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A help to get up the mast solo or where the assisting crew member is challenged

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What is the issue?
Going up the mast single handed, or indeed supported by someone who is not very strong, is not an easy task and very dangerous. With no one to support the single hander, or with someone who is able do little more than tension a safety line, the person going aloft is totally reliant on their own strength to pull themselves up.

Why address this?
As with all these things the more exertion involved the more danger. Taking the pressure off will not only make it easier, it will also make it a lot safer.

How to address this?
Add a counterweight to make it easier for the climber to hoist themselves aloft.

For instance, hoist a daisy chain of water drums up to the top of the mast on a halyard as a counterweight and belay it. Connect this to the boson's chair and slowly release it until the load sits on the chair then begin to climb with the aid of the counterbalance. This takes the work out of the climb.

This arrangement is particularly good for work that requires many visits up the rigging or work that needs to be carried out at multiple levels.
Please note

A bosun's chair is preferable for any mast work and a safety line should always be used.

With thanks to:
Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession.

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