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The Mast Mate Company is a proprietorship and basically a cottage business operated from my home in beautiful Rockland Maine. I have been fortunate to have the same manufacturer for the last 20 years, Rolling River Designs. Their workmanship and devotion to detail is unparalleled, a necessity for a product that has no room for errors.
Designing and selling the Mast Mate products is a great deal of fun. Sailors are a good lot, as people go, and it's a joy to talk with them. I have been lucky in my 25 years of sailing to have been involved with a variety of boats in many different situations. Whether single handing or not, I have always felt the vessel must be equipped as though I were sailing alone, such that any task, with the assistance of the right gear, could be accomplished safely and efficiently by one person. All the Mast Mate products evolved out of this belief and all have been tested to this end. The idea for the mast mate itself emerged out of my frustration in using the bosuns' chair. The constant hunting the dock for someone to assist me, the impossible reach to the top of the masthead and of course the inevitable slamming about. I knew there had to be a better way. Inspiration, that sudden moment of a bursting thought that solves the previously insolvable, is as much a mystery to the inspired as to the onlooker, but its occurrence is pure joy. Of course when the idea sinks in your first thought is that it can't work, your second is that if it did work someone else would be selling it. So, the search begins for its existence in the marketplace. If your lucky it’s nowhere to be found, so you have a prototype made to see why it doesn't work. To your surprise it works and a business is born. I strongly suggest to all of you who have felt the burst of an idea, follow it through, and possibly you may hear from others that wonderful statement; "why didn't I think of that?”
When working off the mast mate I was jury-rigging ways to secure myself to have both hands free, but nothing was comfortable or felt safe. Thus the mast mate Workbelt was born. The belt has also proved handy for those sailors with permanent steps .
So these pieces of equipment are the ones that have survived the test of usefulness. There are countless others not so successful, but as I keep sailing and working on boats, I am sure more will come to mind and a few will make it to these pages. Keep checking in.
SINGLE-HANDED RESOURCE PAGE