The Aloft Alone kit bag is the safest way to climb your mast.
It has been designed for all kinds of sailors, with different kinds of masts, and different preferences.
There are many ways to get up and down a mast – some of which are just plain dangerous. See our FAQ page for more information.
Because some of these methods are scary, sailors often postpone maintenance or basic rig checks before going sailing.
With this kit, you can climb your mast unassisted, or be winched up and have the independence to bring yourself down. You can still use your bosun’s chair if you so wish, and mast steps if you have them. This system means that you are no longer dependent on someone winching you up and waiting at the bottom until you want to come down again. Or lowering you and getting it badly wrong!
The Aloft Alone system has adapted well-tested techniques from climbing and caving to the nautical environment and specifically for mast-climbing:
- Send custom-made rope up your mast, and secure your halyard below . (After this, the winch and halyard are not touched throughout the process, eliminating risk.)
- Put on the harness, and attach yourself to the rope using the descending and ascending devices. (You now remain attached throughout.)
- Attach prusik to secondary halyard as backup – see instructional videos.
- Climb up the rope using an ascending device and footloop. Check your mast, do your work…
- Remove the ascending device, and slowly abseil down the rope using the already-attached descending device. If you let go at any time, you just stop.
For a detailed list of components in the kit bag, please see the “Additional Information” tab and hover over the images above for a closer look.
Make sure that you and your mast are both safe and well looked-after. These are, after all, two of the most important aspects of sailing!
Each kit contains the following items:
Rope bag Canoe-bag style, rugged, roll-down waterproof bag with strong haulage points and backpack straps. Contains kit components. Perfect as a haul-bag for bringing large items up your mast or use as a backpack. Nb – this is not a sealed dry bag (NZ Aspiring Enterprises).
Rope A length of 11mm static rope rope comes as 25m standard. This is enough to cover most boats but lengths can easily be cut to suit individual requirements (shorter or longer upon request). We use Pigeon Mountain Industries (PMI) for our rope manufacturer; PMI uses 16 carrier kernmantle construction combined with the best nylon on the market to make some of the toughest low-stretch ropes in the world. All PMI ropes use a “block-creel” sheath construction which gives them far superior sheath integrity, and guarantees the absence of knots, gaps, and overlaps in the sheath yarns. PMI ropes are certified to the Cordage Institute (USA) CI 1801 standard for low-stretch ropes. (Pidgeon Mountain Industries USA).
Climbers Helmet A ‘CT Galaxy’ with head torch attachment. Multi-purpose helmet for mountaineering, ABS external shell, expanded polystyrene liner to absorb impact energy, large range of adjustment between 50 – 61cm, weight 350g, 4 headlamp attachment clips, and dial headband adjustment. Complies with European standard EN12492 & UIAA (Climbing Technologies).
Harness The Petzl Calidris harness is comfortable, ventilated, and adjustable harness for long periods of hanging. Size 2 fits most people. XS (size 1) is available on request. Certification(s) : CE, EN 12 277 type C, UIAA 105 (Petzl).
The CT Sparrow is a self-braking descender for work on ropes which allows the operator to lower themself on the working line. Rope adjustment device certified to EN 12841:2006-C. Rescue descender certified to EN 341:2011-2A. To be used only with static and semi static ropes certified to EN 1891 type A – Ø 10.5 ÷ 11mm..
Ascending device The Petzl Basic Ascender has a chrome-plated, spring-loaded steel cam which features angled teeth and a self-cleaning slot to securely grip the rope, even in wet, or icy, conditions. Can be used left- or right-handed. Specified for use with single ropes between 8 and 11 mm in diameter. Certification(s): CE EN 567, UIAA (Petzl).
Ascender Footloop with double loop for the feet allowing for an easy stance when working (Aspiring Enterprises NZ).
Triple lock carabiner Strength rating 24kN, cross loading 8kN, gate open 7kN ‘CE EN 12275 and EN 362’ (Climbing Techologies).
5mm accessory cord with stitched eyes (not rated, Aspiring Enterprises NZ).
6mm Maillon Rapide* stainless steel oval. Specifications: 6mm 20kn SWL 400kg (Made in France).
A 22 cm stitched loop (rated) Dyneema webbing is the preferred material for manufacturing lightweight sewn slings 13 mm width, which is durable and facilitates sewing. Lightweight and very strong Complies with EN 566 Minimum strength 22kN (Aspiring Enterprises).
Oval Triple lock carabiner for use with backup system.Strength rating 24kN cross loading 8kN gate open 7kN ‘CE EN 12275 and EN 362’ (Climbing Technologies).
1 x 6mm sewn prusik Sewn Prusiks are structurally stitched Stitching sealed with heat shrink tubing 6mm cord Strength rating 14kN (Aspiring Enterprises).
8mm Maillion Rapide* stainless steel delta. Specifications: 8mm, 27kn, SWL 550 kg (Made in France).
*A word on screw links or Maillion rapides: the kit uses two in total. Screw-links are great for rigging because they are very strong and not prone to failure due to incorrect loading, particularly where their orientation can be controlled so that the sleeve is not loaded. Screw-links don’t unscrew readily and can be secured with a spanner or thread adhesive.