Showing posts with the label up the mast

Up The Mast (as published in Latitudes & Attitudes Magazine)

The following is an article I wrote for Latitudes & Attitudes Magazine  that is currently on newstands in the June, 2011 edition: Up the Mast By Kevin Walters Sooner or later your mast and the hardware installed on or in it will need inspection, repair or maintenance. Ideally, an inspection of your mast should be done annually. This of course means going up the stick if the mast is already stepped. If your boat isn’t equipped with mast steps or you don’t have specialized mast ascender gear, you can still get the job done with mostly what you already should have on board. The prudent sailor will take the time to learn and practice the procedures to make a successful and safe ascent and descent before they are truly needed. As mentioned, you may need to go up the mast for any number of reasons such as re-taping spreader boots, rigging flag lines, inspecting standing rigging or installing any number of masthead hardware (wind vane, anchor light, antenna, etc.). Therefore, go

View from the top

With most of our pre-cruise work completed on Island Bound , it was time to more thoroughly inspect the rig.  This of course means going up the stick if the mast is stepped.  If you're a sailor, sooner or later you'll need to make a trip to the top of the mast, either for inspections or repairs.  Our (first) time is now! The goal of the ascent was to retape the speader boots, install a portside flagline and inspect the shrouds, stays and sail track.  We used our climbing harness (Black Diamond Alpine BOD) instead of a bosun's chair. The main halyard was used as the primary uplift and one of our two wire-to-rope headsail halyards was the back-up.  A bowline knot was used to secure the main halyard to the harness, instead of using the shackle.  The shackle was also connected as a precaution. We had to use the shackle on the back-up (genoa halyard) because it's wire-to-rope and can not be knotted.  The main halyard was lead to a two-speed cockpit winch via a snatch block