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Inspecting the condition of your rigging is an important step in safe-passage preparation, so going aloft is—or should be—on the maintenance shortlist of many cruisers. Does that sound like a glorious opportunity to gaze at your boat from an eagle’s-eye view or a nerve-racking ascent to avoid (or get over with as quickly as possible)? Maybe the reaction is, “Hell no, that’s a job for a rigger!” However you feel about going aloft, cruisers should be familiar with safe practices for ascending their boat’s mast(s). These tips will help you to do it safely.
It is a serious undertaking that requires the use of good equipment, safety practices and a keen eye for knowing when to not defy gravity. Make a plan if you have any questions about the safety checks described in this article. Only go up to the mast after you’ve addressed them.