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Two ways up a mast

When you need to ascend the mast, you can be raised up the mast itself using a main halyard or topping lift, or you can go up the forestay (Genoa) using a spinnaker halyard.

The latter is often an easier trip as you have the Genoa to “climb” up as you go and you don’t really need another line as a safety as this complicates the whole process.

The reason you don’t really need another line as a safety is that you can use a safety strap wrapped around the Genoa itself as a safety line. This will move up easily with you, if you lift it as you go, but if you need it it will lock down onto the Genoa and stop your fall.

Climbing the Genoa is easier than climbing the mast!!!

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2 Responses

  1. Sorry don’t agree. You should always have a safety line.
    And just so you know I was a fire service rope rescue instructor.

    1. Simon,
      Not an instructor but I do have a background in rope work. The comment was that you can use a sliding safety line on your harness instead of having to use another halyard on the boat. It’s perfectly safe but much easier to manage, the same thing would be using an ascender with a rolling hitch as a safety line above it.

      But it highlights a good point. Safety shouldn’t be taken for granted as it’s a long way to fall.

      I think the main reason I hate mast work is because normally, with rope work, your safety is to a large degree under your control, but if you are being winched rather than being able to climb the mast, your safety is all about the winch operator. I think that makes me feel uncomfortable.

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