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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ratlin' up to the yard

Just so you don't think that ALL I do is go to the store and sit around doing crossword puzzles, here's a picture of what I did yesterday.  I installed ratlines on the starboard lower shrouds.   The mast steps are great for climbing all the way up to the top of the mast but if the mainsail is up it's a little more difficult.  Besides, one has to be all harnessed up when using them.  Enter, the ratlines.  Made from well-varnished white oak, they're about 1-3/4" thick to be semi-friendly to bare feet.  They're very easy to climb and, because they cant inboard, they feel quite safe.  Just the ticket for working on the spreaders or, more often, for "ratlin' up" to get a better view when navigating shoal waters or looking for coral heads to avoid.  Most boats that have ratlines only seem to have them on one side of the mast.  But I plan to put them on both sides so that there is always a clear view regardless of which tack we happen to be on.  People without ratlines are always yappin' about windage and weight aloft, but I have a feeling we're going to love them regardless of what the detractors say.

BTW: they have been Lulu-tested and declared "Safe-feeling" and "fun".  So there.


Anonymous said...

Now that you've travelled a bit with these ratlines would you recommend them? Eric

Steve and Lulu said...


Yes. We haven't "needed" them, but they have never been in the way. Not like when the mast steps foul my halyard (almost every time!!!). We've also used the ratlines for hanging the boarding ladder up out of the way and even for drying towels and stuff at anchor. They're absolutely no bother so I figure, why not have them? Coming down off the cabin top after reefing the main in a boisterous seaway, they also add a sense of security as you can't accidentally be thrown between the shrouds and off the boat. I need to get busy and put the port ones back up.


LittleCunningPlan.com said...

I like the ratlines and would much rather see my husband up on those than the climbing harness he currently uses. Of course, using both is the best answer but those look way easier, and I could use them, too. Plus, they give the boat a certain 'shippy' look that is very attractive. Windage. Bah.