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Old 22-05-2008, 15:57   #1
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Climbing the Mast Safety

A fireman fellow boater showed me a great safety procedure when climbing the mast.
This is in addition to however you go up the mast, whether being hoisted on a halyard, or climbing steps, etc.
Attach a spare halyard to the base of the mast, and tension it with a winch, and cleat it off.
Attach a loop of line as shown in the attachemnt. Attach it to your harness.It's a form of rolling hitch. As you go up, slide the knot up the tensioned halyard, as you go. If the hoisting halyard fails, or you fall off the steps, etc, the knot will jam on the tensioned halyard and stop your desent.
I hope the attachment works. (first time)

My friend told me the type of line and size. Can't remember exactly. I think it was a metric size. It's a braided line about 5/16" dia.
Make one and try it without actually going up the mast. It works great.
He told me to use 2 carabiners, put on the line in different directions, for extra safety.
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Old 22-05-2008, 17:17   #2
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Not a bad idea.
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Old 22-05-2008, 17:42   #3
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It's called a prusik (Prusik - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) knot and has been used by rock climbers for decades. I have successfully used it to climb a mast several times. I use a climbing harness with one prusik sling tied to the harness, and another with two webbing loops for the feet. You push the harness sling up a halyard as far up as you can, then put your weight on this sling and push up the sling attached to the foot loops. Then you stand up on the foot loops and repeat the process. The halyard needs to be under tension so the prusik knots will be easy to push up. It's a good idea to have another halyard tied to your harness and belayed by a crew member.
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Old 23-05-2008, 01:44   #4
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Jumar” ascenders offer similar functionality as Prusik knots, but are stronger, faster, safer, and easier to use.

Notwithstanding, for this and other uses, the Prusik knot (triple sliding hitch) should be in every sailor’s arsenal of skills.

Climbing Friction Knots, such as the Prusik, are described here:
Rock Climbing Knots: Friction
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mast, safety

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