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this has been very useful - thanks everyone for the input.

The ascending is not bad - I need a second foot loop instead of just one, but other than that it seems good.

I will probably get a dedicated descender.  I've used the old figure 8 style before,

HTB1hggPBNuTBuNkHFNRq6A9qpXag.jpg

but will likely go with the knucklebone looking type for the reasons given in the video that Psyche posted. 

HTB1JBCFB3KTBuNkSne1q6yJoXXaB.jpg

I'm not brave enough to think I can do it on a prussic alone.

 

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30 minutes ago, aardvarkash10 said:

this has been very useful - thanks everyone for the input.

The ascending is not bad - I need a second foot loop instead of just one, but other than that it seems good.

I will probably get a dedicated descender.  I've used the old figure 8 style before,

HTB1hggPBNuTBuNkHFNRq6A9qpXag.jpg

but will likely go with the knucklebone looking type for the reasons given in the video that Psyche posted. 

HTB1JBCFB3KTBuNkSne1q6yJoXXaB.jpg

I'm not brave enough to think I can do it on a prussic alone.

 

I would suggest investigating a GriGri as an option. 

And you can also use a GriGri as an ascender with leg prussics or an ascender.  Then you're all ready to descend, no change over required, just pull the lever and down you come. 

The knuckle thing, is known as an ATC. 

https://www.alpinesavvy.com/blog/using-a-gri-gri-to-ascend-fixed-ropes

 

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Revised setup in a bit more detail.

The upper hand ascender and the chest ascender are both Xinda 22kn devices as are the blue carabiners.  I've been practising on an 8mm double braid line, its the smallest diameter the devices are designed for.  In use, it will be a 10mm (or maybe 12mm) line.

The bosun's chair clips to the bottom of the chest ascender.  A strop (yellow and black trace 6mm double braid) runs from the same carabiner to the top of the hand ascender.  This means either or both ascenders can be used to hold the bosun's chair.  This is required for the changeover to a descender once I'm at the top. 

The foot loops clip to a short strop that runs up to a carabiner at the bottom of the hand ascender and doubles back to the top of the chest ascender.  Push on the foot loop, and the chest ascender is pulled up, with the advantage of a 2:1 purchase.

Safety is provided by a prussic that will run on a second halyard, and clips to the safety harness I have.  This means there are three locking devices - the two ascenders and the prussic.

Once I'm ready to come back to the deck, I unload the chest ascender and remove it from the line.  At this point I am still held by the hand ascender.  With the chest ascender off, I can fit the descender (I chickened out and went with a figure 8 device).  I can lock the descender momentarily to remove the hand ascender from the line, and then I can rappel down.  The ascenders stay attached to the chair just in case I cock it up and need to go back up...

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