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View Poll Results: What type of cover for spreaders?
Rubber boots, with the bottom 1/3 cut off, for draining and ventilation 0 0%
Rubber boots, with holes for ventilation 0 0%
Rubber boots, without holes for ventilation 0 0%
Leather, custom, sewn on 2 66.67%
tennis ball 1 33.33%
Other cover 0 0%
Teflon tape over electrical tape, on extreme ends, to reduce friction with sails 1 33.33%
Nothing more than what is in the image 0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 3. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 21-09-2019, 12:20   #1
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Recommendation on using boots or covers on spreader ends

Hi,

I have aluminum airfoil spreaders, as seen in the image. Do you recommend using boots or covers on the ends of these spreaders?

There are no sharp edges on my spreaders. If I don't cover them, I'll file and sand the ends to make them even smoother. I read that some people prefer to not use boots because they trap moisture, and that speeds up corrosion. The stainless screw in this image became frozen in the aluminum, because of this corrosion, or because someone used Locktite red, perhaps. I didn't notice corrosion between the shroud and the plate that it passes through, in the spreader.

I have read the related thread, "Re: Spreader End Covers - Mother of Invention..." that's where I got the idea of leather, for the poll.

All of my sails are in good condition, but they aren't so new that I would be upset if they got some marks on them from rubbing on the spreaders--I think.

If you recommend boots or covers, do you have any specific type in mind? Please vote in the poll, attached.

Thank you,
Rick
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Old 21-09-2019, 13:43   #2
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Re: Recommendation on using boots or covers on spreader ends

Ours are wrapped in custom leather and then spinnaker cloth strips are wound round the whole thing. I like it this way as spinnaker nylon is very slippery when new and very easy to replace now and then.


Cheers,
b.
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Old 30-09-2019, 23:56   #3
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Re: Recommendation on using boots or covers on spreader ends

Hi,

In my poll associated with my original post, I wonder why no one has selected my options related to ventilating the spreaders with cutting the bottom off or putting holes in them. It seems to me that this could be a good compromise, providing protection for sails, some friction between the spreader boots and the shrouds, to keep them from sliding up and down relative to the spreaders, and allowing ventilation. The only drawback that occurred to me is the possibility of wasps or other insects nesting in the spreaders, if they are open. I wonder how often this happens.

Thanks,
Rick
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Old 01-10-2019, 03:18   #4
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Re: Recommendation on using boots or covers on spreader ends

Hi Rick,

The is a product called Pro-tec; it's a tape sold at rigging shops designed for purposes like this. It is HMWPE--essentially a sheet of Dyneema, and people put it along the edges of spreaders and near halyard exits--wherever ropes or sails will rub the finish off. This could easily be put around the spreader tips, while still leaving them room to breathe. The last thing you want to do is trap moisture in there by sealing it up--there are four different metals in there--2 alloys of stainless (unless the screw is the same grade as the wire), and 2 of aluminum. Even an open-bottomed boot will trap moisture as it tries to evaporate upward and hold it in, and the spot where it is attached to the wire will never dry.
Best thing to do is coat the spreader end in Tef-gel before sliding it in; tef-gel or blue Loctite the screw, and isolate the wire from the spreader end with Tef-gel or a strip of vinyl tape.
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:09   #5
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Re: Recommendation on using boots or covers on spreader ends

We have thick canvas-like covers that we bought to wrap around the spreader tips to reduce chafe. We use tape as well as the velcro closures to make sure they don’t come off. Smoothing the metal ends of your spreaders will help, but further blunting of the metal edges with rubber, cloth, or even tape, will reduce chafe even more.
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Old 03-10-2019, 00:33   #6
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Re: Recommendation on using boots or covers on spreader ends

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benz View Post
Hi Rick,

The is a product called Pro-tec; it's a tape sold at rigging shops designed for purposes like this. It is HMWPE--essentially a sheet of Dyneema, and people put it along the edges of spreaders and near halyard exits--wherever ropes or sails will rub the finish off. This could easily be put around the spreader tips, while still leaving them room to breathe. The last thing you want to do is trap moisture in there by sealing it up--there are four different metals in there--2 alloys of stainless (unless the screw is the same grade as the wire), and 2 of aluminum. Even an open-bottomed boot will trap moisture as it tries to evaporate upward and hold it in, and the spot where it is attached to the wire will never dry.
Best thing to do is coat the spreader end in Tef-gel before sliding it in; tef-gel or blue Loctite the screw, and isolate the wire from the spreader end with Tef-gel or a strip of vinyl tape.
Hi Ben,

Thanks very, very much. I just searched on Amazon, Downwind Marine , and Google for Pro-tec, didn't find it...then found Protect tape, also known as "millionaire's tape." PROtect MASK PTFE Rigging Tape 2 mil Grey 25mm x 10 m for $39!

I've also seen Dynaglide Teflon Rigging Tape, made by Dewal. It's $32/for 54 feet. I don't need 54 feet, and I'm reluctant to spend $32 on tape. However, several experts have recommended teflon tape for spreader tips. I've learned that teflon is the same thing as PTFE.

The other day, I bought Johnson Rubbaweld Rigging Tape, "self-amalgamating," silicone. I wonder how this would work, for taping the spreader ends. If it's self-bonding, I wonder if it turns to goo, which would be bad for contact with sails. If it doesn't have adhesive, I was thinking of wrapping a horizontal loop around the spreader end and a vertical ring around that, to bond to itself. If I keep the rubbaweld, I also plan to use it to take up some play between the spreader brackets and the spreaders.

-------------

I like the idea of isolating the shrouds from the spreader tips, for corrosion and abrasion. They are sawing through the spreader ends.

I'm becoming a Tef-gel devotee, and I appreciate the tips. I'm concerned about the super sticky tef-gel on the shrouds, at the spreaders, because when tuning the shrouds and pulling them down a little, probably slipping through the spreaders, it may expose the tef-gel to sails. I wonder how long even rigging tape wold last, between the shrouds and spreader ends. Anyway, I'll probably put some on.


Thank you,
Rick
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Old 03-10-2019, 07:25   #7
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Re: Recommendation on using boots or covers on spreader ends

The primary purpose of spreader tip covers is to protect ones sails when they come in contact with the spreaders. In addition to covers, a Spreader Tip Roller can protect one's sails and ease tacking.


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