The Kinleven Yacht Mast Ladder is a simple and stable solution which will allow you to climb your mast solo and with minimal preparation.
Our Mast Ladders are made to measure so that, while the top rung is just a metre below the masthead sheave, the bottom rung is neither too high nor too low, in other words, within easy reach of the boom (not too high), and not in the way if you want to pre-tension your ladder by tying off at the foot of your mast (not too low).
We do this by taking the precise ladder length and calculating the distance required between each rung to the nearest millimetre. We balance spacing with the number of rungs to keep within a “comfortable climbing” range. For “Racing” versions, we can fit fewer rungs spaced further apart to save on weight.
Though not as familiar or available as the old Bosun’s Chair, variations on this type of mast climbing kit have been around in one form or other for many years. Since we started, we’ve been making continual improvements to our own version - to make the best version we could - one we feel happy to give a 5 year guarantee on. More than once, we’ve given the whole thing a thorough re-think; to improve the practicality of the end-product and make producing it sustainable and efficient.
We cannot stress enough how important it is to us that our product be both safe and lasting. This is why we have been painstakingly thorough in our choice of materials and suppliers. Quality lasts, and keeps you safe.
If you're going to be working at height, ensuring your safety is paramount, so we do everything we can to make sure your risk is minimised.
Every ladder we send out is made with care and rigorously inspected. An Inspection Checklist is completed before packing and dispatch.
We also use a traceable batch system for all parts and materials.
We strongly recommend the use of a good quality, full-body harness and a safety line, even better in combination with our Pole Strap.
We also strongly recommend, for this purpose, using a separate halyard from the one used to hoist the ladder.
We recommend using a bowline to secure the hoisting halyard to the ladder. This eliminates several potential points of failure.
It is important to check the suitability and condition of all halyards before use for mast climbing, and check both portions running inside the mast and outside for chaffing or fraying.
Our Instructions include a checklist to remind the user of important points before climbing.
Most of these points are fairly straight forward, however there are a number of possible variations with regard to Safety Lines.
We’ve used and thoroughly tested various safety line arrangements.
Our by-far favourite is a full body harness attached with a looped or circular safety line to a spare halyard using a sliding Klemheist, and a Pole Strap.
This enables safe climbing unassisted/solo. Not only does this combination increase the convenience of owning a Kinleven Marine Mast Ladder, it can be safer than relying on a shipmate to tail you on a safety line. If you're not alone, it frees your helper up, to be of more use helping get the job done if needed.
A Pole Strap or similar arrangement enables hands free working, securely detaching and re-attaching safety lines when passing spreaders, and resting arms while aloft.
At height and in extreme conditions, avoiding excessive discomfort and staying as comfortable as possible, is a safety issue!
Getting those maintenance tasks done aloft can be inconvenient if you can’t get them done without competent crew present to winch you up and lower you back down safely.
With a Yacht Mast Ladder mast climbing can be done safely and easily and those jobs done from a steady foothold. Add a Pole Strap to the setup and working aloft hands free will be done in a fraction of the time. Once tried a good mast climbing system becomes an essential piece of marine equipment for yachting.
At Kinleven Marine we work to give you safe and effective masthead access, as hassle free as possible to buy and deploy, to free you up for enjoying the adventure, challenge and beauty of sailing.
Whether doing maintenance in harbour, sailing offshore or in coastal waters, having the means to climb your mast safely, easily and solo, in a way that enables working effectively, is a wise precaution. Navigation lights, Tricolour's, aerials, wind vanes, rigging, sheaves, radar, among many things, may need your urgent attention.
There’s no need to swing in the breeze climbing halyards or winched up in a boson's chair. A mast ladder gives a much greater sense of control, security and self reliance. As one customer put it recently, he was surprised by how un-terrified he felt at the top of his mast. Take a look at our Gallery of photographs from happy customers around the world.
Some of our customers, we know, go up just for the view. And some even do so in bare feet! Permanent mast steps are great, but many people don’t like the compromises installing them requires, not least to mast integrity. Some don’t like the holes drilled in their mast, the extra windage, sail abrasion or cost.
Various types of mast climbing equipment are available; some are hard work going up, tough to work from or stay on for long, and some are difficult to climb down. Few are as comfortable and convenient as our mast ladder, at a fraction of the cost of fitted mast steps. We’ve put a great deal of work into making our mast ladders as comfortable as possible to climb both up and down, and to work from. Because we know that discomfort, in situations where vital safety is at issue, should be recognised as a danger signal; a stimulus to think things through better. High up, aloft, discomfort is not something to be admired or ignored.
Our guide to measuring your precise ladder length
Our guide to choosing the right sail slides for your mast
Mast Ladder Instructions and Conditions of Guarantee
Stand Off Instructions, for masts with swept spreaders