Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ratlin' up to the yard

This project is from s/v Siempre Sabado, originally published on Thursday, December 10, 2009.
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.

So there indeed.


  1. I think Ratlines are cool! :)

  2. I need to replace the ones on my Garden North Sea Trawler. Did you lash them on or did you use hardware?


  3. Here is what Steve said in reponse to Devon's question:

    "Each rung is two pieces, a front and a back. I cut a groove in each piece that matched the angle and diameter of the shroud. The addition of lots of varnish in the grooves made it so that clamping the front and back pieces on the shroud became a very tight fit. I then used 1/4" -20 stainless steel carriage bolts to fasten the steps to the shrouds. I put acorn nuts on the end so that we wouldn't get snagged while walking by. I put one bolt on each side of each shroud and an additional one in the center of the rung if the length warranted. Hope this helps."


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