Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Steaming light & mast climbing


Hi Joe and congratulations on your first foreign landfall. Hope it’s the first of many.

I have put Paul Anstey up the mast of well over 150 Super Maramu’s during surveys over the years. Have yet to drop him! I will tell you how to do it but I’ll recommend you try a different way.

Use the ballooner halyard as if the sheave it rolls over breaks, you will only need to need to change your underwear, not your legs. With the external halyard, it’s a long scream down to the deck if something fails. Secure the bosun’s chair with a bolin/bowline to the ballooner halyard. You should have a mountaineering safety device sometimes called an ascender to use on the external spinnaker halyard that you should fix in position as a safety/reserve line. I don’t think you have an ascender so don’t do the rest until you get one.

Employing someone you trust completely who is familiar with lines and powered windlasses, take two turns with the ballooner halyard around the starboard side mainmast winch, the big one. Lead the tailing to the windlass drum after removing the chain from the other side. Depending on how old and slippery the ballooner halyard is, take two turns, three if it is slippery, around the drum. Have your trusted assistant hoist you just off the deck in the bosun’s chair employing the windlass. Now bounce and wiggle like a trapped bear and try to break any part of what you will be trusting your life to. Do it again. Once more…

Have your assistant hoist you using the windlass. It is best to employ a third set of hands to double tail the line as it comes off of the windlass. When you are ready to come down, it makes for a safer and much smoother ride if you only use the big winch on the mast to feed the halyard out backwards to ease you gently, key word is gently, to the deck. This means you will use your ascender, or a bear hug around the mast momentarily to take your weight off the ballooner halyard so it can be removed from the windlass as you will be employing only the big mast winch as you are coming down. Gently. You’ll understand what I mean if you try it without removing the line from the windlass drum. Told ya.

If I was there and you were me, you would urge me to use the ATN Topclimber. You control your destiny, no Pampers required. Use BOTH halyards to hoist it and an ascender if you have one. Belt and suspenders. Read the instructions in the bag. Be sure of your proper employment of all this blah blah I have sent you as well as all instructions with the Topclimber which I am sure Mr. Organization Mark left you when I sold you his boat.

Whiskey after. Not before. Liquid courage is not appropriate here.

Glad you are having fun with your Amel.

All The Best, Joel

Joel F. Potter/Cruising Yacht Specialist LLC


954 462 5869 office

954 812 2485 cell

From: []
Sent: Sunday, December 20, 2015 12:55 PM
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Steaming light & mast climbing

Hello Amel Group,

Recently after a fairly rough crossing of the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas I lost my steaming light. I am now contemplating climbing the mast for my first time. I have a regular bosun chair as well as a ATN Topclimber on board. I am currently alone on board but in a marina and can get some help.

One of my questions is; Which of the halyards is best used for going up the mast? I have two that I know of available. If I have my halyards correct,,, one is the ballooner halyard I believe and the other is a spare halyard. Again, if I have my halyards correct,,, the ballooner halyard disappears into the top of the mast on a pulley. The spare halyard goes around a pulley that appears to be mounted & hanging on a stand off bracket. I just had that line replaced in June and it would be my first choice however I'm not convinced of the strength of the bracket/pulley at the top. The ballooner halyard seems a bet stretchy as well and is not new.

Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.

Now, in an effort to go up the mast as few times as possible I'd like to verify the bulb used for the steaming light on a 2001 Super Maramu. I see from an earlier post from Bill this information:

If you are asking about a Super Maramu...
Navigation and Anchor Bulbs:
Special vertical tungsten filament with BAY 15d bayonet socket:
Masthead (Steaming Light) - 25 watt
Port, Starboard - 25 watt
Stern 10 watt
Anchor - 10 watt

Which tells me that I should take a 25 watt bulb with me as well as various tools.

And now I'll go backwards to where I should start (in case it isn't the bulb),,, down on the deck and in the boat. Can someone help me with where to start the trouble shooting process before I go up the mast? I'm not going to say it doesn't scare me to go up the mast,, but on the other hand I would like to go ahead and do it now in the safe haven of a marina in case I ever have to do it away from shore.

Joel,, which halyard did Paul use for the survey?

Thanks so much,

Currently at Marsh Harbour Marina, Bahamas

Joe Nance

S/V CloudStreet

SM2000 hull #331


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