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Old 14-04-2011, 10:21   #1
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Spreader Boot

Are they really necessary?

Or is this just another overprice item that the marine industry has convinced us we need?

One of mine fell off. And as I sit here procrastinating going up the mast, I'm noticing other boats in the anchorage that don't seem to have boots on their spreaders.

Yes, I'm asking this at least somewhat out of laziness.
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Old 14-04-2011, 10:28   #2
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Re: Spreader boot

If your sails over lap that spreader, it would be best to have some sort of chaffing gear up there. A molded boot is great. And you could use shaped hard leather boot also. Maybe cut from an old cowboy boot.
The main Idea is to protect your sails from chafe and not wear holes in them where they chafe on that spreader.
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Old 14-04-2011, 10:41   #3
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Re: Spreader boot

I do not like them at all as I have found plenty off corrosion under some. I think they trap dirt. Next time out I will try out those fancy spinning wheels.

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Old 14-04-2011, 10:51   #4
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Re: Spreader boot

It's not really a big or expensive deal. We had to replace one last year. We just took advantage of an afternoon when there were two of us aboard and the owner of a neighboring boat dropped by. Our neighbor was the lightest of the three and we hoisted him up in a bossun's chair. Job was done in just a few minutes. Cocktails followed as it was the last job on our to-do list.
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Old 15-04-2011, 08:09   #5
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Re: Spreader Boot

Brion Toss says it well:
Spreader boot alternative - SparTalk
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Old 15-04-2011, 08:37   #6
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Re: Spreader boot

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
I do not like them at all as I have found plenty off corrosion under some. I think they trap dirt. Next time out I will try out those fancy spinning wheels. b.
Agree with Barnakiel and having recently replaced the standing rigging won't have them again. No point, the edge of the spreaders is perfectly smooth and we don't winch in sails so tightly they touch. We have also removed the white plastic tubes that surrounded the lower stays because they always attracted dirt and then stay damp inside. Sadly the rigger replaced the bottle screw platic protectors, but a trip down to the boat with the rose secateurs will solve that problem shortly.

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Old 16-04-2011, 14:13   #7
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Re: Spreader Boot

That's another reason I asked Pete. I was thinking the exact same thing. The spreaders seem pretty smooth to begin with. I'm more motivated to go up and rip the rest of the off, than to replace the one I lost.

I do think the tubes are really good for reducing chafe on the sheets, though. I just used plain PVC with no caps on them, so the water will at least drain out.
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Old 16-04-2011, 14:55   #8
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Re: Spreader Boot

I use red and green electrical tape in the form of an "X" which is then looped like it's self-adhering "plumber's friend" tape (which is also good but more expensive!) I leave enough gaps to let moisture and air circulate. From the ground it's hard to tell it's tape, but then I do it on the ground before I sway the mast each spring. Cost: $1 per little roll...a roll lasts three seasons.

It does not get dirty in our seven-month season. Those white boots can develop brown streaks, by contrast.

I use thin rubber matting, big hose clamps and light-coloured tape for the mast boot as well, because they cost $50 and can look grotty quickly. To each his own.
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Old 17-04-2011, 15:41   #9
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Re: Spreader Boot

We made 'em oursleves using a fairly heavy leather.
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