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Dan Perrott

I’m sure it’s a good harness, I have just always wondered why not buy a standard climbing harness, where there is a huge choice already available.


I’ve been very happy with my Atom Sit harness, designed for search and rescue people. The Atom’s wide and well-padded back and thigh straps allow me to hang and work much longer in comfort than I could in the much lighter, but less comfortable climbing harnesses I previously used. Being comfortable means I wiggle less (to avoid leg numbness and back pain) and can thus focus more intently on my aloft tasks.

Dan Perrott

Steve – Yes agreed, definitely much more comfortable for working in than a standard climbing harness, shame they are more expensive too.
I’ll wait for John’s article for further comments.

Dick Stevenson

Hi John and all,
A bosun’s chair may be fine and more comfortable in the marina, but a harness is, to my mind, essential for going aloft offshore (as you are unable to fall out of it) or even at anchor where there may be speeding boats with big wakes.
I have been very happy with Brion Toss’s harness which I bought ~~25 years ago. It is designed for rigging work with lots of pockets and clips etc. to make work aloft more organized and safer. But for me, the biggest plus is the padding and adjustable design which makes staying aloft for longer periods possible for this 70+ yo body. So much so that I wax and polish the mast every year when the mast is not removed doing so from the harness: a process which translates into much time aloft.
It is quite expensive, (or was and I assume still is) but what seemed like a sizable splurge at the time has amortized into a quite reasonable cost over 25 years and, like all quality gear, it still remains a pleasure to use after all these years: something hard to quantify in dollars.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
Ps. Brion Toss’s book: The Rigger’s Apprentice remains one of the books I have learned the most from over the decades and is in my limited on-board library. Highly recommended.

Alastair Currie

In my industry dropped tools has been a risk that too frequently has caused loss of some sort. The industry decided to do something about it, late 1990’s and now there is a plethora of lanyards available to securely hold tools when working aloft. You can buy dedicated tool kits for working at height, but they are ridiculously expensive and not appropriate for leisure sailors. However, the various lanyards are useful additions to any tool kit for working on a mast aloft. A selection here: -—stop-tools-falling-from-height

I have a few of the elasticated hard hat lanyards,

I use them to grip ordinary tools, cameras, stuff when aloft, so that the item remains attached if accidentally dropped. They are light weight, so not good for power drills, but for spanner’s, screwdrivers and my phone (camera) the elastic loop can be pulled tight to grip most light items securely. The other end has a cam clip for attaching to my clothing. They work well, are low cost and easy to use. I have no association with the company linked to.