Monday, 21 July 2014

Up the mast at Drummoyne Sailing Club

While we were at Cronulla, a cheeky cocky decided to perch on the top of our mast and in the process, neatly tucked the VHF aerial under one arm of the windex.

The windex is a simple device with a wind arrow and two arms set each side of the boat centreline at 45 degrees.  It's basically a visual wind indicator showing the angle of the apparent wind to the boat heading with the arms used as guides to the tacking angles. Anyway, with the aerial tucked under it, the windex was screwed and we also had a couple of problems with the VHF on the way to Sydney so it meant I had to go up the mast for the first time.  One of the spreader lights failed a while back too so I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone.

I had always known that I'd have to climb the mast sooner or later so I had my climbing belt on board and a rough idea on how I'd do it with just me and Terry. 

The method I decided to use was to climb one of the halyards using another halyard as a safety rope.  Terry would have control of the safety rope on a winch and would just keep the slack out of it making sure that if the the climbing rope broke, the safety rope would prevent a nasty fall to the deck.

I made up two prussik loops from non-stretch line and a couple of foot loops from some spare webbing I had lying around.  One of the prussic loops went onto the climbing rope and attached to my harness and the other went onto to the climbing rope with the foot loops attached.  The safety rope was attached to a separate light weight harness.

The two prussic loops
The two loops attached to the climbing rope

It was a pretty slow climb.

The process goes:
  • Stand in the foot loops
  • Push the harness prussic up the rope
  • Sit back to take your weight on the harness prussic
  • Pull the foot loop prussic up the rope
  • Rinse and repeat about 60 times to get to the top of the 50 foot mast :-)
The aerial was an easy fix but the spreader light was a blown sealed beam so I've got to find an exact replacement and go up again to fit it.

View from the top of the mast.  Venture looks pretty small from up here :-)

Location: Sydney NSW, Australia
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  1. Dave, I need someone to race up my mast to fix my wind anometer
    Are you free?
    Bob F

  2. No probs Bob! I'll see you early November :-)

    We met a couple who hail from the "Pat" in Eden and caught up with them again at Drummoyne.. Dave and Selina on Quintessa (Beneteau First 41).

    I'm not sure if you know them but we got on real well. Very nice couple with a nice boat!


  3. Went up the mast again just before we left Drummoyne and fixed the spreader light BTW. I managed to source a replacement part from "Aquavolt" in Roseville.

    Thanks to Dave and Selina for lending us their car for the day!