Mast Climbing Safety


Matt & Michelle Day, SM#208 SV Talia
 

As some of you are aware, back in February I gutted the NMEA0183 network and instruments on Talia, and replaced them with a new set of B&G NMEA2K kit.  The project took me 2 weeks, and was a great deal of fun.  I was alone, so was not planning to complete the mast work (radar strut replacement, radar replacement, VHF antennae replacement and wind instrument replacement).  That would have to wait for another trip to the Chesapeake (preferably in warmer weather).

To my great joy, my amazing wife surprised me by traveling the 650 miles to come give me a hand over the last 4 days of work scheduled. We churned through the to-do list like champions.  With 2 days left I decided it was a great time to add the mast work to the list and knock it out.   Next trip we could commission the system and be back on the water!

I had been up the main mast twice to remove and start the wire pull, and up the mizzen twice removing the old radar dish and pulling he new radar cable.  My next trip up the mizzen was to replace the radar strut and add the new dish.  Piece of cake....all the steps were preplanned, tools were laid out in batches, and I was ready to go.

Going up to the radar dish is no big deal as I was only up 27.4 ft from the cockpit deck (I just didi it twice).  We were short of time, it was time to get this done.  Harnessed up on February 25th I was being winched up the mast, made it to just above the radar dish where I wanted to be, and the halyard slipped from the clutch.  I fell just under 30 ft to the deck of Talia.

Somehow I hit the Bimini, bounced off, landed on my left leg atop the cockpit seat next to the mizzen, and fell in the open space towards the companionway. I managed to only break my left leg in 6 places.  If the Bimini were not in place, I would have hit the helm seat and either died or worse broken my neck and been paralyzed.   I have had exceptional medical care and am expected to make a full recovery in hopefully a year.

I write this note to all of you, not looking for sympathies or well wishes, but hoping you do not make similar stupid mistakes.  I single dumb decision has costed my family to fear the worst for my health, cost over $200k in medical bills (gotta love the American medical system), and a great deal of personal pain from surgery and rehab.  And I am not done yet.  

I have been the Chief Safety Officer in two industrial plants.  I work in the Aerospace industry where people die when you do not follow the rules.  As an engineer, following the rules and playing out safety risks is how I work....except this time for some reason.  

I was in a hurry with only two days left.  The work was only 20-30 ft up the mast....What's the big deal?  Did Michelle and I talk about how I wanted to go up?  Yes, we did.  Did she say to me, "Do you want to use the starboard line as a secondary?"  Yes, and I declined.....too much time....only doing a job at 20-30 ft.

Every single coworker I have told this story has responded the same way, "YOU would not make that kind of decision and do that!"  It took less than 2 seconds to have this lapse in judgement, because I felt the pressure of meeting a timeline (that I imposed on myself!).  I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to spend the next year paying the price.

My hope in this message is that it will give you pause when working on your fine machine.  Electrical, mechanical, mast work, scrubbing the deck, using power tools...whatever, there are opportunities to make the right and the wrong decisions that can harm you and the people around you.  Please use my example as one that did both.  

I wish you all well, and hope I have not come off too preachy.

Matt & Michelle Day
SM#208 SV Talia
Hampton, VA


 

Matt,

Thank you very much for posting this. It is very important for all of us to take a few seconds to remind ourselves of the need for safety.

I grimace from my own imagined pain every time I think about your injury.

I am excited about your recovery to date and I am anxious for your full recovery.

My best to you and Michelle.

Bill


CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
Address: 720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
View My Training Calendar


On Sat, May 1, 2021 at 1:30 PM Matt & Michelle Day, SM#208 SV Talia <charlesmatthewday@...> wrote:
As some of you are aware, back in February I gutted the NMEA0183 network and instruments on Talia, and replaced them with a new set of B&G NMEA2K kit.  The project took me 2 weeks, and was a great deal of fun.  I was alone, so was not planning to complete the mast work (radar strut replacement, radar replacement, VHF antennae replacement and wind instrument replacement).  That would have to wait for another trip to the Chesapeake (preferably in warmer weather).

To my great joy, my amazing wife surprised me by traveling the 650 miles to come give me a hand over the last 4 days of work scheduled. We churned through the to-do list like champions.  With 2 days left I decided it was a great time to add the mast work to the list and knock it out.   Next trip we could commission the system and be back on the water!

I had been up the main mast twice to remove and start the wire pull, and up the mizzen twice removing the old radar dish and pulling he new radar cable.  My next trip up the mizzen was to replace the radar strut and add the new dish.  Piece of cake....all the steps were preplanned, tools were laid out in batches, and I was ready to go.

Going up to the radar dish is no big deal as I was only up 27.4 ft from the cockpit deck (I just didi it twice).  We were short of time, it was time to get this done.  Harnessed up on February 25th I was being winched up the mast, made it to just above the radar dish where I wanted to be, and the halyard slipped from the clutch.  I fell just under 30 ft to the deck of Talia.

Somehow I hit the Bimini, bounced off, landed on my left leg atop the cockpit seat next to the mizzen, and fell in the open space towards the companionway. I managed to only break my left leg in 6 places.  If the Bimini were not in place, I would have hit the helm seat and either died or worse broken my neck and been paralyzed.   I have had exceptional medical care and am expected to make a full recovery in hopefully a year.

I write this note to all of you, not looking for sympathies or well wishes, but hoping you do not make similar stupid mistakes.  I single dumb decision has costed my family to fear the worst for my health, cost over $200k in medical bills (gotta love the American medical system), and a great deal of personal pain from surgery and rehab.  And I am not done yet.  

I have been the Chief Safety Officer in two industrial plants.  I work in the Aerospace industry where people die when you do not follow the rules.  As an engineer, following the rules and playing out safety risks is how I work....except this time for some reason.  

I was in a hurry with only two days left.  The work was only 20-30 ft up the mast....What's the big deal?  Did Michelle and I talk about how I wanted to go up?  Yes, we did.  Did she say to me, "Do you want to use the starboard line as a secondary?"  Yes, and I declined.....too much time....only doing a job at 20-30 ft.

Every single coworker I have told this story has responded the same way, "YOU would not make that kind of decision and do that!"  It took less than 2 seconds to have this lapse in judgement, because I felt the pressure of meeting a timeline (that I imposed on myself!).  I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to spend the next year paying the price.

My hope in this message is that it will give you pause when working on your fine machine.  Electrical, mechanical, mast work, scrubbing the deck, using power tools...whatever, there are opportunities to make the right and the wrong decisions that can harm you and the people around you.  Please use my example as one that did both.  

I wish you all well, and hope I have not come off too preachy.

Matt & Michelle Day
SM#208 SV Talia
Hampton, VA


JB Duler
 

Matt,

I am so sorry to hear your story and so happy that you have recovered.
I really appreciate you sharing your story. Very humbling.

Of course, like most of us, I pushed things to the limits many, many times. I did not clip the harness to avoid being tangled in the sheets while changing head sails, or I did not tie a second halyard as I was climbing the mast. I did not tie myself while I was relieving myself over the lifelines in heavy seas. The list goes on, with a lot of "near misses", and quick recoveries because I was fit and young...Not the case anymore.

Your story is reminder for all us to be careful. Especially now that we sail with limited crew or a spouse.

Thank you so much,
--
John Bernard "JB" Duler
San Francisco
Meltem # 19, Western Med


Leslie Washburn
 

I don't typically jump in on many stories but this one in particular made me want to say thank you. 

I'm sorry your lesson for us came at such a cost. 

I'm glad you are healing and that you shared the story. We all have had this lapse at some time or another.  Schedules..they always seem to find a way to dissolve some of our common sense.

Perhaps you can take some satisfaction in knowing that you may have just helped keep safe another 100+ people, at least until the sting of the story wears off and we forget again.

Hats off to your wife for reminding you and asking you.  It can be hard for work mates to ask, cajole, remind others to take the precautions especially if the person in action is confident and sure. It's a tough spot. I hope she is also doing OK as I'm sure it was a deep trauma for both of you.

Thanks again, heal well.

Leslie



Leslie A. Washburn 
Washburn Coaching & Consulting 
Yacht Deliveries & Provisioning
312.952.2145 m 


-------- Original message --------
From: "Matt & Michelle Day, SM#208 SV Talia" <charlesmatthewday@...>
Date: 5/1/21 1:30 PM (GMT-06:00)
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Subject: [AmelYachtOwners] Mast Climbing Safety

As some of you are aware, back in February I gutted the NMEA0183 network and instruments on Talia, and replaced them with a new set of B&G NMEA2K kit.  The project took me 2 weeks, and was a great deal of fun.  I was alone, so was not planning to complete the mast work (radar strut replacement, radar replacement, VHF antennae replacement and wind instrument replacement).  That would have to wait for another trip to the Chesapeake (preferably in warmer weather).

To my great joy, my amazing wife surprised me by traveling the 650 miles to come give me a hand over the last 4 days of work scheduled. We churned through the to-do list like champions.  With 2 days left I decided it was a great time to add the mast work to the list and knock it out.   Next trip we could commission the system and be back on the water!

I had been up the main mast twice to remove and start the wire pull, and up the mizzen twice removing the old radar dish and pulling he new radar cable.  My next trip up the mizzen was to replace the radar strut and add the new dish.  Piece of cake....all the steps were preplanned, tools were laid out in batches, and I was ready to go.

Going up to the radar dish is no big deal as I was only up 27.4 ft from the cockpit deck (I just didi it twice).  We were short of time, it was time to get this done.  Harnessed up on February 25th I was being winched up the mast, made it to just above the radar dish where I wanted to be, and the halyard slipped from the clutch.  I fell just under 30 ft to the deck of Talia.

Somehow I hit the Bimini, bounced off, landed on my left leg atop the cockpit seat next to the mizzen, and fell in the open space towards the companionway. I managed to only break my left leg in 6 places.  If the Bimini were not in place, I would have hit the helm seat and either died or worse broken my neck and been paralyzed.   I have had exceptional medical care and am expected to make a full recovery in hopefully a year.

I write this note to all of you, not looking for sympathies or well wishes, but hoping you do not make similar stupid mistakes.  I single dumb decision has costed my family to fear the worst for my health, cost over $200k in medical bills (gotta love the American medical system), and a great deal of personal pain from surgery and rehab.  And I am not done yet.  

I have been the Chief Safety Officer in two industrial plants.  I work in the Aerospace industry where people die when you do not follow the rules.  As an engineer, following the rules and playing out safety risks is how I work....except this time for some reason.  

I was in a hurry with only two days left.  The work was only 20-30 ft up the mast....What's the big deal?  Did Michelle and I talk about how I wanted to go up?  Yes, we did.  Did she say to me, "Do you want to use the starboard line as a secondary?"  Yes, and I declined.....too much time....only doing a job at 20-30 ft.

Every single coworker I have told this story has responded the same way, "YOU would not make that kind of decision and do that!"  It took less than 2 seconds to have this lapse in judgement, because I felt the pressure of meeting a timeline (that I imposed on myself!).  I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to spend the next year paying the price.

My hope in this message is that it will give you pause when working on your fine machine.  Electrical, mechanical, mast work, scrubbing the deck, using power tools...whatever, there are opportunities to make the right and the wrong decisions that can harm you and the people around you.  Please use my example as one that did both.  

I wish you all well, and hope I have not come off too preachy.

Matt & Michelle Day
SM#208 SV Talia
Hampton, VA


Craig Briggs
 

Matt,

Kudos for sharing this. Safety shortcuts are so easy to fall into and you posting this, from a super competent person, is a sobering message to all of us.

I am curious, though, as to just how the "halyard slipped from the clutch"?  By "clutch" do you mean the "self-tailer" on the winch or the "rope clutch" of the mizzen halyard - or were you using the mizzen staysail halyard directly to a winch (not going through the rope clutch).

If using the mizzen halyard clutch, and assuming the line was still running through the clutch hole it could not have slipped "from" the clutch, but must have slipped "through" the clutch. If so, did the fact that the tension was all on the winch allow the locking lever to fall open (mine will indeed do that occasionally), thus allowing the line to run freely through the clutch, and then somehow the line came off the winch? Or did you unlock the clutch because it was on the winch and then the line came off the winch.

The clutch, being a one-way locking device that you can leave locked while going up will not slip if the line is taken off the winch. It sounds as though (if you were using the clutch) you either unlocked the clutch before you went up, or being "where you wanted to be" your crew unlocked the clutch to lower you back down. 

Katherine is taking me up tomorrow to remove my mizzen lowers, as I start to replace my rigging after the failure a couple of weeks ago. I'll be using the foc d'artimon halyard run to the anchor windlass (no electric winches on the SN) and I will run it through the mizzen halyard clutch, plus I'll use the passerelle / outboard hoisting halyard as a safety, but I'd appreciate more details on your episode.

Best regards,
Craig--
SN68 Sangaris, Tropic Isle Harbor, FL


Eric Freedman
 

Sorry to hear the news.

Get better soon.

Spring is here.

Fair Winds

Eric

Kimberlite Amel Super Maramu #376

 

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io On Behalf Of Matt & Michelle Day, SM#208 SV Talia
Sent: Saturday, May 01, 2021 2:30 PM
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Subject: [AmelYachtOwners] Mast Climbing Safety

 

As some of you are aware, back in February I gutted the NMEA0183 network and instruments on Talia, and replaced them with a new set of B&G NMEA2K kit.  The project took me 2 weeks, and was a great deal of fun.  I was alone, so was not planning to complete the mast work (radar strut replacement, radar replacement, VHF antennae replacement and wind instrument replacement).  That would have to wait for another trip to the Chesapeake (preferably in warmer weather).

To my great joy, my amazing wife surprised me by traveling the 650 miles to come give me a hand over the last 4 days of work scheduled. We churned through the to-do list like champions.  With 2 days left I decided it was a great time to add the mast work to the list and knock it out.   Next trip we could commission the system and be back on the water!

I had been up the main mast twice to remove and start the wire pull, and up the mizzen twice removing the old radar dish and pulling he new radar cable.  My next trip up the mizzen was to replace the radar strut and add the new dish.  Piece of cake....all the steps were preplanned, tools were laid out in batches, and I was ready to go.

Going up to the radar dish is no big deal as I was only up 27.4 ft from the cockpit deck (I just didi it twice).  We were short of time, it was time to get this done.  Harnessed up on February 25th I was being winched up the mast, made it to just above the radar dish where I wanted to be, and the halyard slipped from the clutch.  I fell just under 30 ft to the deck of Talia.

Somehow I hit the Bimini, bounced off, landed on my left leg atop the cockpit seat next to the mizzen, and fell in the open space towards the companionway. I managed to only break my left leg in 6 places.  If the Bimini were not in place, I would have hit the helm seat and either died or worse broken my neck and been paralyzed.   I have had exceptional medical care and am expected to make a full recovery in hopefully a year.

I write this note to all of you, not looking for sympathies or well wishes, but hoping you do not make similar stupid mistakes.  I single dumb decision has costed my family to fear the worst for my health, cost over $200k in medical bills (gotta love the American medical system), and a great deal of personal pain from surgery and rehab.  And I am not done yet.  

I have been the Chief Safety Officer in two industrial plants.  I work in the Aerospace industry where people die when you do not follow the rules.  As an engineer, following the rules and playing out safety risks is how I work....except this time for some reason.  

I was in a hurry with only two days left.  The work was only 20-30 ft up the mast....What's the big deal?  Did Michelle and I talk about how I wanted to go up?  Yes, we did.  Did she say to me, "Do you want to use the starboard line as a secondary?"  Yes, and I declined.....too much time....only doing a job at 20-30 ft.

Every single coworker I have told this story has responded the same way, "YOU would not make that kind of decision and do that!"  It took less than 2 seconds to have this lapse in judgement, because I felt the pressure of meeting a timeline (that I imposed on myself!).  I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to spend the next year paying the price.

My hope in this message is that it will give you pause when working on your fine machine.  Electrical, mechanical, mast work, scrubbing the deck, using power tools...whatever, there are opportunities to make the right and the wrong decisions that can harm you and the people around you.  Please use my example as one that did both.  

I wish you all well, and hope I have not come off too preachy.

Matt & Michelle Day
SM#208 SV Talia
Hampton, VA


Peter Forbes
 

This is probably the single most important post on this site that I have read.

Thank you.

Get back to full strength soon.

Peter

Peter Forbes
Carango Amel 54 #035
La Rochelle
00447836 209730


On 2 May 2021, at 00:54, eric freedman <kimberlite@...> wrote:



Sorry to hear the news.

Get better soon.

Spring is here.

Fair Winds

Eric

Kimberlite Amel Super Maramu #376

 

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io On Behalf Of Matt & Michelle Day, SM#208 SV Talia
Sent: Saturday, May 01, 2021 2:30 PM
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Subject: [AmelYachtOwners] Mast Climbing Safety

 

As some of you are aware, back in February I gutted the NMEA0183 network and instruments on Talia, and replaced them with a new set of B&G NMEA2K kit.  The project took me 2 weeks, and was a great deal of fun.  I was alone, so was not planning to complete the mast work (radar strut replacement, radar replacement, VHF antennae replacement and wind instrument replacement).  That would have to wait for another trip to the Chesapeake (preferably in warmer weather).

To my great joy, my amazing wife surprised me by traveling the 650 miles to come give me a hand over the last 4 days of work scheduled. We churned through the to-do list like champions.  With 2 days left I decided it was a great time to add the mast work to the list and knock it out.   Next trip we could commission the system and be back on the water!

I had been up the main mast twice to remove and start the wire pull, and up the mizzen twice removing the old radar dish and pulling he new radar cable.  My next trip up the mizzen was to replace the radar strut and add the new dish.  Piece of cake....all the steps were preplanned, tools were laid out in batches, and I was ready to go.

Going up to the radar dish is no big deal as I was only up 27.4 ft from the cockpit deck (I just didi it twice).  We were short of time, it was time to get this done.  Harnessed up on February 25th I was being winched up the mast, made it to just above the radar dish where I wanted to be, and the halyard slipped from the clutch.  I fell just under 30 ft to the deck of Talia.

Somehow I hit the Bimini, bounced off, landed on my left leg atop the cockpit seat next to the mizzen, and fell in the open space towards the companionway. I managed to only break my left leg in 6 places.  If the Bimini were not in place, I would have hit the helm seat and either died or worse broken my neck and been paralyzed.   I have had exceptional medical care and am expected to make a full recovery in hopefully a year.

I write this note to all of you, not looking for sympathies or well wishes, but hoping you do not make similar stupid mistakes.  I single dumb decision has costed my family to fear the worst for my health, cost over $200k in medical bills (gotta love the American medical system), and a great deal of personal pain from surgery and rehab.  And I am not done yet.  

I have been the Chief Safety Officer in two industrial plants.  I work in the Aerospace industry where people die when you do not follow the rules.  As an engineer, following the rules and playing out safety risks is how I work....except this time for some reason.  

I was in a hurry with only two days left.  The work was only 20-30 ft up the mast....What's the big deal?  Did Michelle and I talk about how I wanted to go up?  Yes, we did.  Did she say to me, "Do you want to use the starboard line as a secondary?"  Yes, and I declined.....too much time....only doing a job at 20-30 ft.

Every single coworker I have told this story has responded the same way, "YOU would not make that kind of decision and do that!"  It took less than 2 seconds to have this lapse in judgement, because I felt the pressure of meeting a timeline (that I imposed on myself!).  I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to spend the next year paying the price.

My hope in this message is that it will give you pause when working on your fine machine.  Electrical, mechanical, mast work, scrubbing the deck, using power tools...whatever, there are opportunities to make the right and the wrong decisions that can harm you and the people around you.  Please use my example as one that did both.  

I wish you all well, and hope I have not come off too preachy.

Matt & Michelle Day
SM#208 SV Talia
Hampton, VA


Alain Blanchard
 

Hello Matt

Unfortunately, risk is not only at seas. It may surprise us when we feel more « confortable ».
Thank you for your post.
It’s a very good reminder for all of us 

All the n’est to north of you

Alain
Koriolys /SM 146/Gruissan/France



Envoyé de mon iPhone

Le 2 mai 2021 à 10:30, Peter Forbes <ppsforbes@...> a écrit :

 This is probably the single most important post on this site that I have read.

Thank you.

Get back to full strength soon.

Peter

Peter Forbes
Carango Amel 54 #035
La Rochelle
00447836 209730


On 2 May 2021, at 00:54, eric freedman <kimberlite@...> wrote:



Sorry to hear the news.

Get better soon.

Spring is here.

Fair Winds

Eric

Kimberlite Amel Super Maramu #376

 

 

From: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io On Behalf Of Matt & Michelle Day, SM#208 SV Talia
Sent: Saturday, May 01, 2021 2:30 PM
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Subject: [AmelYachtOwners] Mast Climbing Safety

 

As some of you are aware, back in February I gutted the NMEA0183 network and instruments on Talia, and replaced them with a new set of B&G NMEA2K kit.  The project took me 2 weeks, and was a great deal of fun.  I was alone, so was not planning to complete the mast work (radar strut replacement, radar replacement, VHF antennae replacement and wind instrument replacement).  That would have to wait for another trip to the Chesapeake (preferably in warmer weather).

To my great joy, my amazing wife surprised me by traveling the 650 miles to come give me a hand over the last 4 days of work scheduled. We churned through the to-do list like champions.  With 2 days left I decided it was a great time to add the mast work to the list and knock it out.   Next trip we could commission the system and be back on the water!

I had been up the main mast twice to remove and start the wire pull, and up the mizzen twice removing the old radar dish and pulling he new radar cable.  My next trip up the mizzen was to replace the radar strut and add the new dish.  Piece of cake....all the steps were preplanned, tools were laid out in batches, and I was ready to go.

Going up to the radar dish is no big deal as I was only up 27.4 ft from the cockpit deck (I just didi it twice).  We were short of time, it was time to get this done.  Harnessed up on February 25th I was being winched up the mast, made it to just above the radar dish where I wanted to be, and the halyard slipped from the clutch.  I fell just under 30 ft to the deck of Talia.

Somehow I hit the Bimini, bounced off, landed on my left leg atop the cockpit seat next to the mizzen, and fell in the open space towards the companionway. I managed to only break my left leg in 6 places.  If the Bimini were not in place, I would have hit the helm seat and either died or worse broken my neck and been paralyzed.   I have had exceptional medical care and am expected to make a full recovery in hopefully a year.

I write this note to all of you, not looking for sympathies or well wishes, but hoping you do not make similar stupid mistakes.  I single dumb decision has costed my family to fear the worst for my health, cost over $200k in medical bills (gotta love the American medical system), and a great deal of personal pain from surgery and rehab.  And I am not done yet.  

I have been the Chief Safety Officer in two industrial plants.  I work in the Aerospace industry where people die when you do not follow the rules.  As an engineer, following the rules and playing out safety risks is how I work....except this time for some reason.  

I was in a hurry with only two days left.  The work was only 20-30 ft up the mast....What's the big deal?  Did Michelle and I talk about how I wanted to go up?  Yes, we did.  Did she say to me, "Do you want to use the starboard line as a secondary?"  Yes, and I declined.....too much time....only doing a job at 20-30 ft.

Every single coworker I have told this story has responded the same way, "YOU would not make that kind of decision and do that!"  It took less than 2 seconds to have this lapse in judgement, because I felt the pressure of meeting a timeline (that I imposed on myself!).  I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to spend the next year paying the price.

My hope in this message is that it will give you pause when working on your fine machine.  Electrical, mechanical, mast work, scrubbing the deck, using power tools...whatever, there are opportunities to make the right and the wrong decisions that can harm you and the people around you.  Please use my example as one that did both.  

I wish you all well, and hope I have not come off too preachy.

Matt & Michelle Day
SM#208 SV Talia
Hampton, VA


John Clark
 

Thank you Matt,
  I have a fear of heights which tends to keep me out of trouble going aloft, but you are right, a split second decision in any number of circumstances can be deadly.  Think about going forward at night while underway.  I have felt that pull that says it is only for a few seconds and weather is good no need to clip in....  We all need to be reminded every once in a while.

John Clark
Annie SM 37
St Thomas, USVI


Mark Erdos
 

Ouch Matt! I hope you get better fast.

 

A couple of thoughts after reading your post: Cindy is the one who works the winch as I go up and down the mast. She is careful to tie off the line tail to two separate cleats as I go up. So, if the rope does slip out of the winch clutch, the cleat will stop me from falling all the way down. Should it fail while she is adjusting the line tail on one cleat, I am always tied to another. On the way down she reverses the procedure allow only so much free line to move me about 10 feet at a time. Also, at the first opportunity, I will snap on a safety line either around the mast or onto a shroud, I use the MOB harness tether for this.

 

We use headsets to communicate.

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Tahiti, French Polynesia

www.creampuff.us

 


Ian Townsend
 

Matt, we feel awful for you. But glad you're alive to tell the tale. Thank you for sharing this. It's a stark reminder of lessons learned the (very) hard and painful way. We wish you a speedy and full recovery.



Sent from my Galaxy


-------- Original message --------
From: "Matt & Michelle Day, SM#208 SV Talia" <charlesmatthewday@...>
Date: 2021-05-01 14:30 (GMT-05:00)
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Subject: [AmelYachtOwners] Mast Climbing Safety

As some of you are aware, back in February I gutted the NMEA0183 network and instruments on Talia, and replaced them with a new set of B&G NMEA2K kit.  The project took me 2 weeks, and was a great deal of fun.  I was alone, so was not planning to complete the mast work (radar strut replacement, radar replacement, VHF antennae replacement and wind instrument replacement).  That would have to wait for another trip to the Chesapeake (preferably in warmer weather).

To my great joy, my amazing wife surprised me by traveling the 650 miles to come give me a hand over the last 4 days of work scheduled. We churned through the to-do list like champions.  With 2 days left I decided it was a great time to add the mast work to the list and knock it out.   Next trip we could commission the system and be back on the water!

I had been up the main mast twice to remove and start the wire pull, and up the mizzen twice removing the old radar dish and pulling he new radar cable.  My next trip up the mizzen was to replace the radar strut and add the new dish.  Piece of cake....all the steps were preplanned, tools were laid out in batches, and I was ready to go.

Going up to the radar dish is no big deal as I was only up 27.4 ft from the cockpit deck (I just didi it twice).  We were short of time, it was time to get this done.  Harnessed up on February 25th I was being winched up the mast, made it to just above the radar dish where I wanted to be, and the halyard slipped from the clutch.  I fell just under 30 ft to the deck of Talia.

Somehow I hit the Bimini, bounced off, landed on my left leg atop the cockpit seat next to the mizzen, and fell in the open space towards the companionway. I managed to only break my left leg in 6 places.  If the Bimini were not in place, I would have hit the helm seat and either died or worse broken my neck and been paralyzed.   I have had exceptional medical care and am expected to make a full recovery in hopefully a year.

I write this note to all of you, not looking for sympathies or well wishes, but hoping you do not make similar stupid mistakes.  I single dumb decision has costed my family to fear the worst for my health, cost over $200k in medical bills (gotta love the American medical system), and a great deal of personal pain from surgery and rehab.  And I am not done yet.  

I have been the Chief Safety Officer in two industrial plants.  I work in the Aerospace industry where people die when you do not follow the rules.  As an engineer, following the rules and playing out safety risks is how I work....except this time for some reason.  

I was in a hurry with only two days left.  The work was only 20-30 ft up the mast....What's the big deal?  Did Michelle and I talk about how I wanted to go up?  Yes, we did.  Did she say to me, "Do you want to use the starboard line as a secondary?"  Yes, and I declined.....too much time....only doing a job at 20-30 ft.

Every single coworker I have told this story has responded the same way, "YOU would not make that kind of decision and do that!"  It took less than 2 seconds to have this lapse in judgement, because I felt the pressure of meeting a timeline (that I imposed on myself!).  I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to spend the next year paying the price.

My hope in this message is that it will give you pause when working on your fine machine.  Electrical, mechanical, mast work, scrubbing the deck, using power tools...whatever, there are opportunities to make the right and the wrong decisions that can harm you and the people around you.  Please use my example as one that did both.  

I wish you all well, and hope I have not come off too preachy.

Matt & Michelle Day
SM#208 SV Talia
Hampton, VA


Wolfgang Weber
 

Not the first time we heard about  an accident while mast-climbing.
All the best and  good recovery - restitutio ad integrum !
2 months ago I participated an ARC Preparation online /zoom  presentation for mastclimbing. Perhaps you may find the video online.
I learned a lot of things - better this way.
I attached some informations .
Stay healty , Wolfgang SY ELISE Amel 54 #162


Chris Doucette
 

Matt, 
Thanks for this!  Being a rock climber-  i am comfortable up the mast- However, only if i use  two fully redundant  rope systems.  I get winched on one systen and keep a prusik on a separate fixed line that i slide up and down with me.  If the first system fails i sit comfortably down on the fixed line prusik..   have a look and they are not expensive!  

On May 2, 2021, at 6:20 PM, Ian Townsend <smlocalola@...> wrote:


Matt, we feel awful for you. But glad you're alive to tell the tale. Thank you for sharing this. It's a stark reminder of lessons learned the (very) hard and painful way. We wish you a speedy and full recovery.



Sent from my Galaxy


-------- Original message --------
From: "Matt & Michelle Day, SM#208 SV Talia" <charlesmatthewday@...>
Date: 2021-05-01 14:30 (GMT-05:00)
To: main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io
Subject: [AmelYachtOwners] Mast Climbing Safety

As some of you are aware, back in February I gutted the NMEA0183 network and instruments on Talia, and replaced them with a new set of B&G NMEA2K kit.  The project took me 2 weeks, and was a great deal of fun.  I was alone, so was not planning to complete the mast work (radar strut replacement, radar replacement, VHF antennae replacement and wind instrument replacement).  That would have to wait for another trip to the Chesapeake (preferably in warmer weather).

To my great joy, my amazing wife surprised me by traveling the 650 miles to come give me a hand over the last 4 days of work scheduled. We churned through the to-do list like champions.  With 2 days left I decided it was a great time to add the mast work to the list and knock it out.   Next trip we could commission the system and be back on the water!

I had been up the main mast twice to remove and start the wire pull, and up the mizzen twice removing the old radar dish and pulling he new radar cable.  My next trip up the mizzen was to replace the radar strut and add the new dish.  Piece of cake....all the steps were preplanned, tools were laid out in batches, and I was ready to go.

Going up to the radar dish is no big deal as I was only up 27.4 ft from the cockpit deck (I just didi it twice).  We were short of time, it was time to get this done.  Harnessed up on February 25th I was being winched up the mast, made it to just above the radar dish where I wanted to be, and the halyard slipped from the clutch.  I fell just under 30 ft to the deck of Talia.

Somehow I hit the Bimini, bounced off, landed on my left leg atop the cockpit seat next to the mizzen, and fell in the open space towards the companionway. I managed to only break my left leg in 6 places.  If the Bimini were not in place, I would have hit the helm seat and either died or worse broken my neck and been paralyzed.   I have had exceptional medical care and am expected to make a full recovery in hopefully a year.

I write this note to all of you, not looking for sympathies or well wishes, but hoping you do not make similar stupid mistakes.  I single dumb decision has costed my family to fear the worst for my health, cost over $200k in medical bills (gotta love the American medical system), and a great deal of personal pain from surgery and rehab.  And I am not done yet.  

I have been the Chief Safety Officer in two industrial plants.  I work in the Aerospace industry where people die when you do not follow the rules.  As an engineer, following the rules and playing out safety risks is how I work....except this time for some reason.  

I was in a hurry with only two days left.  The work was only 20-30 ft up the mast....What's the big deal?  Did Michelle and I talk about how I wanted to go up?  Yes, we did.  Did she say to me, "Do you want to use the starboard line as a secondary?"  Yes, and I declined.....too much time....only doing a job at 20-30 ft.

Every single coworker I have told this story has responded the same way, "YOU would not make that kind of decision and do that!"  It took less than 2 seconds to have this lapse in judgement, because I felt the pressure of meeting a timeline (that I imposed on myself!).  I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to spend the next year paying the price.

My hope in this message is that it will give you pause when working on your fine machine.  Electrical, mechanical, mast work, scrubbing the deck, using power tools...whatever, there are opportunities to make the right and the wrong decisions that can harm you and the people around you.  Please use my example as one that did both.  

I wish you all well, and hope I have not come off too preachy.

Matt & Michelle Day
SM#208 SV Talia
Hampton, VA


Ian Park
 

Lot of good advice here. I have always used to climbing Ascenders. One for my harness and one for two foot loops. I can get up and down the mast solo by using the ascenders on two separate ropes, or just using the foot sling ascender to stand up while my wife takes in the slack on the seat harness ( no cranking the winch handle needed).
The double foot sling means I can comfortably stand above the height of the mast to work, or sit in the harness to rest.
I also take at least a be 8ft tape climbing sling with me. If something broke or jammed you can use the sling as a prussik round the mast to transfer your weight onto.
Two ascenders and a home made double foot sling is way cheaper than some of the commercial stuff and the ability to work above the mast height is a boon.

Ian
Ocean Hobo SN96


Gerhard Mueller
 

Thank you so much for all the good advices. To complete things there is another system called SwissTech Mastlift.
--
Gerhard Mueller
Amel Sharki #60
Currently Kalamata, Greece


Thomas Peacock
 

Great idea, Matt.

One question: many SM do not have an extra halyard on the main; and as far as I know, on the mizzen there is only the mizzen sail halyard (not accessible if the mizzen is in the mast), and the ballooner halyard. If you’re using the balloon halyard to go up, to what do you attach your prussic? Can you deploy it around the mast?

Thanks,

Tom Peacock
SM 240 Aletes
Chesapeake Bay

On May 2, 2021, at 9:00 PM, Chris Doucette <amaroksailing@...> wrote:

Matt, 
Thanks for this!  Being a rock climber-  i am comfortable up the mast- However, only if i use  two fully redundant  rope systems.  I get winched on one systen and keep a prusik on a separate fixed line that i slide up and down with me.  If the first system fails i sit comfortably down on the fixed line prusik..   have a look and they are not expensive!  

https://youtu.be/EFHxQ5fiUvI


On May 2, 2021, at 6:20 PM, Ian Townsend <smlocalola@...> wrote:


Matt, we feel awful for you. But glad you're alive to tell the tale. Thank you for sharing this. It's a stark reminder of lessons learned the (very) hard and painful way. We wish you a speedy and full recovery.



Sent from my Galaxy


-------- Original message --------
From: "Matt & Michelle Day, SM#208 SV Talia" <charlesmatthewday@...>
Date: 2021-05-01 14:30 (GMT-05:00)
Subject: [AmelYachtOwners] Mast Climbing Safety

As some of you are aware, back in February I gutted the NMEA0183 network and instruments on Talia, and replaced them with a new set of B&G NMEA2K kit.  The project took me 2 weeks, and was a great deal of fun.  I was alone, so was not planning to complete the mast work (radar strut replacement, radar replacement, VHF antennae replacement and wind instrument replacement).  That would have to wait for another trip to the Chesapeake (preferably in warmer weather).

To my great joy, my amazing wife surprised me by traveling the 650 miles to come give me a hand over the last 4 days of work scheduled. We churned through the to-do list like champions.  With 2 days left I decided it was a great time to add the mast work to the list and knock it out.   Next trip we could commission the system and be back on the water!

I had been up the main mast twice to remove and start the wire pull, and up the mizzen twice removing the old radar dish and pulling he new radar cable.  My next trip up the mizzen was to replace the radar strut and add the new dish.  Piece of cake....all the steps were preplanned, tools were laid out in batches, and I was ready to go.

Going up to the radar dish is no big deal as I was only up 27.4 ft from the cockpit deck (I just didi it twice).  We were short of time, it was time to get this done.  Harnessed up on February 25th I was being winched up the mast, made it to just above the radar dish where I wanted to be, and the halyard slipped from the clutch.  I fell just under 30 ft to the deck of Talia.

Somehow I hit the Bimini, bounced off, landed on my left leg atop the cockpit seat next to the mizzen, and fell in the open space towards the companionway. I managed to only break my left leg in 6 places.  If the Bimini were not in place, I would have hit the helm seat and either died or worse broken my neck and been paralyzed.   I have had exceptional medical care and am expected to make a full recovery in hopefully a year.

I write this note to all of you, not looking for sympathies or well wishes, but hoping you do not make similar stupid mistakes.  I single dumb decision has costed my family to fear the worst for my health, cost over $200k in medical bills (gotta love the American medical system), and a great deal of personal pain from surgery and rehab.  And I am not done yet.  

I have been the Chief Safety Officer in two industrial plants.  I work in the Aerospace industry where people die when you do not follow the rules.  As an engineer, following the rules and playing out safety risks is how I work....except this time for some reason.  

I was in a hurry with only two days left.  The work was only 20-30 ft up the mast....What's the big deal?  Did Michelle and I talk about how I wanted to go up?  Yes, we did.  Did she say to me, "Do you want to use the starboard line as a secondary?"  Yes, and I declined.....too much time....only doing a job at 20-30 ft.

Every single coworker I have told this story has responded the same way, "YOU would not make that kind of decision and do that!"  It took less than 2 seconds to have this lapse in judgement, because I felt the pressure of meeting a timeline (that I imposed on myself!).  I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to spend the next year paying the price.

My hope in this message is that it will give you pause when working on your fine machine.  Electrical, mechanical, mast work, scrubbing the deck, using power tools...whatever, there are opportunities to make the right and the wrong decisions that can harm you and the people around you.  Please use my example as one that did both.  

I wish you all well, and hope I have not come off too preachy.

Matt & Michelle Day
SM#208 SV Talia
Hampton, VA


--
Tom Peacock
SM 240 Aletes
Chesapeake Bay


Ian Townsend
 

We have two mizzen ballooner halyards to go up the mizzenmast. They run through port and starboard blocks just below the masthead.

Ian & Margaret
S/V Loca Lola II 
SM153

On May 3, 2021, at 8:14 AM, Thomas Peacock <peacock8491@...> wrote:

Great idea, Matt.

One question: many SM do not have an extra halyard on the main; and as far as I know, on the mizzen there is only the mizzen sail halyard (not accessible if the mizzen is in the mast), and the ballooner halyard. If you’re using the balloon halyard to go up, to what do you attach your prussic? Can you deploy it around the mast?

Thanks,

Tom Peacock
SM 240 Aletes
Chesapeake Bay

On May 2, 2021, at 9:00 PM, Chris Doucette <amaroksailing@...> wrote:

Matt, 
Thanks for this!  Being a rock climber-  i am comfortable up the mast- However, only if i use  two fully redundant  rope systems.  I get winched on one systen and keep a prusik on a separate fixed line that i slide up and down with me.  If the first system fails i sit comfortably down on the fixed line prusik..   have a look and they are not expensive!  

https://youtu.be/EFHxQ5fiUvI


On May 2, 2021, at 6:20 PM, Ian Townsend <smlocalola@...> wrote:


Matt, we feel awful for you. But glad you're alive to tell the tale. Thank you for sharing this. It's a stark reminder of lessons learned the (very) hard and painful way. We wish you a speedy and full recovery.



Sent from my Galaxy


-------- Original message --------
From: "Matt & Michelle Day, SM#208 SV Talia" <charlesmatthewday@...>
Date: 2021-05-01 14:30 (GMT-05:00)
Subject: [AmelYachtOwners] Mast Climbing Safety

As some of you are aware, back in February I gutted the NMEA0183 network and instruments on Talia, and replaced them with a new set of B&G NMEA2K kit.  The project took me 2 weeks, and was a great deal of fun.  I was alone, so was not planning to complete the mast work (radar strut replacement, radar replacement, VHF antennae replacement and wind instrument replacement).  That would have to wait for another trip to the Chesapeake (preferably in warmer weather).

To my great joy, my amazing wife surprised me by traveling the 650 miles to come give me a hand over the last 4 days of work scheduled. We churned through the to-do list like champions.  With 2 days left I decided it was a great time to add the mast work to the list and knock it out.   Next trip we could commission the system and be back on the water!

I had been up the main mast twice to remove and start the wire pull, and up the mizzen twice removing the old radar dish and pulling he new radar cable.  My next trip up the mizzen was to replace the radar strut and add the new dish.  Piece of cake....all the steps were preplanned, tools were laid out in batches, and I was ready to go.

Going up to the radar dish is no big deal as I was only up 27.4 ft from the cockpit deck (I just didi it twice).  We were short of time, it was time to get this done.  Harnessed up on February 25th I was being winched up the mast, made it to just above the radar dish where I wanted to be, and the halyard slipped from the clutch.  I fell just under 30 ft to the deck of Talia.

Somehow I hit the Bimini, bounced off, landed on my left leg atop the cockpit seat next to the mizzen, and fell in the open space towards the companionway. I managed to only break my left leg in 6 places.  If the Bimini were not in place, I would have hit the helm seat and either died or worse broken my neck and been paralyzed.   I have had exceptional medical care and am expected to make a full recovery in hopefully a year.

I write this note to all of you, not looking for sympathies or well wishes, but hoping you do not make similar stupid mistakes.  I single dumb decision has costed my family to fear the worst for my health, cost over $200k in medical bills (gotta love the American medical system), and a great deal of personal pain from surgery and rehab.  And I am not done yet.  

I have been the Chief Safety Officer in two industrial plants.  I work in the Aerospace industry where people die when you do not follow the rules.  As an engineer, following the rules and playing out safety risks is how I work....except this time for some reason.  

I was in a hurry with only two days left.  The work was only 20-30 ft up the mast....What's the big deal?  Did Michelle and I talk about how I wanted to go up?  Yes, we did.  Did she say to me, "Do you want to use the starboard line as a secondary?"  Yes, and I declined.....too much time....only doing a job at 20-30 ft.

Every single coworker I have told this story has responded the same way, "YOU would not make that kind of decision and do that!"  It took less than 2 seconds to have this lapse in judgement, because I felt the pressure of meeting a timeline (that I imposed on myself!).  I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to spend the next year paying the price.

My hope in this message is that it will give you pause when working on your fine machine.  Electrical, mechanical, mast work, scrubbing the deck, using power tools...whatever, there are opportunities to make the right and the wrong decisions that can harm you and the people around you.  Please use my example as one that did both.  

I wish you all well, and hope I have not come off too preachy.

Matt & Michelle Day
SM#208 SV Talia
Hampton, VA


--
Tom Peacock
SM 240 Aletes
Chesapeake Bay


Ian Park
 

Yes a prussic round the mast does work, but you have to get past the spreaders, so you need a second one to swap to as you pass.
A long tape sling is better than rope on the mast. I tend only to use one as a safety back up. Using prussik knots on a halliard is ok but sometimes you have to ease the knot to get it to slide. Ascenders used by climbers and cavers are much easier to use, especially on the way down.

Ian
Ocean Hobo SN 96