In order for us to go up the mast, we have to either use a bosun chair or steps. In doing a lot of research, Rob decided that it would be safer for us to use the step system to go up the mast instead of the bosun chair as we are not sure yet of our third halyard block would be able to support the weight of a person when they go up the mast. As well, with the step system, technically, you can do it on your own and don’t need a second person to help raise you. Rob decided to try out the Mast Mate Climbing System, a single-handed mast latter that includes a practical tool bag work belt. The Mast Mate attaches to the sail track with slugs at every step and the belt allows freedom of movement with security (kind of like climbing a telephone pole). Rob set it up earlier this week to try out and we both went up for a test run. I don’t like heights, so I did not make it past the spreaders but I did not find it too hard too climb. We decided to use both the steps and the bos’n’s chair in combination; this allowed Rob to relax a bit and take the strain off his back/legs every know and then. The process went like this, Rob would climb using the steps, and I would take the slack out of the halyard line supporting the chair. This also gave Rob a bit more feeling of added security.
It’s amazing what you find a the top of a mast. Rob removed an old tv dish-like antennae that the previous owners had when they tv on onboard; Rob also found that our strobe light and try lights were working fine but that the domes covering them had de-graded (plastic), so they’ll have to be replaced. He also installed some missing flag halyards that used to run to our spreaders.
With being up the mast (at the top), the fun only begins when some ‘special-person’ ignores the the no-wake rule in the marine and goes screaming by your boat. The result is something like getting whip-lash and being on an inverted pendulum all at the same time, a bit scary.
Rob was more brave and the next day went up all the way to the top of the mast to do some work and to check out our lights and to see what will need to be repaired, replaced and removed. – Sophia & Rob