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Thread: Bosun's chair

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
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    Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK
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    23,320

    Default Bosun's chair

    In the days of my youth I took a reasonably straight grained board about 2ft x 8", bored four holes in it, seized the doubled rope round the thimble with a racking, crossed the ends and spliced them under the board and reckoned I had done a good job.

    And I learned how to make the bosun's chair hitch..



    About twenty years into my sailing career I bought a red polyester canvas one.

    Fifty years into my sailing career I spent serious money buying one from Harken. It's jolly comfy and I could spend all day in it. But the fine chaps who wrote its instruction book would be horrified by that picture (which comes from the British Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seamen - but not the current edition)
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Sound Beach, NY
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    3,596

    Default Re: Bosun's chair

    I still have both style chairs, hoist myself aloft with tackle, and carefully hitch the line. I learned this in Coast Guard seamanship.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
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    4,852

    Default Re: Bosun's chair

    Mine is an exact copy of Hervey Garret Smith's.

    I hitch it, again, exactly like he says.

    Works great. I use a 4-part tackle of wooden blocks I made, which means a lot of line, but not too much muscle.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    lagunitas, ca, usa
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    48

    Default Re: Bosun's chair

    I used to think I was (reasonably) brave because I went up 80' in a bosun's chair.

    Then I saw the window washers in Shanghai. They tie a loop in a piece of rope, sit in it, then their partner lowers them over the side from the top of a 30 floor building, and they swing back and forth with a bucket of soapy water and a squeegee.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    San Francisco Bay
    Posts
    11,655

    Default Re: Bosun's chair

    Quote Originally Posted by Favorite View Post
    I used to think I was (reasonably) brave because I went up 80' in a bosun's chair.

    Then I saw the window washers in Shanghai. They tie a loop in a piece of rope, sit in it, then their partner lowers them over the side from the top of a 30 floor building, and they swing back and forth with a bucket of soapy water and a squeegee.
    I hear there's a really high job turnover rate and the workers' compensation insurance is astronomical!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
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    Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK
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    Default Re: Bosun's chair

    I recall spending a wet and windy Saturday afternoon in Hong Kong watching the scaffolding being taken down from the new 35 floor apartment block that I had just moved into.

    It was wet and windy because there was a typhoon coming in.

    35 floors of scaffolding on one face of the tower was taken down in one afternoon, by one man with a knife. He cut the lashings and dropped the poles. Being bamboo, their terminal velocity was low enough for them to bounce gently and form a pile. He stopped from time to time to sharpen the knife.
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
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    Default Re: Bosun's chair

    One page from the Harken instruction manual. It’s all very worthy:

    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Deepest Darkest Wales
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    19,833

    Default Re: Bosun's chair

    There's a memorable tale about a gantline hitch in Newby's The Last Grain Race.
    Creationists aren't mad - they're possessed of demons.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Southern Maine
    Posts
    20,354

    Default Re: Bosun's chair

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett View Post

    A single sheet bend!! Yikes.

    I've never tried Ettiene's: ATN mast climber, but would like to. http://www.atninc.com/atn-mastclimbe...quipment.shtml

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
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    Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK
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    23,320

    Default Re: Bosun's chair

    Quote Originally Posted by P.I. Stazzer-Newt View Post
    There's a memorable tale about a gantline hitch in Newby's The Last Grain Race.
    I’d forgotten that. I once managed a high speed descent to deck level when single handed (at anchor). I think the furled mainsail must have helped to break my fall. I found myself lying on the side deck, wearing a very damp shirt. I spent a little time wondering if I wanted to find out if I could still move my feet. Success. I then noticed that I was covered in blood because the aft shroud had acted like a cheese wire on my upper right arm. Still, no permanent damage and the blood stains washed off in the end.
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

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