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Old 21-08-2014, 11:19   #1
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Going up the Mast

OK I've gotten the Bosun's chair and intend to go up and see what kind of anchor light I have as I want to go LED.
In using the main halyard to go up, do you use a knot in the halyard? I don't know much about lines and am assuming the splice may be a weak point?
Or don't worry about it, the splice is the strongest part of the line?
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Old 21-08-2014, 11:39   #2
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Re: Going up the mast

I've always just used a bowline in the halyard to secure to the chair.
Inspect the halyard first, then have you and a partner put full weight on the halyard.
And, don't forget, use a back up line as well.
Stay safe.
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Old 21-08-2014, 11:51   #3
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Re: Going up the mast

Making the Bowline on a bite is new to me, I can see it coming in handy mast raising with the main. Tie off to and use Jib hoist and Main sheet. Safety first... :thumbup:
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Old 21-08-2014, 12:01   #4
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Re: Going up the mast

If you can tie a figure of 8 on the bight that is even better than a bowline, it's the knot of choice for rope access and climbers. Bowlines are good but 8's are better.

I tie one to the bosun's chair directly and actually tie my safety line around my waist so I am physically tied on, just in case the chair breaks.

I am thinking of ditching the chair and investing in a full body sit harness combined with a pair of webbing stirrups that I can clip on to the top of the mast and stand up in. Got to be more comfortable and secure than the bosuns chair.

The other option I have seen is the Fibrelight ladder that you can hoist up the mast with the foot secured to the midships cleat or base of the shrouds, then you tie on to the topping lift and climb up.

Keiron
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Old 21-08-2014, 12:04   #5
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Re: Going up the mast

Get the DVD by Brion Toss called "Going Aloft". It explains the proper procedures and equipment needed to safely go up the mast. It is worth the $ to see how a professional does it right.
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Old 21-08-2014, 12:23   #6
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Re: Going up the mast

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Originally Posted by kas_1611 View Post
If you can tie a figure of 8 on the bight that is even better than a bowline, it's the knot of choice for rope access and climbers. Bowlines are good but 8's are better.
+1!!!!!

Most people in the rock climbing community shun the bowline. It is a great knot for sailing not climbing.

I strongly recommend to treat climbing the mast just like climbing a rock face. The big difference is climbing ropes are designed for shock loads if you fall and the rope catches you. The halyards on your boat are not.

Personally I wear my rock climbing harness and tie in with a figure 8 or use a double 8 and clip in with 2 carabiners. Also because they are halyards and not climbing ropes I use the main halyard as my primary and then use the spinnaker halyard as a safety back up should the main halyard fail.

It amazes me how people top roping a 30 foot rock face put in so much effort to safety but people climbing a 40 or 50 foot mast become very laissez faire about it.
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Old 21-08-2014, 12:24   #7
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Re: Going up the mast

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Get the DVD by Brion Toss called "Going Aloft". It explains the proper procedures and equipment needed to safely go up the mast. It is worth the $ to see how a professional does it right.
OK, just google going aloft?
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Old 21-08-2014, 12:27   #8
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Re: Going up the mast

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It amazes me how people top roping a 30 foot rock face put in so much effort to safety but people climbing a 40 or 50 foot mast become very laissez faire about it.
Sorry let me clarify this. I didn't mean you A64 or anyone else that has posted so far. I just meant in general.

Didn't want anyone to take that the wrong way
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Old 21-08-2014, 12:32   #9
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Re: Going up the mast

I'm no expert, but when I go up I tie off the chair or in my case a climbing harness with a double bowline or double figure 8 knot. Then I always tie the safety directly to me using a bowline or figure 8. Make sure the safety and primary are on two separate winches and the person down below isn't an idiot or drunk and knows what they're doing. Do a rehearsal at low altitude before you go up.

Advance up only 3-4 ft at a time, then bring up the safety.

I was 72ft up one time, and watched as the drunken idiot below unwrapped two windings from both winches, then just let both lines slide through his hands simultaneously for me to descend way too fast, Never again. Now it's either my wife below along with help, or I go up alone using a climbing harness.

One more thing... Wear a helmet, even a bicycle helmet is better than nothing. There's a lot of movement up there and things to bang into.
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Old 21-08-2014, 12:34   #10
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Re: Going up the mast

I just went up a couple of weeks ago, first time in over 20 years. Jib halyard (yes I used a bowline, when you say figure 8 do you mean the same knot I use as a stopper?), with spinnaker halyard as backup, cleated off high enough to keep me from dropping all the way down. Replaced the steaming light bulb. I was mostly nervous about dropping something, and about my husband dropping me down too fast (he was very careful and it all went fine). He's 11 inches taller and 100 lbs heavier, so I'd rather go up than be the one cranking him up. Nice view up there.
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Old 21-08-2014, 12:46   #11
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Re: Going up the mast

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when you say figure 8 do you mean the same knot I use as a stopper?), .
Sort of. You actually start with the figure 8 stopper knot, then wrap it through the harness and then trace the end of the line back over the figure 8. Check out this site it shows you how to tie it.

Figure 8 Follow Through | How to tie the Figure 8 Follow Through | Climbing Knots


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Old 21-08-2014, 12:50   #12
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Re: Going up the mast

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OK, just google going aloft?
No, but "brion toss going aloft" will get it though. It is also available at many chandliers.
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Old 21-08-2014, 12:54   #13
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Re: Going up the mast

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Originally Posted by Cuttyhunk View Post
I just went up a couple of weeks ago, first time in over 20 years. Jib halyard (yes I used a bowline, when you say figure 8 do you mean the same knot I use as a stopper?).
No, a double figure 8 is a climbing knot. Completely different.
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Old 21-08-2014, 13:38   #14
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Re: Going up the mast

I usually use a bowline in the bight and secure the end loop in the cabrina as well. We have a 2:1 halyard so I make it just above the main block, carefully if you clip on the block instead, loose clothing and body parts can be sucked in easily!
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Old 21-08-2014, 13:54   #15
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Re: Going up the mast

The very professional rigger that I have used, uses a bowline to attach his rig to the main halyard. Nigel Calder also recommends a bowline. Anyone ever had a bowline fail?????

I just went up for the first time a couple of weeks ago. Just to the spreaders. Baby steps....

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