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Old 23-09-2014, 23:47   #16
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Re: Load Bearing Spreaders/Mast Ladder

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Originally Posted by SPCarroll View Post
Thanks for all the responses. This helps a lot. Yes part of the reasoning is to keep an eye out for shoals, not just to run up the mast and rig things.
I would add that the pure joy of laying aloft should be high on the list as well!

The ability to send a lookout aloft can be very important during an emergency. Recently, we were called in a MOB situation to find a woman floating alone in sloppy seas. I skinnied up the mast of our little O'Day as far as I thought I could go without causing a new set of safety issues. The idea was to spot the woman in the water, not to worry or distract the crew. Fortunately, a pair of younger eyes on deck soon saw her, and I couldn't have been more pleased.

Sailors have been climbing masts since long before time was invented, and it is so much safer to do it today. Each ship has its own way to access its higher parts. I'm a bit dubious that the designers of modern boats would like to have you stepping out on their spreaders, but I'll bet that all but the smallest can easily hoist your weight by its main halyard.
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Old 24-09-2014, 03:10   #17
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Re: Load Bearing Spreaders/Mast Ladder

I can't disagree with the harness issue.. I think someone going up by climbing or whatever means should, once up there, should be attached to something. That could either be a halyard that someone snug up as you climb then cleats it off when you get there leaving only a slight bit of slack so if you were to slip you don't fall far and get jerked too hard. Or you could get a line cam clamp that climbers use. Just attach it to a halyard that is already cleated off and is taught. It slides up with you but will stop you when you fall. Or a D ring that's bolted to the mast that you can clip into.

Let be real hear, it's not always going to be super calm where th boat isn't rocking and the distance of the moment of roll increases with height.

Just something to consider. Though I have seen bars around the first set of spreaders for a modern birds nest, which was neat, but I'd still be clipped in.


Zeehag, do you have a picture of those steps you describe on your boat? I'm finding it hard to imagine in my head..
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Old 24-09-2014, 07:34   #18
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Re: Load Bearing Spreaders/Mast Ladder

they appear in many of my current (within past year) pix of scenery around my boat... i will see if i have one i can pull out for ye.. the shrouds are affixed to mast, not spreaders, and the rats are bound to the shrouds, not the stay, which is contacting the spreaders, as spreaders are there to keep stays off mast, essentially spreading them out to the outer beam of the boat for affixment to hull. (something we didnt have in gaff rigged sloop we learned to sail in youth.. spreaders are a peri- and post- marconi rigging creation.

sorry , this is only one i have in this puter.... i will find and load some later.. i hope this helps.
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Old 25-09-2014, 17:48   #19
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Re: Load Bearing Spreaders/Mast Ladder

Another way to keep the spreader from sagging down is to run a thin piece of Dyneema line from the spreader tip to someplace aloft, with reasonable tension. This of course means that you have the extra windage of a thin piece of Dyneema, but if you already have ratboards on the shrouds, you're obviously not neurotic about windage. Win-win!
While clipping in aloft is perhaps wise, my boat has a perch sufficiently secure to make it unnecessary. Yours might be the same way.
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Old 26-09-2014, 11:03   #20
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Re: Load Bearing Spreaders/Mast Ladder

spreader is supported by stay. if it is sagging, repair the sporeader and re rig ot tune it.
properly installed rats do not affect the spreaders.


my spreaders are level and raked a tad astern, per shaping when created....
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