John Gardner devises a hoist to take the strain out of going aloft

I have struggled to raise someone up the mast on my Pegasus 800 as the winches are a bit light for such a task. To overcome this, I made a hoist out of bits lying around the garage and boat and tried it out recently. It was effortless, as I essentially walked up the mast just using my legs – and my crew liked it even more as all he had to do was take up the slack on my bosun’s chair and eventually lower me down.

I used two pieces of 10mm-thick plywood sandwiched together so that the 15mm-wide tape strap could be secured between the ply pieces. The tape (old sail tie) was threaded through a mast sail slug which ultimately slides up the mast and stops the unit from moving away as you step your way up the mast.

To operate it, you take the topping lift off the boom and secure it through the eyes and cleat of the unit, with the sail slug fitted in the mast groove, tie off the topping lift around the boom at the mast and tension. From here, simply place your feet in the unit and stand up from a crouched position: the crew takes your weight on the bosun’s chair. Thereafter, you can repeat the process.


John Gardner

Send us your practical projects! We pay at least £30 for each one published…