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DIY Rigging

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Created by FelixdeCat > 9 months ago, 6 Jul 2017
FelixdeCat
NSW, 192 posts
6 Jul 2017 2:21PM
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I got a quote for a new rig @ $7.7k which I can't really afford. And I prefer to be able to maintain the whole boat if I can, so I looked into DIY rigging and I am comfortable with the process of making new stays but I have some novice questions about the process:

1. I am wondering what to secure the mast with while I take away one stay at a time. Theres only 3 stays: theres two back stays coming out at about 45 degrees and a forestay on a bridle to each hull. So doing one at a time shouldn't take too long to replace the overall rig.. but what do I use to secure the mast while I take each stay down??? As theres only 3 stays, it has to be substituted during replacement.

2. The mast has 3 diamond stays. Would it be best to do these before the back and fore stay? I am thinking it should be safe enough to do all 3 of these at the same time, because the mast will not be under any load during the process.

3. Chain plates: How do I know if they need replacing? The Rigger said he would only know if they need replacing once he starts the job (which in my experience means they will definitely need replacing and he will charge me once he starts the job)


The other benefit to mastering the rig would be knowing how to tune it, fixing the broken furler (he quoted $932 for this job alone) and being able to maintain the electrics on top of the mast.

Included in the quote was $700 for a "mast corrosion service" which I am not exactly sure whats involved. So I have asked for clarification.

Any advice appreciated.

EC31
NSW, 337 posts
6 Jul 2017 2:41PM
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As you have many unknowns with this rig, you may be best to get the mast taken off the boat. Then you can build all the new stays at once, check the chain plates without any interference and do the corrosion fix and electrics without scaling dizzy heights.

Cost is the hire of a mobile crane for out and in. You will need to organise a spot to store your mast, but it will still be cheaper than the rigging quote.

Most of the slipways on Pittwater have a spot to remove and store masts.

Sectorsteve
NSW, 1938 posts
6 Jul 2017 3:42PM
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+ 1 for taking mast off. If its deck stepped good to see whats underneath. If you can find a place that has lotsa cranes and not yacht related you may get a great deal like i got. My mast was stepped/unstepped for 3 cases of beer. I was able to at my leisure work on the mast at a cost of $500, when i was quoted $5000. I replaced 2 lower spreaders, the mast head sheaves, the lower exit sheaves some turnbuckles. Really was the cost of materials only. I love to know how things work so it was a good experience. The spreaders were impossible to get out of the bases so i cut them off leaving part of the spreaders in the bases. Was going to replace the bases, but too hard and expensive. my bases are good.. I first tried to employ some useless alloy pro to clean out the old base as he was doing some welding for me also - instead he charged me for trying, so i took the job off him and did it myself.
I did all this on the boat which wasnt easy, but thats what made it cheap. Not keen to pay extortionate prices for hardstands in Sydney (about 200 per day.)
However if you dont wanna do that , just take a stay off at a time, and secure using halyards if need be.
Take the stays to a rigger and get them to make new ones. I got 2 backstays done at a cost of $180 cash for the two. 9m stays at 5.mm.
Its hard to know about the chain plates. something i would do when the boat is out of the water.

I think you really need to shop around as theres alot of useless contractors around. Recently a sail maker i know whos been sourcing batten ends and lugs/slides for me said the suppliers said theyll just send the parts and then the sailmaker can tell them if theyre right or not when he clearly told them what he needed. they sent the wrong slides and lugs.
I seriously have no faith in humans that provide services atm based on experiences. Everytime i try someone they let me down pretty much. DIY all the way. Learn as you do.

Kankama
NSW, 169 posts
7 Jul 2017 7:39AM
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Like the others in this thread I would do it myself - I do.

In 2014 I rerigged Kankama by taking the stays off one at a time and getting the rigger to make me new ones. The forestay was easy as I needed to put a Norseman end on the bottom for the furler anyway so it was made extra long. I took one sidestay off and put the boom and two halyards to this side.

After you have done all this do the diamonds. I would not do the diamonds at the same time. On a mate's boat we pulled both sidestays down at once and the diamonds helped keep the mast straight.

Up here in Lake Macquarie our friendly rigger will let you borrow his mast trailer so you can take your mast home. You would need to find a rowing club or surf club who would let you borrow the trailer for a fee. Or ring around riggers.

You may be able to get the mast out using the Etchell lift at RPAYC. I don't know about dreaded liability but it may work. They used to pull masts out using a bridge in Brisbane. Anything higher than 2/3 mast height. Monos have it easy and can just raft up to a bigger mono in a calm and winch it out.

Then get out the swear jar and start stripping things off the mast. If the mast is not anodised it will hurt a bit. Still, with the mast off you can replace sheaves, wiring and electrical really easily. Then sand, etch prime, alodyne or similar and paint. Spray the topcoat on and it will all look lovely in the end.

Chainplates are just stainless steel. What is wrong with them? They don't fail often in cats. If they are glassed in then that is a pain but if they are bolted you can just grunt them out and look.

The only thing I pay anyone for on my boat is to make stays and do sailmaking. Everything else I do myself. I am on the slips now, putting in new outboard pods, extra motor, electric anchor winch, antifoul and more. The cost for someone else to do it would be in the many tens of thousands. I should get out of for about (including the outboard) for about three.

cheers

Phil

FelixdeCat
NSW, 192 posts
14 Jul 2017 4:58PM
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I am thankful for all the advice. I think I can really only afford to replace the stays at the moment. Inspecting under the mast will have to wait till next year I think.

The first challenge is getting myself aloft single handed. I have a bosuns chair but obviously that needs a second person and I am working alone. Any recommendations for good products I can use to get myself up their safely by myself?

And once I get aloft would it be best to measure them all and have them made up similar to this guide? (www.sailmagazine.com/diy/a-diy-solution-to-tired-standing-rigging/)

Ramona
NSW, 4512 posts
14 Jul 2017 5:58PM
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I use gear similar to this.

aloftalone.com/aloft-alone-videos/

FelixdeCat
NSW, 192 posts
15 Jul 2017 11:57AM
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How about this one?

www.adventuresafety.com.au/marine-hardware/atn-mastclimber/

Bushdog
NSW, 137 posts
15 Jul 2017 1:03PM
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I have a mast climber. It's fine for masthead rigs. If you want to wait 2-3/52, when I'm back at the boat, you can borrow it for postage costs. I used one of these mastmate.com for a few years, most the time solo on the boat. Great for masthead work as your shoulders are above the masthead, so easy to work on sheaves, anchor light etc. because you're climbing using arms and legs, and especially if your only climbing 30ft or so, it's no drama going up and down a few times per day.

FelixdeCat
NSW, 192 posts
17 Jul 2017 2:34PM
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Thats cool I will order one as I think I am going to use it a lot.

Its a fractional rig but if I am using the main Halyard this should still cover all the work I need to do right?

AUS126
NSW, 89 posts
17 Jul 2017 4:33PM
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The other option is a block and tackle - a couple of double pulley blocks and a long length of double braid rope. Personally I'd prefer to be winched up as I climb. At least then if something breaks you are still holding on. Remember to tie yourself off with a separate safety when you get to the top. Try and double up on everything.

wongaga
222 posts
17 Jul 2017 5:50PM
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AUS126 said..
The other option is a block and tackle - a couple of double pulley blocks and a long length of double braid rope. Personally I'd prefer to be winched up as I climb. At least then if something breaks you are still holding on. Remember to tie yourself off with a separate safety when you get to the top. Try and double up on everything.



Block and tackle is not a great suggestion imho - I inherited a block and tackle arrangement on my boat, and even just getting to the spreaders (not all that far on a Compass 28!) was exhausting. Now I use 2 ascenders and Grigri and it's a doddle.

woko
NSW, 294 posts
17 Jul 2017 8:13PM
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I bought a top climber when I first got this boat it didn't really do it for me. Then I found the block and tackle arangment onboard which is more my style. If anyone wants a like new used once only top climber make me an offer

Ramona
NSW, 4512 posts
18 Jul 2017 8:49AM
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Try one of these.





sydchris
NSW, 157 posts
18 Jul 2017 9:16AM
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If you're in NSW, I'm happy to loan you a Mastmate ladder.

FelixdeCat
NSW, 192 posts
18 Jul 2017 1:16PM
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woko said..
I bought a top climber when I first got this boat it didn't really do it for me. Then I found the block and tackle arangment onboard which is more my style. If anyone wants a like new used once only top climber make me an offer



You have a PM! :)

josusa
WA, 110 posts
18 Jul 2017 11:44AM
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Ramona said..
Try one of these.






I made one of the wooden ones and it works quite well. Connect 2 ropes to the main halyard, haul halyard to the top. Fit the device to one rope anchor it and tighten. The other rope is left slack and is for descending with a belay. I used a prusik knot and cord connected via a climbing carabiner to my bosun's chair. You need to have 2 carabiners on your bosun's chair so that the second one is free to connect to the slack rope via the belay when at the top for coming back down. The device and prusik is retrieved by lowering the halyard again after the descent with the belay on the 2nd rope.

woko
NSW, 294 posts
18 Jul 2017 6:17PM
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FelixdeCat said..

woko said..
I bought a top climber when I first got this boat it didn't really do it for me. Then I found the block and tackle arangment onboard which is more my style. If anyone wants a like new used once only top climber make me an offer




You have a PM! :)





Your on

FelixdeCat
NSW, 192 posts
18 Jul 2017 10:58PM
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Nice thanks for that. Im sure to give it a work out.... 108kg worth of workout

I got 25m of VB cord today to use to replace the old wire halyards with spectra and then get started

Ive also looked around for a book on rigging. Can anyone recommend this one?




Hornsby Library also has this in the catalogue which I will borrow tomorrow.


Datawiz
VIC, 436 posts
19 Jul 2017 7:53AM
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FelixdeCat said..

Nice thanks for that. Im sure to give it a work out.... 108kg worth of workout

I got 25m of VB cord today to use to replace the old wire halyards with spectra and then get started

Ive also looked around for a book on rigging. Can anyone recommend this one?




Hornsby Library also has this in the catalogue which I will borrow tomorrow.




Hi Felix,
Brion Toss is THE authority on all things rigging, everyone should have a copy for reference.
You can get the latest version as an e-book quite economical.
regards,
allan

someday
NSW, 94 posts
19 Jul 2017 9:57PM
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I have "The Compete Rigger's Apprentice" by Brion Toss 1st edition published in 1998. When the 2nd edition was published, I compared the table of contents to 2 editions, they look very similar.

Brion was talking about writing a new book "How to Rig Your Boat", which has still not been published as far as I know. There is an excerpt here:

www.59-north.com/blog/2014/9/24/on-roller-furling

I think it would be the book on rigging if it is ever published.

I don't think ""The Compete Rigger's Apprentice" 1st Edition is that useful for actually trying to figure out how to replace your own rigging. Instead I recommend chapter 8 of "This Old Boat" 2nd Edition by Don Casey.

The is a 1982 book "Cruising Rigs and Rigging" by Ross Norgrove, it has lots of salty dog stories in it. I does actually show how to install a Norseman terminal with 10 steps, including a photo of each step.

Bushdog
NSW, 137 posts
20 Jul 2017 10:04PM
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Lisa Blair on solo mast climbing... Respect
Last night to my great disappointment the winds maintained 8-10 knots from the North to North West and even with the Full main sail and the genoa out I was only able to get 5 knots in speed over ground. I was racking my brain as to why, I either have something caught on the keel or an adverse current as I normally would be making 6-7 knots in those conditions.

Given how close I am to rounding my mark and crossing my track to complete a full circumnavigation I am itching to keep my boat speed up so I was annoyed that the boat was going so slow and nothing that I did with the sail trim added to the speed.

I spent hours just staring at the B and G zeus watching my dismal boat speed kicking myself... At 3am the winds started to build to 20 knots so I put the first reef in the main sail and changed out the genoa for the stay sail. Climate Action Now was still doing the 5-6 knots of boat speed when she should have been easily doing 7-8 knots with that arrangement. I started grinding my teeth glaring at the displays daring it to make me go faster... It didn't make a difference I was simply plodding along.

At 5 am the high wind alarm sounded and out of nowhere I was getting 30 knots of wind. I was still sailing with the first reef in the main sail and the whole of the stay sail out. It was sheeting rain on deck and the boat was getting mostly laid over on her side. I wasn't really going forward anymore, but drifting sideways. As the mainsail was mostly luffing in the wind I decided to furl away the staysail on the Pro Furl (supplied by wichard Pacific) first, as I through this would be the first to go given the scenario. Once that was furled away I madly started lowering the main sail to the second reefing point. Just as I finished lowering it the rain stopped and the winds seemed to pass. I finished putting in the second reef and when I had the chance to look around I was surrounded by blue skies and I could see the departing end of the squall to my right.

The winds had backed to the west and dropped right off to 8 knots on the back end of my storm. So, seconds ago I was getting completely blasted and now I am lolling around in the swell with barely a breeze to fill my sails.... Ahhh. Steady winds just seem like too much to ask for at the moment....

I was tired and grumpy, as I wished to be back in my warm bunk cuddling my hot water bottle. Instead I needed to shake out to the first reef again, so I at least had some chance of moving forward... Sucking it up I got to work and shook out the reef and also unfurled the stay sail. I contemplated shaking out to the full main and putting the genoa out but I didn't think that the light winds would last. Often after a squall you will experience a short period of light winds before the steady winds return, so I was hoping that was the case for me. Also, my bed was calling. I thought that I would try for two more hours of sleep as I was up most of the night. If the conditions were still light then I would look at shaking out to the full mainsail.

I was again back to little boat speed as I was also now sailing under-cooked with the amount of sail up. and I knew there was something slowing me down. I managed to discover the culprit when the boat was drifting more sideways than forward in that squall. I just managed to glimpse some long strands of kelp wrapped around the keel, put there simply to test my patience - a test I was failing at. Right now, there was very little I could do about it. I hoped that it would simply fall off on its own but that would probably be also asking too much.

The only way to get the kelp off is to dive overboard and pull it off, or try to push it off with the boat hook or sail the boat backwards.... I know it is possible to sail backwards, it is just not something that is that easy to do on a boat of this size. A dinghy sure but with a 50ft yacht solo it's no easy task. I have done it once on a 68ft boat to sail off a crayfish pot, but that was with a full crew which helped a lot. In any case I have already had a major job to complete today, so the keel will have to wait.

I needed to climb the mast while the conditions were still good. About a week ago I started to notice some discoloration on the Diagonal lower rigging wires called D1's. I had been watching them closely as this was also something that happened on the last rig before it came down and I was petrified that the same problem of electrolysis was occurring again. I am so close to the finish and the last thing I needed was the idea of the mast coming down playing with my head.

So, today I sought some advice from the experts and called David from Arcus Wire and rigging. David explained that stainless steel can sometimes get something called a tea stain on it but that this doesn't hurt the rigging wire at all and that this was most likely what I was seeing. But as well as I could describe it, I would sleep a whole lot better with some redundancy on the rigging wire.

I am completely aware that I am most likely just over reacting but after what I went through it is a little understandable. Also, as amazing as Edward Williams Marine Insurance and Northern Reef Insurance have been to me, I find it rather unlikely that they would pay out twice in 12 months for a new mast... So, I went with the cautious option that means I will sleep soundly.

I decided that I would climb the mast to the lower spreaders (the horizontal mast supports) and run a secondary dyneema line around the attachment pin and secure it at the toggle at deck level. Dyneema is an incredible strong rope and would work in lieu of a length of rigging wire should the worst occur. All my ropes are Lancelin lines and were kindly supplied by My Yacht in Sydney.

I have a self-climbing mast system on the boat for just this occasion so I dug that out and my climbing harness, set the boat up and all the lines ready to go, donned my Gath Sports Helmet and started the arduous task of hauling my ass up the mast.

A self-climbing system is great and a necessity if you need to climb the mast solo, but it is quite physically taxing on the upper body. The system consists of two ascenders, like rock climbers use. I winch a climbing rope tight and then attach the two ascenders. The top one is shackled to my climbing harness and the lower one has two foot-straps for me to stand it. Then, what I do is sit in the harness and pull the lower ascender up as high as it can go. Then standing in the foot straps I push the top ascender as high as it can go.

It is slow progress and I get about 15-20 cm each lift. It is also really taxing on your upper body strength, but it does allow for a way for me to safely climb the mast. I descend the same fashion but in reverse order. All in all, it took me a little over an hour to climb to the lower spreaders, attach my two dyneema safety lines and return to the deck. It was 4.30 in the afternoon by then. I finished off the job by lashing the lower ends of the dyneema to the turnbuckle of the D1's and tried to get as much tension as possible.

Now whilst I really don't think the mast is going to come down, I have now taken the right precautions just in case. Now I will be able to get a bit more sleep tonight and feel more comfortable when tackling the easterly blow that is on its way. I kept the first reef in the mainsail while I was up the mast as the winds were expected to increase, however apart from a few smaller puffs the winds were still 12-15 knots.

I decided to just leave the sails as they were as in an hour's time I was expecting 20 knots. In hindsight, I wish I had have spent a little extra energy and shook out that reef, as the winds didn't arrive until 10pm, so I spent a few more hours going slow...

I will have to try to do something about that kelp tomorrow as I really feel like I am losing 1-1.5 knots of boat speed with it on the keel and that is really driving me nuts. Anyhow, nothing will be done about it tonight. I am now less than 600 nm from turning north however Tuesday is offering me 30 knot headwinds from the east so I am hoping that this system changes a little between now and then.

oldtom
9 posts
28 Jul 2017 5:34PM
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FelixdeCat said..
I am thankful for all the advice. I think I can really only afford to replace the stays at the moment. Inspecting under the mast will have to wait till next year I think.

The first challenge is getting myself aloft single handed. I have a bosuns chair but obviously that needs a second person and I am working alone. Any recommendations for good products I can use to get myself up their safely by myself?

And once I get aloft would it be best to measure them all and have them made up similar to this guide? (www.sailmagazine.com/diy/a-diy-solution-to-tired-standing-rigging/)


UI use a small comalong= 500kg that i have replaced the chain in with a new longer one hooked too the main halyard then winch my self up or down my be slow but i don't weigh any were near the w.l.l. of the comalong yes replacement chain is prof

Twohull
QLD, 130 posts
29 Jul 2017 8:28AM
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Ramona said..
I use gear similar to this.

aloftalone.com/aloft-alone-videos/



I did show this Aloftalone add to a person who climbs rocks asking if this kind of gear would be any use for him. Thanks to his advise I saved some money and have purchased my "up the mast" set made by top manufacturers of climbing gear. Strap for feet is home made, not pictured.












FelixdeCat
NSW, 192 posts
1 Aug 2017 3:20PM
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I went up the mast on Saturday night with the top climber for the first time. It was about 12 knots, and choppy as hell. I got to the point where my feet were above the spreaders and then aborted. I could see the snagged Furler about 6 feet above but I was getting thrown around too much to be able to safely get a tool onto it even if I kept climbing. I had one crew belaying a safety (spinnaker halyard) and descending was harder than ascending. Could only go 15cm at a time when descending and was getting tired from the severe movement of the mast.

I I didn't use a winch to tension the line cause I couldn't get the last circlip on but now I've fixed that so this weekend I'll have another go and hopefully make it all the way.

No issues with the top climber.

Ramona
NSW, 4512 posts
1 Aug 2017 6:23PM
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manitulak said..

Ramona said..
I use gear similar to this.

aloftalone.com/aloft-alone-videos/




I did show this Aloftalone add to a person who climbs rocks asking if this kind of gear would be any use for him. Thanks to his advise I saved some money and have purchased my "up the mast" set made by top manufacturers of climbing gear. Strap for feet is home made, not pictured.













I use a Petzl RIG for decending. www.ebay.com.au/itm/Petzl-RIG-Self-Braking-Descender-Belay-Equipment-GOLD-/152256469220?epid=1473056425&hash=item23733158e4:g:7YUAAOSwNRdX6g1J
Easy and a delight to use. I believe it's what window cleaners use.
Ascender is a $40 Chinese unit. I spent money on a quality climbing rope.

FelixdeCat
NSW, 192 posts
12 Sep 2017 1:27PM
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Ok so the mast climbing aparatus is working ok and I am getting some jobs done but I have to concede theres no way I am going to re-rig this whole thing danging in the air. Besides, its likely that all sheaves need to be replaced, windvane etc, in fact the whole mast needs to be stripped in order to have the preventative barriers between the aluminium and the stainless fittings re-established. Not to mention that the mast also has to be stepped to have the base inspected and lets assume that needs work also.

So it looks like the cheapest option is to have the mast craned off, plonked on a trailer and sent to my house where I can work on it at my own pace, replicate all the rigging on my driveway with sta-lok fittings and then maybe spray paint the whole mast just for the hell of it (I love spray painting stuff and have all the gear etc).

Anyone done it this way before? Am I on the right track or no?

Ramona
NSW, 4512 posts
12 Sep 2017 6:12PM
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FelixdeCat said..
Ok so the mast climbing aparatus is working ok and I am getting some jobs done but I have to concede theres no way I am going to re-rig this whole thing danging in the air. Besides, its likely that all sheaves need to be replaced, windvane etc, in fact the whole mast needs to be stripped in order to have the preventative barriers between the aluminium and the stainless fittings re-established. Not to mention that the mast also has to be stepped to have the base inspected and lets assume that needs work also.

So it looks like the cheapest option is to have the mast craned off, plonked on a trailer and sent to my house where I can work on it at my own pace, replicate all the rigging on my driveway with sta-lok fittings and then maybe spray paint the whole mast just for the hell of it (I love spray painting stuff and have all the gear etc).

Anyone done it this way before? Am I on the right track or no?


Mate is doing this at the moment with the mast off his Cole 42. It's a massive double spreader mast and he has striped it back to bare alloy and polished it. We removed the keel stepped mast with a hiab on a truck parked at the fishermans wharf. Massive mast at over 18 metres but was surprisingly easy to handle. We only had to truck the mast a mile or so. All the sheaves have been re machined and a lot of unused holes have been Tig welded. New conduit and aerial wiring installed. Spreader bases welded up properly. Mate is a fitter and turner and very skilled and using equipment that was not available in the '80's when this very expensive one off would have been built. Lot of fun the other day running new cables through the new conduit. This sort of job would be impossible in situ.

SandS
VIC, 5361 posts
12 Sep 2017 8:40PM
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if your using a "single line" climbing method google prussic knot and at a minimum use that on your safety line
but you could use the prussic as the sole climbing device instead of the hardware .......amazing knott !!

FelixdeCat
NSW, 192 posts
15 Sep 2017 8:37AM
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Ok so the cost of the mast lift onto the trailer with 1 hour of labour from the marina is $245 and the cost of freight one way is $880 but the freight seems high.

Anyone ever just rented a car trailer instead and built a timber frame to support it? Of course this would require me to transport it at night but I looked up the rules and there's no restriction on overhang length past the end of the trailer. Just that it can't be more than 19m total car and trailer. And at night it has to have a red light on the end.

Seems crazy but a car trailer costs $145 vs $880 for the pros and they won't even take it inside my yard. Just dump it on the nature strip whilst with the car trailer I can get it all the way in.

$735 X 2 = 1470

samsturdy
NSW, 1284 posts
15 Sep 2017 10:04AM
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Felix, could you hire a ute with ladder carriers from Thrifty or somewhere and carry the mast like that ??.

Lazzz
NSW, 353 posts
15 Sep 2017 10:26AM
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FelixdeCat said..

Anyone ever just rented a car trailer instead and built a timber frame to support it? Of course this would require me to transport it at night but I looked up the rules and there's no restriction on overhang length past the end of the trailer. Just that it can't be more than 19m total car and trailer. And at night it has to have a red light on the end.

Seems crazy but a car trailer costs $145 vs $880 for the pros and they won't even take it inside my yard. Just dump it on the nature strip whilst with the car trailer I can get it all the way in.

$735 X 2 = 1470


Yep, I moved my 16m mast on a home made rig. Only had to go about 10 klms but took the risk.
It hung over the roof of the car - going around corners was a bit tricky but we got there!!



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"DIY Rigging" started by FelixdeCat