Swiss seats

Need to get up your mast in a hurry, but don’t have a rock-climbing harness or bosun’s chair handy? Luckily, a Swiss Seat, a jury-rigged harness, is your solution. You’ll only need about 15–20 feet of stout rope (sail ties work in a pinch, but you’ll need to sister a couple together to achieve the proper length).Start by folding the rope in half. Pass this bight in between your legs (from
Author:
Publish date:

Need to get up your mast in a hurry, but don’t have a rock-climbing harness or bosun’s chair handy? Luckily, a Swiss Seat, a jury-rigged harness, is your solution. You’ll only need about 15–20 feet of stout rope (sail ties work in a pinch, but you’ll need to sister a couple together to achieve the proper length).

Start by folding the rope in half. Pass this bight in between your legs (from stern to bow), and hold the loop in situ by squeezing your thighs together. You’ll then lead the two ends around your waist, passing them through their respective sides of the loop. Next, pass the ends backwards, crossing the rope ends behind your back, below your navel, and again behind your back. Lead the ends forward and tie a figure-8 knot in one end, offset to one side (so the knot will be on your hip). Use the other strand to tie a figure-8-follow-through knot.

If you are using sail-tie material (webbing), or thinner-diameter static line (anything under 6mm), it is a good idea to tie a spare waist belt with another piece of rope/webbing, again tying it off with an offset figure-8-follow-through knot.

The hoist

Take a halyard, tie a figure-8 knot roughly two or three feet above the shackle, and pass the bitter end through the waist belt, as well as through the leg loop. Tie a follow-through finish to the knot, and add a safety backup by clipping the shackle to the halyard above the knot. You’re now ready to go aloft.

The only drawbacks to the Swiss Seat are that it cuts off circulation if it’s used for more than a few minutes, and it takes longer to tie than it does to cinch up a bosun’s chair or climbing harness.

swiss_seat_1
swiss_seat_2
swiss_seat_3
swiss_seat_4
swiss_seat_5

Related

mcarthy-and-mouse

Experience: McCarthy and the Mouse

Sitting at the helm in a light breeze, my arms crusted with a fine rime of salt, my skin so dry I’d lost my fingerprints, I heard a clatter and a curse from below. There were only three of us a thousand miles from shore and only one on watch at a time. Usually, the off watch lay ...read more

2018-giftGuide

2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Brass Yacht Lamp Does someone on your gift list spend the whole winter missing the warm days on the water? Let them bring a little bit of nautical atmosphere home with this new lamp from Weems & Plath. The glass enclosure means the flame cannot be blown out even by ...read more

image001

Opinion: On Not Giving Up Sailing

E.B. White was 64 when he wrote his now-famous essay “The Sea and the Wind That Blows,” which begins as a romantic paean to sailing and then drifts, as if spun around by a pessimistic eddy of thought, into a reflection on selling his boat. Does an aging sailor quit while he’s ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com A Helping Hand  This is a real-world solution, and I expect correction by my betters. However, anyone whose seacocks are modern ball valves rather than the grand old tapered cone variety may care to ...read more

1812-JeanneaueNewsVideo

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 410

Designed by Marc Lombard, the Sun Odyssey 410 shares much in common with her older siblings including of course, the walk-around deck. Other features that set the 410 apart from other models being introduced this year include the 410’s “negative bow” shape allowing for a longer ...read more

shutterstock_698968441

Cruising: The Bahamas

“The ‘Explorer’ chartbooks. All three.” “An unlocked phone. But good luck with BTC.” “Spam. It’s ‘spensive there!” These were just a few suggestions we received from fellow sailors who had cruised the Bahamas when we asked how to best prepare for the trip. In fact, several ...read more

windsensor

Gear: B&G Wind Sensors

Sense the Wind B&G has launched a new line of wind sensors, including the WS320, a wireless system that is suitable for masts up to 80ft. Wireless wind sensor technology has been hit-and-miss, with some users reporting intermittent signal failure on tall rigs, but B&G, citing ...read more