31 March 2008

Up the Mast Without a Paddle

After threatening to go up my mast for two months, I finally did it. Of course, all of my reschedulings were legitimate (kid things, my Pac Cup ride, nobody to hoist me, confusion over the self-climber). But after a while you have to believe that the pattern isn't just an accident. I'll say it, I was scared.

The hoisting was simple enough, I had a client and an employee hoist me. I walked them through how to raise me with one halyard, then take up the slack on the other. I got up there with little problem.

Once I was up there, I realized exactly how high this is. I yelled a few times that nobody was allowed to move or rock the boat in any way. But basically, I just did everything slowly and deliberately. Luckily, the windvane I bought was the same model as the previous so the old mount still worked. The halyard block was easy to install and I only had a slight issue pulling the halyard and new topping lift out of my work-bucket.

By the end, I was just plain done with being up there. Interestingly, in the picture above, the mast looks like a cross. Again, no accident. I am pretty sure I found religion up at the top of that mast.

I didn't take a lot of photos from up there as the view is absolutely no different than from the top of the hill about 500 yards away. But I did get a shot of the absolute terror in my eyes with San Francisco as a nice backdrop.

That's the marina from up there. I only put it up because Jarrett asked for a shot like that.

I would do a few things differently next time. I'd go up with the main halyard with the jib halyard as the backup. I'd doublecheck any lines I had to install weren't tangled. I'd probably hire someone to do it for me. I'd pretty up the cockpit for the aerial photo. And I think I'd pick a warmer day. The one thing I wouldn't change is making it back down safely. That part really worked for me.


Anonymous said...

Not for me ... but great photo. (is that what fear looks like?)

Tillerman said...

You have my utmost admiration. I don't think I could ever attempt a feat like that. Probably why I will never own a boat that I can't just tip over on its side if it needs any top-of-the-mast attention.

And how those guys and gals sailing single-handed round the world go up the mast while sailing the Southern Ocean... The very thought gives me the shivers.

WeSailFurther said...

now that is some serious customer service.

nice pic. I have to go up my mast this season. It's about item #50 on my work list.

Pat said...

At least I only have to go _ halfway _ up the mast to fix a topping lift.

I was wondering how Tillerman would climb up a Laser mast -- have some big guys hold the boat steady?


EVK4 said...

Pat, different topping lift. You're thinking of a pole topping lift, mine is the boom topping lift.

Anonymous said...

great pic - I can see my boat on O-dock! :)