I, too, have some climbing questions, and so as not to hijack the thread but add to it, I will ask them in a relative fashion...
My boat is a mere 27' vessel, and the mast "I" is about 35-ish feet. That puts total mast height above waterline at the head
someplace near 44 feet or less, if my math is right. Above deck
, it is about 35 though. The cross section of the mast is rather narrow, and it is likely the original spar set.
I am dropping the mast in the coming month or so, and rewiring it as well as installing new running rigging
. My question has to do with access once that is accomplished and the mast is repositioned atop the deck (it is deck-stepped). I have no illusion that I will surely forget something (like adding the third or fourth halyard, repairing the steaming lights aloft, or some such foolishness), and I will also want to maintain the masthead fittings if possible.
I am going to redesign and build a standing lift
that I can prop against the mast near the peak to examine and work
on the very top after I am aloft, akin to a device I once used to climb trees (a hunting trick), which essentially is a notch cut into a plank that is strapped to the feet, allowing me to stand higher at the last little bit, and using a safety tether around the mast to keep me close to it). I could use such a device to climb the mast if it was rougher, but it is slick as can be aluminum
, so that will probably only be useful standing at the top, if at all... I may be able to apply a non-slip rubbery finish to the plank, though, so...??
I weigh a shade under 300 pounds, and am 6'2" tall. I am losing weight slowly, but let's for the sake of discussion keep me at 300 lbs. I need to determine what could benefit me to lift
my plump arse up the mast, given that the Admiral does not have the strength, nor the desire (she is afraid, I believe, and that is not a winning situation), to be able to winch
me up there, allow me to work
, then retrieve me safely.
I have been considering if there is some way such as a motorized winch or perhaps another means of lifting myself, or using blocks and tackle, a chain hoist on a halyard (or better, two or three), or any number of other devices to lift myself to the top of this mast.
Currently, as stated, the running rigging
is not installed, but I believe that the sheaves are still present, the halyards have just been removed. The PO was going to drop the mast, apparently, and repair some mast step compression
in the cabin
top, and the same is my goal at first.
Still, after the mast is restepped, I still will have to go aloft at times to handle things, change bulbs, etc., and I need to arrive upon a low cost, relatively safe method of doing so, and preferably that method can be stored aboard within reasonable space of storage
. Items that can do double duty of course get better nods than those that are only useful for this single issue.
I currently do not have an anchor
windlass, but may consider adding one. I also do not have but three single speed winches on deck (2 size 7's and a 6), and none are aimed such that they would directly put tension on lines that run up the mast. There are two winch mounting plates (one either side) at chest level (for me) on the sides of the mast itself, but I would need to add winches to these mounting points (also willing to do, and probably will do in fact, regardless of whether they factor into this issue).
top appears to be plenty solid with my 300 lbs standing upon it, only giving slightly at the mast step itself at the moment, and that is soon to be remedied with a great deal of fiberglass
, and ply material coring (or resin and glass alone, not sure yet) that I am about to install.
I am new to lifting myself aloft, but have used a bosun's chair (was lowered and lifted by someone else) in the distant past (US Navy service
as well as work in other related fields), and was half this weight of body during those exercises.
I have not used pruissic knots or other climbing knots and ascension methods before, so would have to learn how to handle those should that be the best option. However, if I can use a winch of some sort and a remote
, that may be best, I am unsure.
What options do I have, and what would be the first I should consider, if you have enough info to make a suggestion? Also, would that suggestion apply to the original and additional posters on this thread? What risks are present with that method? What benefits are present? What emergency
procedures would be useful should that method fail to work as intended?