Safety lanyard for Bosun's Chair

dmonn

Participating member
Location
Mequon
I've got a friend with a sailboat. He's got a nice bosun's chair and uses it to work on things "up the mast". When watching him it bothers me that he doesn't have a backup line in case the halyard he uses to get up and down would fail. My thought was to make him an adjustable positioning lanyard to add to the system. He could double wrap it around his mast, and that would provide at least some help in case the halyard broke. He'd likely slide down the mast until he hit an obstruction (spreader bar, light, radar fitting, etc.). The double wrap might slow him down a little as well. If I made it long enough he could also use it for work positioning on standing rigging to hold him out (away from the mast) while he worked on it (unsnarling a flag line, adding/replacing a shroud telltale, etc.). I have a piece of 9/16 nystron as well as pieces of different types of static climbing lines. I was thinking of using the nystron for its elasticity, but it's so heavy duty I don't know if the weight of a person would cause much stretch even in a dynamic loading situation..

Any thoughts on the idea or suggestions are welcome.
 

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
Administrator
It's hard to imagine any rope that has service life in it that wouldn't make a good lanyard. In use there would be so little rope that even a rock climbing dynamic rope would likely not deploy any stretch. In a double wrap configuration...none that would be measured. Lanyards are usually used with only enough slack to move so there is such a short fall distance.
 

Dan Cobb

Branched out member
Location
Hoover
We often trust single lines, so I think halyard inspection is the key for safety. Is his halyard all rope or half rope, half wire rope? I'd pay close attention to the rope-wire rope splice if it has one. Mast-top sheaves should also be checked.

Is it an option to use the other halyard (e.g. for the foresail if he's on the mainsail halyard) as a safety line?

If he got stuck hanging from a lanyard, what then? No fall, but could still be in a pickle.

If you want to try a wrapped lanyard, maybe coating the contact part with liquid rope whipping would keep it from sliding or at least sliding so fast.
 

TheTreeSpyder

Participating member
Location
Florida>>> USA
Simplest seat is made more for positioning than catching life load.
Lanyard, especially adjustable, can be very key in most leveraged, more stable and comfy positioning to better view of work along with main line.
Especially see this if main support and lanyard are offset from each other where sit in more of a V seat between the pulls.
Round Turn to mast etc. does give some grip, where Simple Turn would be more like a captured slide.
.
Taking around corner from positioning to safety, quite simply A#1: 2is1 and 1isNone philosophy
>>just as see in other mechanics in normal world all around
Would make sure no way can come out of chair/seat; even if turned upside down.
Would watch pull points on bod if hanging compromised would it cut off blood or air suppliers?.
>>would not want to hang upside down.
>>would not swim, nor climb alone
>>would have whistle
.
i'd also have small sling(big enough to Prusic to mast would be nice) with carabiner tucked; as universal grab and connect w/over 1001 uses as cheap insurance, even if w/o or while making lanyard. Prussic mite not seat as expected to grab, would favor taper or other deformity etc.
.
Must have mindset: are cheating Nature's forces with these small trinkets;
which She will zealously prove to you in payback; if given chance.
You don't give the bigger, badder fighter the opening ever;
can't out muscle, must out think.
 

dmonn

Participating member
Location
Mequon
We often trust single lines, so I think halyard inspection is the key for safety. Is his halyard all rope or half rope, half wire rope? I'd pay close attention to the rope-wire rope splice if it has one. Mast-top sheaves should also be checked.

Is it an option to use the other halyard (e.g. for the foresail if he's on the mainsail halyard) as a safety line?

If he got stuck hanging from a lanyard, what then? No fall, but could still be in a pickle.

If you want to try a wrapped lanyard, maybe coating the contact part with liquid rope whipping would keep it from sliding or at least sliding so fast.
Good thoughts. The halyard is all rope. I hate the combos--wire likes to slip off the sheave on older boats. It's a fractional rig so the foresail halyard won't get you all the way to the top of the mast. The main halyard is inside the mast.

If he got stuck the crew could toss him another line and block and lower him with that. Good to think about and test out before it's needed.

Inspection IS most important for safety. Even polyester degrades from the sun over time, and over half the halyard is exposed to the elements 24/7 for half the year. That's a lot more exposure than most arb lines get in a year.

I've never used liquid rope whipping. I'll have to check it out. Thanks.
 

Stumpsprouts

Branched out member
Location
Asheville
Would it be feasible to have a second rope pre installed at the top of the mast? I am imagining this mast being metal and smooth and the lanyard just sliding down. The double wrap would help but still that could be a painful drop.
 

treesap

Participating member
Location
east TN
Would it be feasible to have a second rope pre installed at the top of the mast? I am imagining this mast being metal and smooth and the lanyard just sliding down. The double wrap would help but still that could be a painful drop.
what might work, and ive seen people do for tree work:
thread the lanyard thru a piece of rubber garden hose (Can get them at home depot, continental hot water hose)

once you take a wrap on the mast that should tighten right up, only issue I can see: its gonna be heavy, and whatever adjuster he uses wont be able to go over the area with the hose
 

SumoClimber

New member
Location
Fox Cities, WI
what might work, and ive seen people do for tree work:
thread the lanyard thru a piece of rubber garden hose (Can get them at home depot, continental hot water hose)

once you take a wrap on the mast that should tighten right up, only issue I can see: its gonna be heavy, and whatever adjuster he uses wont be able to go over the area with the hose
I was just going to suggest the rubber sleeve on a cinching rope. It's the way I learned flagpole climbing way back in Boy Scouts.
 

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