Climbing the masts on a 28 CK?

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SFBaysailor
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Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:12 am

Climbing the masts on a 28 CK?

Post by SFBaysailor »

All,

Ran into a guy who wants to sell me a mast climber system. Top Climber, I think.

My question is, I’m a big guy-6’5” and around 275#. Am I going to have any issues related to weight going to the tops of the mizzenmast and main? Not worried about height or getting up/down the mast-just don’t want to damage anything. I don’t know why I’m thinking it would be like trying to go up the mast of a Laser...

Thanks-Jeff

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newt2u
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Re: Climbing the masts on a 28 CK?

Post by newt2u »

Hi Jeff, the top climber is a great piece of kit. I have used one before, although I found it scary from the height. Concerning your question, you will not have any issues. If you think about it, the bending moment when you climb is pretty much negligible, your weight is vectored downwards and all the mast will see it as a compression force. Based on the stiffness of my F21 mast, I would bet your mast would support you from the tip if it was horizontal and all of your weight contributed to bending, not that I am recommending that :lol:
Rockin - F21 twin drop keels - located Milford Haven
Wintered in Shropshire where I am when I’m not sailing

SFBaysailor
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Re: Climbing the masts on a 28 CK?

Post by SFBaysailor »

Perfect. That's great info. Now I just have to worry about the blocks/attachment at the masthead!

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RadioZephyr
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Re: Climbing the masts on a 28 CK?

Post by RadioZephyr »

I wouldn't worry about the mast breaking, but the masthead block attachment is a different matter. Especially if it hasn't been inspected in a while. Unless you have an internally routed halyard, I would see about sending someone light up there first to inspect the connection between the block and the masthead. A steel pad eye may be plenty strong to hold the block, but you gotta remember that it's only as strong as the 1/4" aluminum plate it's bolted to. Left un-inspected for potentially over 40 years, the stainless will cause the aluminum will corrode, it's just a question of how much is left.
Josh
Sunset Spy
F38, Hull #152
Boston, MA

mrleinweber
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Re: Climbing the masts on a 28 CK?

Post by mrleinweber »

Often the main halyard is in the mast so even if the block breaks you are still ok - and if does, the good news is that you were already going up there and can now fix that also.

That said, I would suggest you use the 2nd halyard as a safety in any case.

Even if you use the climber, still good to have someone there take up on the extra halyard.

Good luck, Michael

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newt2u
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Re: Climbing the masts on a 28 CK?

Post by newt2u »

On my trip up the mast on my Coaster 33, all halliards were external, so I took some precautions. First I secured and loaded the main halliard using the mast winch to check it could carry my weight, about 90kg. I then secured a separate line, with topclimber fitted, to this halliard and ran that to the top of the mast, securing it to a mooring cleat. This was then tensioned and secured before I went aloft. I then attached the topping lift to the bosuns chair and used this as an additional safety line with my partner on the second mast winch. In retrospect the latter was belt and braces but as I said, I don’t like heights.
Rockin - F21 twin drop keels - located Milford Haven
Wintered in Shropshire where I am when I’m not sailing

tanton37
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Re: Climbing the masts on a 28 CK?

Post by tanton37 »

I've been to the top of both masts on my CK28 many times in the bosuns chair. (Where's a good bosun when you need one?) I only weigh 165 lb. and the halyards are all external on the 28's that I've ever seen. I always carry insurance in the way of a Prussic knot around the mast in case a block/line ever fails or the person on the winch has a personal vendetta against me. Slows up the process of getting up and down a bit but nice to know I won't go SPLAT! Works perfectly. Cheers, David

SFBaysailor
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Re: Climbing the masts on a 28 CK?

Post by SFBaysailor »

David-

Funny you mention the prussik around the mast. I was thinking about that as well.
Yes-my halyards are external. I’ll replace them before I go up, but I’ll have to rely on the blocks somewhat. They’re Harkens, and from the drone shots I got they look to be okay. Regardless, with two blocks and the prussik, I shouldn’t go crashing through the deck!

Thanks to all for the insight. JD

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Castaway
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Re: Climbing the masts on a 28 CK?

Post by Castaway »

Rather than a Prussic around the mast, I use a webbing lifeline with two snap-hooks , wrapped twice round the mast. It's easy to move up and down, and will jamb as effectively with a sudden fall (forget to slide it whilst descending and it stops you completely). I fasten it to a standard harness, but go up and down with a bosun's chair. With only one helper below, that is less fuss than using two halliards at once. The other halliard can later be used for sending up the tools you have forgotten!

Like you, I use a drone to check the masthead blocks before use; it can also sometimes save a trip solely for inspection.

The biggest problem I find is stopping myself from swinging round the mast as I go, especially if another boat passes and creates a wake. The webbing works well to control that.

One other tip; I have a short climbing ladder made entirely of webbing, which I hang from the halliard too. This enables me to stand for a few minutes at the masthead, with my arms level with the top and my head high enough to look down. That makes fiddly tasks much easier than working blindly overhead.
Gerald Freshwater,
s/y 'Castaway', (UK F35 cat ketch, centreboard, 1987)
Lerwick Boating Club
Shetland Isles, Scotland

SFBaysailor
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Re: Climbing the masts on a 28 C

Post by SFBaysailor »

Ah-good idea with the tether. I like the web ladder idea, too.

My goal is to install the Marinebeam tricolor and a vhf antenna on the main mast, and an AIS antenna and wind instrument on the mizzen.
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