Potato Masher = Bosun’s Chair??

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2013 • all rights reserved

Use your potato masher to retrieve a halyard up the mast instead of the bosun's chair . . .

Okay, I’ve had my favorite salad bowl hijacked for changing the oil because “it’s just the right size to fit under the oil drain.”  And my turkey baster got cut in half to use as a funnel for transmission fluid (I suggested that one, can’t blame Dave).

So I get it that sometimes galley gear can be used for other purposes.  After all, boaters love things that can serve more than one purpose.  And I did make TBG’s tag line “getting the most out of your boat kitchen.”

But using a potato masher instead of a bosun’s chair may just take the cake.

Readers Debbie and Brian Carroll needed to retrieve a halyard that had gone up the mast . . . and Debbie’s not a real fan of going up in the bosun’s chair.  So she Google’d on how to retrieve a halyard without going up the mast and found a suggestion about using a spare halyard and a couple of forks.  Thinking about it, she figured that the potato masher might work even better . . . and it did!

You’re going to need a wire potato masher, a long spare halyard (or tie extra line on to one — make sure it’s VERY securely tied or you’ll have two halyards up the mast and no spare) and some tape.

You can see in the photos how Debbie and Brian did it — taped the potato masher to spare halyard, hoisted it to the level of the shackle on the halyard they needed to retrieve, then “wiggled it around” until it caught.  Carefully pull them down together!

While neither Dave nor I really hated to go aloft, getting the bosun’s chair out of the lazarette, the safety harness on and everything set up to go just seemed to take forever.  This is so much faster and safer!  Thanks for sharing, Debbie and Brian.

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  1. Sue Klumb on Facebook says:

    Too funny…and it did the job 🙂

  2. amazing

  3. Will remember this for next time it happens, great idea!

  4. That’s a good one.

  5. What a great solution. Necessity is the Mother of Invention right……

  6. Jordan Tucker says:

    And here I thought “potato masher” was a nickname for the bosun’s chair! — if used by a man!

  7. that is awesome

  8. I love ingenuity!

  9. I gave up my old wok to be used as a “security blanket,” placed strategically under the motor. It catches anything that might fall while the motor is being worked on and saving the item from falling into the bilge! After a year of use in its new role, I allowed the wok to have holes drilled into its bottom to enable water to drain out!

  10. Wow great idea! I would have never thought of that!

  11. As long as you have that spare halyard……eh?

  12. Excellent idea!

  13. Creative.

  14. Dan Lockren, you may have to try this?

  15. That’s why your still in my facebook after a recent culling. Great idea.

  16. Umm.. no.

  17. I’ve used a potato masher on a pole. But when it’s a small CDI furler halyard we had to get inventive. http://thethriftysailor.com/shenanigans/like-your-underwear-slipping-down

  18. Perfect.

  19. Genius! What’s a potato masher? (Just kidding)

  20. George Pestik says:

    When there’s a need the mothers get to inventing!

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