Monday, July 21, 2014

Just Get a Bosun's Chair Already!

My brother being our mast-climbing guinea pig with the harness
At some point, unless you've got money to pay someone else to do it, you'll need to go up the mast. Whether it's for maintanence, inspection, repairs or projects you'll need someone to go aloft and having the right gear can make all the difference.  We've been trying to get by on the cheap by using my brother's old climbing harness to go up the mast when needed. It served it's purpose by getting someone up the mast but was by no means comfortable or pleasant for the person in it.

Last weekend Ron went up the mast to replace our old anchor light fixture with a new LED one and came down in a total tizzy. Forget the fact that the new fixture didn't fit in the space, it was the climbing gear that he was ready to burn. Apparently it's a little difficult and uncomfortable to be bouncing around in the rigging with no feeling in your legs.

Needless to say, when we got home that night we ordered a Bosun's Chair. With a padded seat, backrest and tool bag this bad boy is the Cadillac version of our old jalopy system. I'm not sure why, but I thought these things were like $300-$400 so I was pleasantly surprised when we got ours on sale for $100! Now I feel a little bad about repeatedly sending Ron up the mast in the climbing gear knowing a simple and affordable solution to his misery such as this existed. Oops.
West Marine's Bosun's Chair
The next time Ron went up the mast in the chair, he was comfortable enough to take his time finishing the LED anchor light fixture install and do a little rigging inspection, and best of all, I think he actually had fun doing it. Other than dealing with more waves than normal, he said he could stay up there all day (whaaaaat?!?). That's the kind of attitude 180 that makes buying a good mast climbing system (of which there are many options) totally worth the cost. If you don't have one already, just get one, you won't regret it. You'll need it, you'll use it. Learn from our pain. Please.

Ron happy enough in his new chair to stop and take a picture. Mission accomplished.

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