Filed Under (Boat/Trailer Maintenance) by Debbie on 16-05-2007

I did something today that was new, exciting, frightening and potentially dangerous.  I climbed the mast.  Actually, I sat in the bosun’s chair and my hubby was the winch ape.  I was only about half way up and only up for about twenty minutes but at first it was pretty spooky.

We had a deck light that wouldn’t work so someone had to go up.  Of course, that someone was me.  I found I was more worried about coming back down than going up.  I made sure I was strapped into the seat and had all the tools I needed in the side pockets.  We had to try twice as the first try the seat hung up on part of the mast hardware.  Second try I pushed away as I went and was up to the light before I knew it. 

It was pretty interesting to swing about with the sway of the boat.  The view was fantastic!  I watched a small sailboat trying to make way against the current as a two woman kayak over took them and left them in the splash of their paddles.

I wrapped my legs around the mast and turned my attention to the light cover.  It was a bit difficult to keep a screwdriver in the screw head but I did manage to get them out.  Once I removed the light bulb I realized there was a bit of corrosion on the socket. I scrubbed a small piece of sandpaper over the connections, along the base of the bulb and then reinserted it.  My hubby then turned the power on and voila…the light worked.  It was easier to replace the cover than it was to take it off, although I think it was just because I’d become more comfortable in the chair.

I only spent a short time fixing the light but I learned something important about the bosin’s chair.  It’s uncomfortable.  I mean that the seat bottom is hard, even though I thought it soft at first.

I have a left over piece of memory foam that I’m sewing a very basic ‘pillow case’ for.  It’ll be part of the chair from now on.  Comfort can make a big difference on the quality of work I do.  If I’m starting to hurt, I’m going to hurry.  As we all know, ‘the hurryer I go, the behinder I get’.

So if you’ve never been up the mast on your bosin’s chair then maybe you need to spend a bit of time a few feet off the deck.  You might be surprised by what you discover, I know I was.

The pockets on the sides of the chair held everything I needed with room left over.  My hubby was a great winch ape.  I did good going up the mast and wasn’t as freaked as I’d thought I’d be.  However, the seat gave me a through case of TB.

I’m looking forward to my next trip up the mast on our sailboat.  I want to inspect the spreaders and wash them.  I did check the standing rigging while I was up and I’ll check more as I venture further up.  I’ll be smiling next time as my tush will have more cush, which will make the bosin’s chair much more comfortable.

I’ve another post about the different ways you can climb the mast and the different types of equipment you maybe interested in.  So if this didn’t answer your questions then you might want to read that post.  Just keep in mind, climbing the mast on your sailboat is one of the most dangerous things you’ll do aboard.  Be safe!  Use a second line and a safety harness to back up your bosin’s chair the next time you climb your sailboat’s mast.

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