Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: lifting with mizzen boom, climbing mizzen, and halyard lengths

James Alton


   I am really glad to hear that your son was not injured when the 14mm halyard snapped.   I agree that  having a backup method of support when going aloft is a really good practice.  Normally it is just the wife and I  so I worry about her having to handle two separate halyards potentially increasing the odds of an accident.  Especially with a rolling boat, I think that staying focused on a single line could end up being safer than trying to handle two when short handed.  With three people it is of course quite simple to do and I do employ the second halyard. When it is just the two of us, I normally tie myself off to various points on the mast on the way up/ or slide a loop up the mast as appropriate for the particular spar as my backup.  I also go on the assumption that my wife could accidentally slip at any time so also keep a good grip on whatever is handy.  I maintain a good hold until she confirms that I have been tied off.  She has never slipped and neither have I but it only takes once to ruin your entire day….  

    I have never had a halyard break before but I am pretty careful about early replacement, good splices etc.  Even just basic Dacron sat-set in 14mm has a breaking strength of 11,700 pounds so I am normally much more concerned about the metal bits,  especially if they are stainless.  I have seen so many failures in stainless that often occurred at minimal loading in metal without obvious cracks.   The example I gave of the unused spinnaker block failing under light loading in my previous post was just one example.   With line, I feel pretty confident of the approximate strength after doing an inspection looking for chafe points etc. which I try to always do before going aloft.   I always tie across shackles and other hardware whenever possible to give me a backup as was suggested in an earlier post on this forum..very good advice IMO.  I also use either bronze or galvanized steel shackles on my bosun chair to attached the halyard rather than stainless.   One other thing that I always do before being hoisted, is to bounce as hard as possible in the bosuns chair before going up the mast which if nothing else makes me feel better about being aloft. (grin)  There are after all concealed attachments, stitching etc. in the bosuns chair itself to be concerned about as well and if they are going to break, better while I am down low..     Stay safe everyone and thanks for the discussion.  



SV Sueño
Maramu #220

On Apr 4, 2018, at 9:56 PM, Ian parkianj@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

Hi James,
A climbing background always helps to think through a good backup system. When my son was 16 he went up the mast on a Jeaneau Sunfizz 40. It was an in mast 14mm halliard and it snapped as he was being lowered. He’s 42 now, thankfully as he was holding the intermediate stays and was just above the spreaders. It doesn’t matter if the halliard is in mast or external, you need a backup. 
Two handed I often go up the mast on two separate halliards tied down tight on a pair of jumars. I always have a long thin line with me in case I forget something and have to lower a line to have sent up in a plastic bag.
Simple message is don’t rely on a single rope, and always have a way to get something sent up to you if you get stuck. A single rope haul is prone to all sorts of problems.


Ocean Hobo SN 96

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