Ratlines Back to Projects
The ratlines (Lines running across the shrouds, horizontally, like the rounds of a ladder, and used to step upon in going aloft) on VALHALLA were originally made from hemp which, though very traditional, suffered from the ravages of decay under tropical conditions. During a previous refit (circa 1995) I replaced them with wooden ones, fashioned from kauri wood salvaged from another yacht.
The ratlines are attached to the mainmast lower shrouds and run from the pinrail to the spreaders.
There are eight ratlines on each side with 15 inch spacing.
Going aloft from the spreaders to the top of the mast is done with folding aluminum steps.
The method of attaching the ratlines to the shrouds is shown here:
While replacing the standing rigging, stainless steel washers were installed over the wire, one for each ratline, before attaching the Sta-Lok rigging fasteners.
With a seizing (friction tape beneath) at each location, the washers form a small platform for each ratline.
The ends of each ratline are cut at the appropriate angle for horizontal alignment of the ratline and routed to form a groove for the rigging wire.
Polysulfide sealant was used between the rigging wire and the ratline.
Stainless steel straps were fashioned to secure the ratline to the wire and secured with screws, at different lengths inside and outside the ratline to prevent interference.
The security while climbing is superb .. especially nice while underway.