[Public-list] Up The Mast

Roger L Kingsland rkingsland101 at ksba.com
Thu Jan 20 07:41:27 PST 2005

I seem to recall that Practical Sailor recently did a review of several mast
climbing systems, including Mast Mate.  I can't find the issue (my filing
system fails me again) but recall Mast Mate was well regarded.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: <richard.hazlegrove at wachovia.com>
To: <public-list at alberg30.org>
Sent: Thursday, January 20, 2005 10:18 AM
Subject: [Public-list] Up The Mast

> I might suggest you look at the Mast Mate product as a compromise.  I have
> used this for a number of years and found it to be a safe method of going
> aloft.  (disclaimer - I have no interest in this company)  You can see it
> on their web site - mastmate.com.  I actually use this plus two other
> separate attachment systems when going up.
> The mast mate itself is a well constructed webbed ladder that is hoisted
> up the mainsail track using the main halyard and is attached to the mast
> using sail slides.  The top two steps are side by side so you can stand
> and work at the masthead.
> In addition to the steps they also sell a sturdy workbelt that has one
> strap that attaches tightly around you waist with a second longer strap
> that is led around the mast like a utility lineman.  This frees you hands
> to work. It has a pouch attached to the side to hold tools etc.
> I also use a third safety device that they sold to me at the time that
> consists of a small cam device that is attached over a secured unused
> halyard.  The cam has a short (18") strap that attaches to the rings on my
> offshore harness. The cam rides up the fixed halyard and follows you up
> the mast but any downward pressure on the strap locks the cam.  Going down
> you simply uplift the cam strap and slide it down every step or two.
> I know this may sound like overkill but for the most part I agree with
> Gordon.  I would be VERY uncomfortable going up the mast using just the
> steps.  This system allows you to work without putting your life in
> someone else's hands.  To me the compromise is cost (read not cheap) and
> the fact that you need to drop the mainsail slides off the track in order
> to load the slides that are attached to the ladder.  Even still it takes
> only about ten minutes to rig.
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