Working aloft
Practical Boat Owner|September 2020
Working aloft
Alex Blackwell has some tips for staying safe when climbing the mast
Alex Blackwell

As much as I love sailing, there is one thing (besides rebuilding the heads) that I really have a problem with, and that is the height of the mast.

No, this has nothing to do with our mast being unable to clear certain bridges, but rather how incredibly high above the water you are when at its pinnacle. I admit that I have a real problem with heights. But then who doesn’t when swinging back and forth at the very end of a 60ft metronome?

Several times a season it is a really good idea to climb up and visually inspect all the sheaves, turnbuckles, shackles, and other sundry fittings.

The tip of the mast happens to be the business end of much of what makes sailing so pleasurable. So, I suppose it simply goes with the territory that its ascension is one of those things that you just need to come to grips with. After all, pretty much the last thing you want to happen is for your mast to come down. If you are a split rig aficionado, as we are, then be prepared for double the ‘fun’


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September 2020