descend. I use two lengths as transferring from the ascenders to the descender is extremely hard when the rope is tight, such as when you are hanging off it.

When working with help and using the bosun's chair, I use just one of the back up ropes to run a fall arrest device on (and hoist one end only). When working solo, I use both ends of the mountaineering rope. One to climb and the other to descend. I run the fall arrest device on the descend rope when climbing and when descending I switch the fall arrest device to the ascend rope and fit the descender onto the descend rope.

Kit list includes. An ASAP fall arrest device with shock bungee. A handle grip rope ascender and a Croll chest ascender with a shoulder strap. A Petzl I'D S descender. Petzl foot straps. Multiple caribiners and slings. One sling is used to support my back around the mast when working for a long time at the top.

The ASAP works really well. It slides nicely up and down and you can forget it is there. The problem with a prussic is you will constantly have to adjust it. There are other devices out there too, which look better and cheaper. I just bought the brand. No regrets.

A mountaineering dynamic rope of the correct thickness ideally should be used as it is designed for the job. I used a Mammut semi-static 10.5mm rope. A dynamic might be better though. It also needs to be chosen to grip the fall arrest device and the ascender correctly so be the correct thickness and construction. None of my halyards were the correct spec.

For a harness I started with a mountaineering harness, but stopped using it as it hurt too much. They are designed to just hold you in emergency. If working in your harness or climbing then you need more support and I got a spinlock harness. Still not comfortable enough, so the next step us is probably an arborists harness or rope access work/rope work harness. A full body harness seems best.

If you don't plan to climb or descend and just to use the back up rope with a fall arrest device on then I would just get a cheap mountaineering harness to supplement the bosun's chair. That way there is complete redundancy at all points of failure.

It's hard work to climb up alone, but if fall protection is the priority it is the way to go as it eliminates a major failure mode of the guy on the winch. Though that does assume you don't make mistakes instead....
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Old 16-10-2013, 06:56   #17
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Re: Fall protection

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Originally Posted by Jd1 View Post
Thanks Lee, I will look into the two Petzl devices you mentioned!
I had planned on getting a climbing harness rather than a bosuns chair or an industrial harness.

Edit: had a look-see and the grigri, the way I understand it's operation (and I am not a climber so I may very well be wrong), is not suitable for fall arresting. It is strictly a belay device and requires two hands for operation. Not something that you can just hook to a second halyard and ignore until brown stuff hits the fan. A normal fall arrestor will travel with you on the second line and requires no tending at all and locking up only when there is a fall. The Petzl I'D S might be the right thing but I have insufficient knowlidge to ascertain this for sure.
Stay away from the gri-gri. In theory they are a great idea but their intended use does not fit this application well. I have a lot of experience with those devices and belaying in general and they are not as fool proof as they claim to be. Especially if you ease onto them they can slip they are more designed to be quickly loaded with weight.

Most climbing gear does not work extraordinarily well with climbing masts on a block system and all climbing gear is also designed to be used with climbing rope not halyards. There is a difference in how well they work with different types of ropes.

It amazes me sometimes how much training, preparation, and safety goes into rock climbing and yet in a lot of cases how little can go into climbing masts.

My recommendation is if you are going to use climbing gear to climb the mast take the time to get the proper training on its operation and intended use. Please don't just buy it and figure it out, small things like rope diameter and material makes a huge difference.

Sorry i'll get off my soap box now
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Old 16-10-2013, 07:25   #18
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Re: Fall protection

Halyards.

You could slide down the genoa, if the boat is small and the genoa is furled.

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Old 16-10-2013, 12:57   #19
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Re: Fall protection

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Halyards.

You could slide down the genoa, if the boat is small and the genoa is furled.

b.
Yeah .... riiiiight .... I will go ahead and do that <ROFL> .... probably would be easier and less painful to just let go and splat on the deck
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Old 16-10-2013, 18:02   #20
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Re: Fall protection

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Yeah .... riiiiight .... I will go ahead and do that <ROFL> .... probably would be easier and less painful to just let go and splat on the deck
Well, another good reason to own a Lagoon I think ;-)

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Old 15-03-2014, 12:41   #21
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Re: Fall protection

Hi everyone - I'm a student doing a project on fall protection equipment. I was wondering if you could answer some of my questions:

Do you take issue with the style or price of the harnesses that are available? Or is it that you have a hard time ascending and descending when you're in the harness? Are the current harnesses uncomfortable for you? What would your ideal product look like?
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Old 15-03-2014, 12:57   #22
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Re: Fall protection

My ideal product would be a nice-fitting pair of shorts made of Cordura, hemmed with climbing tape, with cargo-pants pockets and a strongpoint front and rear centre. Probably a pair of front strong-points would be better, either side of -- and bridging -- the fly, when connected by a carabiner.

Possibly with side loops as well to allow short-tether breast lines, when helming or taking celestial shots in bad weather.
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