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Working aloft with a bosons' chair and safety line

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What is the issue?
It is only a matter of time before a sailor has to go aloft to inspect the rig or attend to some repairs.

Why address this?
This task can be nerve-wracking for some, or at the least physically demanding and uncomfortable and certainly dangerous. Anything that reduces any of these is welcome.

How to address this?
Boson's chair and safety line
Drawing: Tony Gibson
Include a Bosun's Chair, or boatswain's chair, in the boat's toolkit. A bosun's chair is a seat used to suspend a person whilst performing rigging work.

Originally just a short plank or swath of heavy canvas, many modern bosun's chairs incorporate safety devices similar to those found in rock climbing harnesses.

If you have not bought a specially designed bosons chair already it is worthwhile making one up as presented. All that is required is a piece of hardwood wide enough to sit on drilled through four times plus the lines and splices presented in figure one.

Key to safety in using the chair is the adoption of the safety line arrangement around the chair lines as presented and around the back of the person seated in the chair. Keep all tools in a separate canvas bag attached to the bosons' chair as this is less likely to catch and tip. However, it is essential to keep the area beneath the mast clear in the event that something does drop.

With thanks to:
Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession. Header image with thanks to Twinrudders.

Harken Bosun's Chair

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