Mast Work

Went up the mast to check the rigging and tidy some left over project stuff. Brian bought me a sweet bosuns chair by Harken and a mast climbing 5/1 tackle rig made by Jason at West Marine Rigging shop in Kemah, Texas. Jason has this climbing tackle for his own use and when Brian saw it he asked Jason to make one for me( my husband is the bomb!!).


Working at the top of the mast. We would like to install a couple steps up there to make it easier to reach and view the entire masthead.


She is a beauty.


To do: Wrap up the exposed wires with conduit tubing and electrical tape. Seal an old hole with 5200šŸ˜€


The climbing rig tackle is the deep red line with ratcheting blocks. The red arrow points to the ratchet block switch. It is labeled “on” and “off” and with arrows. This climbing rig allows Brian to hoist me with very little effort. I could hoist myself up if I was completely recovered from my illness. One set of ratchet blocks is attached to my bosuns chair with a threaded D shackle, there is another set of blocks that is hoisted to the top of the mast. We also have a separate spinnaker line tied to the d-rings of the bosuns chair in case the first set up fails, the back up spinnaker line will keep me aloft and safe.


The 5/1 climbing rig tackle requires a lot of line. Red line is the climbing tackle and the new spinnaker line is my emergency back up tether.


I added baggywrinkles to our new 7/64 dyneema topping lift. Ever since we changed out the old topping lift ( 1/4″ vinyl coated wire) and converted to the dyneema, we have had some very loud harmonic  noises. Wasn’t very loud outside, but down below, it was crazy loud. The noise seem to travel up the topping lift to the mast, then the mast would start to hum. I believe the size of the line, acting like a guitar string, and the steel thimbles resting against the steel clevis pins ( which attaches to the masthead) played a role in conducting the sound waves (?).Next time I will use a good quality plastic thimble. Load tests have shown the good quality plastic thimbles are just fine, if not better in certain situations. 


Troubleshooting the noise, as soon as Brian disconnected the topping lift the sound wound down like a dying record. I added three sets of baggywrinkles. One short at the base near the boom, one long (6-8″) midway up the topping lift, and another long baggywrinkle (6-8″) at the top. My theory is that it would dampen the vibration. I also wrapped the lower stainless steel thimbal with tape.


We were able to get the deck light working but the steaming light is still not lighting up. Hmmm.


There was a lot of gunk. I think the previous person who installed/worked on this, used some sort of grease..? I cleaned it but still no joy on the steaming light. 


Also lubed the main sail track with McLube.

 I will make a video of the mast climbing rig tackle, I’ve had a lot of folks ask about it. I will post it here and on my facebook page.


As we were working on the mast Brian noticed a boat fueling up across the way. Palm Latitude was our neighbor in Port Aransas. The owner hurt his back and eventually had to sell her. This is the new owners, coming from Kemah, TX. They are cruising down to the Keys. Great to see that pretty boat being loved on. Such a small world.



2 thoughts on “Mast Work

  1. Very Cool. I have a similar climbing rig using my 160 foot climbing rope. I also connect a static line to my foresail halyard and the deck then tie in my chest harness with a prusik knot…

    • Ohh I like the idea, I’ll look into that. We are extremely happy with this climbing tackle. Very safe feeling, no hang ups or glitches, jerky starts or drops, just smooth motion :-). Best of all no need of a wench handle or even a wench.

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