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Old 06-09-2011, 04:50   #1
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Up the Mast

As earlier posted, while getting ready for Irene my wife suggested pulling up the jib halyard so it wouldn't wrap up on anything. Not thinking I let her do it before I realized I had nothing to get it back down.

So this weekend we go to the boat to put it all back together after the hurricane (boat was just fine). I decide to rig a hoop and loft it up with the spinnaker halyard to loop around the furler top. This worked, but couldn't get it to pull back down.

So now I have 2 lines stuck at the top of the mast. After thinking about my options and feeling cheap that day I decide it's time for one of us to go up the stick. Now we had never done this, but did know the procedure and had a bosum chair.

So since my started this and feeling that it was going to be easier for me to winch her up than the other way; we try to put my wife into the chair. But the chair wouldn't up past her butt........... So I get in the chair!

So I climb up on top of the boom and she starts winching me up. Meanwhile I'm looking up and thinking "damn that's a looong way". I know it's going to be 62 feet off the water and I don't really like heights.

Wife does a good job getting me to the first spreader, where I stand up and give her a break. So far so good. Then she starts winching me higher and now I'm starting to run into the various stays for the B&R rig that are in the way and she is sloooowing down.

I finally get up there. Free the jib halyard and tie the spinnaker halyard to me as a back-up for the trip down. On the way up I'm been bounced and banged on the rigging etc.

Wife starts letting me down and I hear her say "I should have taken a picture". next thing I know I'm hanging in the air and there doesn't seem to be anyone playing attention to me anymore.

Because she left me and went an found the camera:
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Old 06-09-2011, 05:00   #2
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Re: Up the Mast

" HE flies through the air, with the greatest of ease,
That daring young man on the-- jib halyard??"

Now, take the harder working team member out to dinner
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Old 06-09-2011, 05:16   #3
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Re: Up the Mast

Good deal all around...next time bring the camera with you and get a nice shot looking down!
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Old 06-09-2011, 05:23   #4
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Re: Up the Mast

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Good deal all around...next time bring the camera with you and get a nice shot looking down!

I thought of this afterwards, but wasn't back up. I do have some pictures of the various bruises that have now come up for the beating I took.
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Old 06-09-2011, 06:18   #5
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Re: Up the Mast

Mel is half my weight, and a mountain climber. I am uneasy with standing on the edge of a cliff, or building. I have been up the mast of Frolic for work. I was hanging on more than working. I have been up to the first spreaders on Imagine in an emergency. Once it was resolved I was uneasy, but getting up was no problem....the human mind

Mel left for the U.S. 3 days ago. Before she left she went up the mast several times in one day. Once to clear out a worn lazy jack line. Second to look everything over at the top of the mast. She took pictures, and videos rather than try to describe to me what she found on the third trip.

The first trip up she was hesitant a wee bit, but by the third she was a monkey going for a banana. If I could only figure out how to get them out of the phone......i2f
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Old 06-09-2011, 08:49   #6
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Re: Up the Mast

Don, just curious, with both the jib and spinnaker halyards "up there", I guess you used the main halyard so what did you use for a safety line?
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:13   #7
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Re: Up the Mast

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Don, just curious, with both the jib and spinnaker halyards "up there", I guess you used the main halyard so what did you use for a safety line?
On the way up, just my hope and the misplaced faith of the grip of my legs around the mast (should see the bruises on my inner thighs). In other words, nothing! Once up to the first spreader there were stays that I could grab onto to take some weight, but couldn't have hung on long enough to matter if things got bad.

On the way down I had the spinnaker halyard on as back-up.

In hindsight I probably could have rigged up the topping lift somehow. Would have required attaching a line to the end of it. And on the way up My wife would have had to keep going forward to the mast and tying it off. I bet if it had been winding and rocky it would have occurred to me; maybe.

Other than that I've now been up the stick, the biggest lesson I learned is that I bet I never let that halyard get pulled up without a line on it to bring it back down again.
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:43   #8
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Re: Up the Mast

Had an experience where a fellow boater was in distress as his roller furler had failed and his forestay had failed with it. Just the halyard and sail were supporting the mast. He talked me into hoisting him up on the only remaining halyard(main). When he finally got back down I released my grip on the winch handle and the winch barrel fell onto the deck with assorted parts. We just looked at each other with jaws dropped.
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:30   #9
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Re: Up the Mast

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Had an experience where a fellow boater was in distress as his roller furler had failed and his forestay had failed with it. Just the halyard and sail were supporting the mast. He talked me into hoisting him up on the only remaining halyard(main). When he finally got back down I released my grip on the winch handle and the winch barrel fell onto the deck with assorted parts. We just looked at each other with jaws dropped.
I like my steps
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:42   #10
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Re: Up the Mast

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I like my steps
Yup, and a climbing harness instead of a bosun's chair...

Michael
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:46   #11
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Re: Up the Mast

I love being at the top of the mast. I can just sit there observing. I hate getting up there. It's definitely not for the weak being on either end; winching or climbing. I try to help going up by pulling up on the shrouds etc with my arms. It's great advice to have a helper on board down below due to the effort required and possible complications like an overwrap on the winch. I usually setup and use the primary winch if the leading is decent, unless i have a helper who is built like an America's Cup grinder... I use a harness so I can clip on somewhere while I'm working or if problems occur below.
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Old 06-09-2011, 11:10   #12
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Re: Up the Mast

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Originally Posted by svcambria View Post
Yup, and a climbing harness instead of a bosun's chair...

Michael
Yup..
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Old 06-09-2011, 11:13   #13
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Re: Up the Mast

Had a mast climbing last weekend at the local yacht club. One fella was hoisted up in bosun's chair and fall harness. Bosun chair wasn't winched up enough and left him hanging about 2 " from the chair. He didn't think anything of it. 20 minutes later he was having problems breathing and yelled to get him down quick, then passed out.

While trying to lower him his leg got on the wrong side of the spreader and he hung up. Took a few more minutes to haul him back up until his leg cleared the spreader. We got him down and he is ok, but I am now a believer in a fall harness and a fall harness footline when going aloft.

I've always heard a harness could put you out if you "hung around" long enough. I didn't believe it until now.
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Old 06-09-2011, 11:51   #14
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Re: Up the Mast

ATN Mast Climber. ATN Mastclimber About the most indispensible maintenance item I've bought for the boat.
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Old 06-09-2011, 12:41   #15
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Re: Up the Mast

+1 on the steps. I love climbing the mast.
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