Friday, March 29, 2013

New Gear: Mast Mate

Mast work is one thing I've been looking at with a cautious eye since I started shopping around for a boat.

I used to have an Amateur Radio tower with a height of 77' in my backyard at my last house I had. I'm used to climbing the narrow tower at that height. Of course, being firmly set in the ground with 60, 60lb bags of concrete and guy wires attached to earth anchors, it certainly wasn't moving. It had a nice view from the top too.

That concrete base is 3' x 3' for size comparison

Now, the idea of getting to the top of a mast I wasn't sure about. I'm expecting there would be a lot more movement at the top of a boats mast than the top of the radio tower. While reading various things around the net, it seemed the main methods used involved another person hoisting someone up. Since I am likely to be doing a lot of stuff around my boat without much, if any, help, I decided to find something for the solo/shorthanded sailor, a Mast Mate.

I've seen it advertised and seemed to have good reviews on some forums. A recent post of SV Sundowner getting new standing rigging showed it in use and I thought that it looked like it would work out well. I went ahead and ordered one that would accommodate my mast. After ordering online, I received a phone call shortly afterwards to finalize the order and it just arrived today. I still have the climbing belt left over from the tower that I can use with the Mast Mate.

Here are a few pictures I just took to show the package I received.

I attached one of the shackles temporarily to show how it is done. Once I order the appropriate size slides, I will attached them all.


  1. We use a Mast Mate as well, it is handy. Only down side it that it moves from side to side as your climbing up. It just takes some getting used to.

  2. I'm interested to hear how you like it. Right now I am leaning towards using a climbing belt and two ascenders attached to foot loops to climb my mast solo. Let us know how the mast mate works out!