Mast climbing

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cpedw
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Mast climbing

Postby cpedw » Sat Nov 19, 2011 11:14 am

I've spent a long time looking for an easier way to get to the top of the mast. The way we do it (typical cruisers - not very young, not very fit couple) involves me going up (Jane refuses point blank to leave the deck upwards unless the ground is involved) and me supplying most of the effort required (I'm too heavy/Jane's too feeble - not sure which).

Then I saw this Rescue Ladder. It's long enough to get to the cross trees where the climber can perch while, with some co-operation from the deck, it is raised the rest of the way to let me climb to the top.

What do the august memebers of the team think of this scheme? Tantalisingly it's about 1 metre too short for Blue Shift but if the principle is workable then maybe a slightly longer version could be sourced.

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Derek

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marisca
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Re: Mast climbing

Postby marisca » Sat Nov 19, 2011 11:34 am

I got a webbing mast ladder (likehttp://www.mastmate.com/) with the boat and have no difficulty in hauling my 15st 60+y.o. body to the top of the mast. Only thing that the bosun's chair is better for is getting head and shoulders above the masthead, e.g. I tried soldering wires for tricolour and gave up. For re-reaving halyards, changing bulbs, straightening Windex, checking split pins, re-aligning furler halyard stop, replacing spinnaker halyard block, replacing broken Raymarine wind instrument (I think that's all I've used it for), it is absolutely fine and needs no other person to do it.

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Re: Mast climbing

Postby Pete Cooper » Sat Nov 19, 2011 2:26 pm

I think that the Defee mast lader is probably slightly better than the Mastmate as the Defee has rigid rungs. It slots into the mainsail track and is hoisted up on the main halyard and you then climb it. The downside of anything like this seems to be that because the ladder is nearly vertical it is much harder to climb than a more conventional angled ladder, and you need to hang on to stop falling backwards off it. Still easier than a bosun's chair though.
The Deffee(for a 31ft boat) rolls into a bag about the size of a sleeping bag so stowage is not a problem.

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sahona
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Re: Mast climbing

Postby sahona » Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:58 pm

The OPs device seems to be a flame-proof rope ladder which -
A - will be unstable unless attached to the mast somehow (like the next two posters' - in the groove)
B - could be made of rope at the right length cheaply if that's really what you want.

We use the electric anchor windlass and bosuns chair, which means the lady of the boat can get me up there without involving strength. We have two bosuns chairs, but she refuses to use hers...
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Afrita
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Re: Mast climbing

Postby Afrita » Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:31 am

I wondered about a ladder when I realised I might need to get up the mast without help owing to the mate needing to concentrate on childcare. I wasn't convinced that it would be that easy - rungs swinging around and it's hard to operate a safety line on your own.

I now use a climbing harness and a couple ascenders along with a belay device to abseil back down, see: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5239. I don;t climb, so knew little of this type of stuff but I did get some helpful advice from the chap at Tiso in the Ratho climbing centre who was also happy to throw in some old rope to practice with at home and at a sensible height first.

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Re: Mast climbing

Postby ubergeekian » Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:59 am

Afrita wrote:I now use a climbing harness and a couple ascenders along with a belay device to abseil back down, see: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5239. I don;t climb, so knew little of this type of stuff but I did get some helpful advice from the chap at Tiso in the Ratho climbing centre who was also happy to throw in some old rope to practice with at home and at a sensible height first.


You can do an evening course at Ratho which teaches you belaying and stuff and then allows you to use the place without instruction. I'm planning to do it soon (The Boy is interested) - I wonder if they would do a mast climbing course for yotties?
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Re: Mast climbing

Postby Pete Cooper » Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:06 pm

Afrita wrote:I wasn't convinced that it would be that easy - rungs swinging around and it's hard to operate a safety line on your own.


With the Deffee the rungs aren't swinging around - they are fastened to the mainsail track and are relatively stable.

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marisca
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Re: Mast climbing

Postby marisca » Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:52 pm

Afrita wrote:I wasn't convinced that it would be that easy - rungs swinging around and it's hard to operate a safety line on your own.


I tried using a safety line with my webbing ladder - it just made life a lot more difficult. The rungs don't move around; I always have a 3-point attachment - only one limb moving at a time; and it is really simple to scamper up and down to get the thing I forgot to take up with me.

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Fingal
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Re: Mast climbing

Postby Fingal » Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:51 pm

marisca wrote:
Afrita wrote:I wasn't convinced that it would be that easy - rungs swinging around and it's hard to operate a safety line on your own.


I tried using a safety line with my webbing ladder - it just made life a lot more difficult. The rungs don't move around; I always have a 3-point attachment - only one limb moving at a time; and it is really simple to scamper up and down to get the thing I forgot to take up with me.

I look forward to seeing Marisca performing the role of 'button boy', doing a headstand on the masthead....
Ken
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marisca
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Re: Mast climbing

Postby marisca » Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:55 pm

Green Boat wrote:I look forward to seeing Marisca performing the role of 'button boy', doing a headstand on the masthead....


There's the Windex, an anchor light, the tri-colour, the wind instrument, and the VHF aerial up there already. Where am I supposed to find a place to do a head stand? Falling off is much more likely.

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Re: Mast climbing

Postby ubergeekian » Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:34 pm

marisca wrote:There's the Windex, an anchor light, the tri-colour, the wind instrument, and the VHF aerial up there already.


A wind instrument? That's a hella funny place to keep your tuba.
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Fingal
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Re: Mast climbing

Postby Fingal » Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:26 pm

ubergeekian wrote:
marisca wrote:There's the Windex, an anchor light, the tri-colour, the wind instrument, and the VHF aerial up there already.


A wind instrument? That's a hella funny place to keep your tuba.

:lol: :lol:
Ken
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Nick
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Re: Mast climbing

Postby Nick » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:53 pm

.
We have a Deffee. I agree with Pete, it's the easiest solution if you are not a natural climber.
- Nick 8)

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claymore
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Re: Mast climbing

Postby claymore » Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:49 am

What about if you are a social climber?
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wully
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Re: Mast climbing

Postby wully » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:55 pm

I had one of those mast ladder things that go in the luff groove. The soft foot loops were a bit of a pain to get your feet into and not very comfortable to stand in once at the top of the mast. The 'hands free' belt was a good idea but you needed both hands to fasten it....a slight design flaw I'm thinking.

As for bosuns chairs- I sold mine as it was brutally uncomfortable. A cheap climbing harness is ermmm, cheaper than a bosuns chair ( probably as it hasn't got the words 'boat' or 'yacht' on it anywhere ) and FAR more comfortable.


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