Originally Posted by daviddiscenza
Jim, Schooner, et. al I thought the purpose of the covers was to prevent chafing of the jib and jib sheets. How do you protect against that without covers on the shrouds and main mast spreaders?
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We did put mast boots on our foremast spreaders only because a schooner has a foremast that can, in theory, interact with the jib and a mainmast aft which has little chance of spreader interaction with anything other than the mainsail
on a run. Having said that, we did rub a hole into the mainsail
very quickly during light and variable winds on a run. The cover over the tip might have prevented this. More diligent watch standing would have done it as well. Nighttime sail and not shining a flashlight up into the rig enough I suppose.
So in our inexperience when we rigged our boat in 2009, we had it exactly backwards. Needed the spreader tips of the main covered but not those of the foremast. Live and learn.
We were being safe because we really didn't know if we were going to need the boots on the foremast -- and we didn't from the touching a sail perspective -- and will likely cut them off at some point as even when running we don't have the same problem with the foresail touching the spreader as the mainsail. Because they are leather they breathe as plastic does not. We also made them a bit loose so they're not in touch with the shroud as they're more or less mounted onto the spreader itself. With wood spreaders, we'll likely find that we've done more to harm the wood, holding moisture against it, than the wire so after removing them from the foremast spreaders I'm pretty sure we won't be putting some on the (also wood) mainmast spreaders.
The jib sheets won't have problems with your shrouds if they do rub. If you're doing a multi-day passage
and see that you're rubbing against something you can always use riggers tape, leather, or another material to temporarily pad an area. That's the theory behind baggy wrinkle, too. You can have problems with the turnbuckles and seizing wire on the turnbuckles. That's a reason some people use rigging
tape around pins, rings, and wires used for mousing. Sail your boat a bit in a wide range of conditions and see what you think.