Jules

Mast Climber

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I saw the guy across the canal pull himself to the top of the mast in no time.  I could hear a ratcheting sound.  He's in a bosun's chair, no feet stirrups.

Anyone know what device he might be using?

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1 minute ago, bloodshot said:

a climbing ascender?

probably something like this

https://www.rei.com/product/884290/petzl-ascension-ascender-right

He was pulling a line and ascending that way.  His pulls were longer than his ascent so it had to be some sort of ratcheting device.

I saw something like that in a video but don't remember where. 

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I think I found it.  This video sounds the same as what I heard.  It's from Swi-Tec and ain't cheap!

 

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Only $1500.

The guy in the demo is connecting to the halyards using snap shackles...  I think a bowline would be much safer....

 

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39 minutes ago, Jules said:

I think I found it.  This video sounds the same as what I heard.  It's from Swi-Tec and ain't cheap!

Anything using arm power is a huge amount of work no matter what. My rigger has a block and tackle with very large diameter sheaves and large 3-strand line. 3 or 4 to one. He is wiry and fit. Looks great going up. Very impressive. Will only do it a few times before exhaustion, though. He much prefers using the crane at the yard.

Electric winch or leg power is the way to go. With all the applicable safety arrangements. 

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15 minutes ago, El Boracho said:

Anything using arm power is a huge amount of work no matter what.

If you saw that guy zip up the mast you would thought he had wings.  It seemed effortless.  Hand over hand to the top in less than 30 seconds, on a ~40' sloop.

118432793_swi-tec-mastlift-13m1.thumb.jpg.995d36eeca85b2b8b31a73294d20591c.jpg

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1 hour ago, Jules said:

If you saw that guy zip up the mast you would thought he had wings.  It seemed effortless.  Hand over hand to the top in less than 30 seconds, on a ~40' sloop.

Interesting. But the guy in the video is pulling briskly but barely moving. Looks like it will take a quarter hour, and considerable work, to reach the top. No way around the actual work required to lift a body and tools 4 or more stories up. Faced with a four story stairway ascent I choose the lift or my legs over my arms every time. Especially with the hard-and-fast rule that something  will be forgotten on the first try.

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2 hours ago, gbkersey said:

Only $1500.

The guy in the demo is connecting to the halyards using snap shackles...  I think a bowline would be much safer....

 

I think in climbing world those would be figure-8's with a follow-through.

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Why invent something so complicated when using leg straps and your legs to help you get up with some simple climbing gear will do? Are there a lot of double amputees looking to climb the mast with only arms?

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How about something with a 200lb counterweight ? Host that up first using a winch, then you go up while it comes down. 

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20 minutes ago, Essex said:

How about something with a 200lb counterweight ? Host that up first using a winch, then you go up while it comes down. 

The theory is great. The details need careful attention. Having 200 lbs overhead could be an issue. Getting the weight fouled on something could get interesting. Then there are the unknown unknowns...

I use a multi-part tackle with a ratchet block at may on my harness. Ratchet on while ascending / working, off when descending. It has the advantage that I can use my legs to secure myself to the mast -- ie. I might be able to not die if trying it offshore. I have an ascender on an arm length line that I use to haul on the tail. I also usually put an ascender on a separate line (ideally on a separate halyard) that follows me up. I give a fair bit of consideration to where the tail of the tackle gets. If it all goes pear shaped I can detach and descend on the second line. Works for me. It's all ad hoc and seriously dangerous so I don't suggest it for anyone else. I much prefer having someone hoist me up but I have done many up and down trips in a day. It's work but it's doable.

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4 hours ago, apophenia said:

Second this. Read through the L-36 articles about the various mast climbing methods and the downsides to the various systems and pick one you are comfortable. I use one of the ones that Allen recommends for people who are a bit more experienced with climbing and I can get up and down my mast by myself with relative ease. 

Allen posts here too and is a great source of knowledge His L-36 website linked above is a pretty great trove of information too. 

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One of my crew is a rigger. He has a 4:1 upside down so he is pulling from the top. It has a ratchet and he is up a mast in no time. Then he ties it off.

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1 hour ago, Meat Wad said:

One of my crew is a rigger. He has a 4:1 upside down so he is pulling from the top. It has a ratchet and he is up a mast in no time. Then he ties it off.

I use 3:1* rigged the usual way with the ratchet attached to my climbing harness. With the ratchet engaged I have to feed the line around it to descend. I prefer to disengage it for descent. With a 4:1 tackle and the ratchet at the masthead descending might be difficult... 

image.png.ddfa61c7f5289986b44c4e65aaf7fcfb.png

*3:1 rigged 4:1 advantage as used.

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Tie a bucket to the end of a halyard and run it through a snatch block at the rail, throttle her up or be sailing a a good clip, climb in the chair and throw the bucket over the side, up you go, just be sure to hold on when you get to the top incase the bucket jumps out of the water when your halyard two blocks at the top.  Definitely a Darwin Award winning method.

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15 hours ago, Essex said:

How about something with a 200lb counterweight ? Host that up first using a winch, then you go up while it comes down. 

 

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You could run a block to the top of the mast with a few hundred feet of line and tie one end to your bosun's chair and the other to the bumper of a car driven by a drunk friend.

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Buckets, cars, counterweights, all good thinking if only wild ideas to put out there. Now where can we work some bungee, helium balloons and drones into the solution ?

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One more reason to install a filipina with a history of stealing coconuts...

 

77F2AA0D-3681-45F4-A69D-1419876959EA.jpeg

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I got to borrow a mast climbing ladder from a friend of mine,  you hoist it up the groove for the bolt rope on one halyard and step up the mast with a safety line of a second (jib) halyard tied to a harness- super fast and easy- felt very secure- like to get one for myself 

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I got the mast mate.  Just walk up (stay clipped in though)

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That’s pretty sweet looking. Every yacht club should have one to loan to any and all members. 

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11 hours ago, Latadjust said:

I got to borrow a mast climbing ladder from a friend of mine,  you hoist it up the groove for the bolt rope on one halyard and step up the mast with a safety line of a second (jib) halyard tied to a harness- super fast and easy- felt very secure- like to get one for myself 

This is the only thing I've seen on here that doesn't sound like a workaround for being inefficient with ascenders.

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I have used an ATN mast climber for a long time.  I have the one that you hoist a climbing line with but now I think the jumars they use just snap around the halyards.  Simple and pretty easy to use.

 

--Kevin

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So, since we're on the subject of mast climbing, I've been trying to suss out the physics/possibilities of going up the mast on my wee boat.  It's a 26.5' Hunter, wing keel of 1800 lbs ballast and a ~32' mast.  Think that's enough counterweight for a 200 lb guy to go up the mast?  I know it's easier to get the crane at the marina to just take it down, but (call me silly) I really wanted to try to ascend the mast, just for practice.

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38 minutes ago, bplipschitz said:

So, since we're on the subject of mast climbing, I've been trying to suss out the physics/possibilities of going up the mast on my wee boat.  It's a 26.5' Hunter, wing keel of 1800 lbs ballast and a ~32' mast.  Think that's enough counterweight for a 200 lb guy to go up the mast?  I know it's easier to get the crane at the marina to just take it down, but (call me silly) I really wanted to try to ascend the mast, just for practice.

Sailboatdata claims you have 1800 pounds at around 2 feet deep. That's 3600 foot-pounds. You at the masthead is 200 pounds at 39 feet off the water is 7800 foot pounds. Pretty wild assumptions about where the center is...but if you go up make sure there is clear water for 40 feet either side of the boat, and have a plan.

A 32 foot stick is trivial for two or more people to unstep. Easiest on a trailer, but do-able in the water if the monkeys can keep the boat from rolling too much.

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56 minutes ago, El Boracho said:

Sailboatdata claims you have 1800 pounds at around 2 feet deep. That's 3600 foot-pounds. You at the masthead is 200 pounds at 39 feet off the water is 7800 foot pounds. Pretty wild assumptions about where the center is...but if you go up make sure there is clear water for 40 feet either side of the boat, and have a plan.

A 32 foot stick is trivial for two or more people to unstep. Easiest on a trailer, but do-able in the water if the monkeys can keep the boat from rolling too much.

The 1800 lbs is really more like 4.5 foot deep (think the 'center of rollin' (?) would be close to the water line), but that was essentially my analysis, too.  No real need to go up, so I can practice ascending lines at home held up by stout trees.  Thanks for the input.

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18 minutes ago, bplipschitz said:

The 1800 lbs is really more like 4.5 foot deep (think the 'center of rollin' (?) would be close to the water line), but that was essentially my analysis, too.  No real need to go up, so I can practice ascending lines at home held up by stout trees.  Thanks for the input.

If I found the right specs I think, 4400lb displacement?  Your boat is very similar in size to a J-24.  Would I go up the mast on a J-24?  Hell friggin NO!

It's real easy to just lower the rig with a gin pole on a boat that size.

 

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1 hour ago, bplipschitz said:

The 1800 lbs is really more like 4.5 foot deep (think the 'center of rollin' (?) would be close to the water line), but that was essentially my analysis, too.  No real need to go up, so I can practice ascending lines at home held up by stout trees.  Thanks for the input.

Don't think that is how it works. Sailboatdata says you draw only 3.5 feet. Much of the lead is above that. The CG and CB are normally quite close to the waterline. Depends on the complex analysis of whether the CB moves faster abeam, proportionally, than your excess cheeseburgers at the masthead. All is good until something upsets the balance then over you go.

She's a small boat. Give it a try. Have someone hold your beer. What could possible go wrong? Report back with pics.

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3 hours ago, bgytr said:

If I found the right specs I think, 4400lb displacement?  Your boat is very similar in size to a J-24.  Would I go up the mast on a J-24?  Hell friggin NO!

It's real easy to just lower the rig with a gin pole on a boat that size.

 

once saw a fat fuck go up the pole on a j80 as we headed out to the race course.

Quiz kids got it sideways to slow but constantly rolling waves as he was nearing the masthead

Next thing you know the dude is self waterboarding himself and the crew is scrambling   

Funny shit...

 

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4 hours ago, El Boracho said:

Don't think that is how it works. Sailboatdata says you draw only 3.5 feet. Much of the lead is above that. The CG and CB are normally quite close to the waterline. Depends on the complex analysis of whether the CB moves faster abeam, proportionally, than your excess cheeseburgers at the masthead. All is good until something upsets the balance then over you go.

She's a small boat. Give it a try. Have someone hold your beer. What could possible go wrong? Report back with pics.

 

5 hours ago, toad said:

or pull it over with a halyard

This.

It will at least give you some idea of the weight/strength required....

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On 8/7/2020 at 4:54 PM, El Boracho said:

Don't think that is how it works. Sailboatdata says you draw only 3.5 feet. Much of the lead is above that. The CG and CB are normally quite close to the waterline. Depends on the complex analysis of whether the CB moves faster abeam, proportionally, than your excess cheeseburgers at the masthead. All is good until something upsets the balance then over you go.

She's a small boat. Give it a try. Have someone hold your beer. What could possible go wrong? Report back with pics.

*Theoretically* it only draws 3.5.  My boat, with all its crap, draws about 4-4.5.  And, having knicked the keel once, I'm pretty sure the lead is in the 'wing' at the very bottom of the keel.  Sure tasted like lead.  Hasn't affected me at all. . .

Again, this was a theoretical exercise.  I'll try ascending trees first.  Hands off my homebrew!

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On 8/7/2020 at 3:44 PM, El Boracho said:

Sailboatdata claims you have 1800 pounds at around 2 feet deep. That's 3600 foot-pounds. You at the masthead is 200 pounds at 39 feet off the water is 7800 foot pounds. Pretty wild assumptions about where the center is...but if you go up make sure there is clear water for 40 feet either side of the boat, and have a plan.

A 32 foot stick is trivial for two or more people to unstep. Easiest on a trailer, but do-able in the water if the monkeys can keep the boat from rolling too much.

I was curious one time how much I could heel my dad's 45'er by pulling on the halyard.  I ran the halyard out as far as I could, walked down the dock to the farthest finger dock I could make.  Got directly in line with the mast and tugged on it with all my strength.  The top of the mast barely moved.

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4 hours ago, Jules said:

I was curious one time how much I could heel my dad's 45'er by pulling on the halyard.  I ran the halyard out as far as I could, walked down the dock to the farthest finger dock I could make.  Got directly in line with the mast and tugged on it with all my strength.  The top of the mast barely moved.

I've done that to unload shrouds for tightening. It is a little deceptive because you were actually pulling against the docklines or pier. Which is somewhat more difficult, being higher, I would guess....trying to push the boat downward....maybe...

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A Grigri and an ascender by Petzl (climbing equipment) works OK. Just ask someone who knows how to use it. And do not even try to use your halyards, use a real climbing rope instead. Use the halyard to hoist the climbing rope to the mast top, and then proceed. It is really easy. 

 

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On 8/9/2020 at 1:15 PM, El Boracho said:

I've done that to unload shrouds for tightening. It is a little deceptive because you were actually pulling against the docklines or pier. Which is somewhat more difficult, being higher, I would guess....trying to push the boat downward....maybe...

Ya, I've tried to pull the boat over to clean the hull, didn't really roll much, that's a good point. Someone should try running the dock lines from the near side overboard, under the hull and up to the cleats on the dock on the far side, might allow the boat to roll easier.

 

I'd try now but the lake dropped to where we had to pull the boat....2020!

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On 8/5/2020 at 11:49 AM, Jules said:

If you saw that guy zip up the mast you would thought he had wings.  It seemed effortless.  Hand over hand to the top in less than 30 seconds, on a ~40' sloop.

118432793_swi-tec-mastlift-13m1.thumb.jpg.995d36eeca85b2b8b31a73294d20591c.jpg

30 seconds....maybe he's just really strong!

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