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Old 28-08-2016, 18:15   #1
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Spreader End Covers - Mother of Invention...

Another part has shed from my 32 year old boat. And then the exposed end ripped my genoa. The other side is about to go. I spent a couple of hours online searching for replacements but to no avail. Did find some at West Marine and Amazon but they were for round spreaders and are made out of rubber, which is just wrong - these need to be a low-friction material. Any tips?
'84 O'Day 34'

See my temporary repair - the back end of an old dinghy. Necessity...
Really need to find the real thing - looks pretty ugly!
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Old 28-08-2016, 18:25   #2
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Re: Spreader End Covers - Mother of Invention...

Best thing I ever used was an old pair of sailing gloves, with the leather palms facing out.
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Old 28-08-2016, 18:33   #3
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Re: Spreader End Covers - Mother of Invention...

Leather is ideal. If you wanted low friction then heavy Dacron would work, but a real pain to shape. Pre-made leather is pretty expensive, but shaping a raw piece is pretty easy...


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Old 28-08-2016, 18:46   #4
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Re: Spreader End Covers - Mother of Invention...

I don't cover...
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Old 28-08-2016, 18:47   #5
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Re: Spreader End Covers - Mother of Invention...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandero View Post
I don't cover...
I have to. My sail catches on it every time now - or it did. We'll see how my makeshift repair works.
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Old 29-08-2016, 13:04   #6
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Re: Spreader End Covers - Mother of Invention...

Obi Wan, what you need is leather hide. Very soft, smooth and I suspect what you had on there before. If you look up on eBay for leather hide cut-offs you should be able to get some. You will have to cut and sew/glue patches to fit. I would ask a sail maker to do it as you will probably end up with too much hide.
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Old 29-08-2016, 13:28   #7
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Re: Spreader End Covers - Mother of Invention...

I use the grey leather that sailmakers have. Any one of them probably have rems they'll sell cheap as they don't have to be very big.
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Old 29-08-2016, 13:44   #8
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Re: Spreader End Covers - Mother of Invention...

Recently went through the exercise trying to find spreader boots for our Liberty 458. Same problem as the OP. West Marine, Fisheries Supply, Defender and Amazon all turned up useless rubber options.

I'm about to final wrap our spreader ends with rig wrap. Also adding those little stay wheels to protect the jib. We just had our jib restiched. The sacrificial wear patch was almost worn through.

Will probably make some custom leather end caps when time permits.

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Old 29-08-2016, 13:55   #9
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Re: Spreader End Covers - Mother of Invention...

Custom leather is the way to go, either with off cuts, as suggested above, or with raw hide (untreated, still wet). The latter came on our spreaders, hair side in, and when we had some work done on the mast, they disappeared. Jim made a pattern for them, and hand-sewed new leather leather on them.

If you're new to such work, you can take some fabric aloft, and work out a pattern. Ours cover the spreader tip, and also go up the rigging a way, and also down. Where the wire is, on the top, that's where you'll sew it on the spreader (as opposed to the rigging, so each piece needs a tiny semi-circle to go around the wire. Stitches from tip in toward base, however far you want it to go, and perhaps 2 or 3 inches up and down the wire.

Leather seconds can be purchased, we use them to cover our wheel, too.

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Old 29-08-2016, 13:58   #10
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Re: Spreader End Covers - Mother of Invention...

Hahaha!

Yes. Soft, thick leather is very easy to fit and lasts well. We used plastic boots and custom leather and I prefer leather now.

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Old 29-08-2016, 14:01   #11
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Re: Spreader End Covers - Mother of Invention...

Elk hide is maybe the best.
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Old 29-08-2016, 14:13   #12
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Re: Spreader End Covers - Mother of Invention...

welding gloves
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Old 29-08-2016, 14:26   #13
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Re: Spreader End Covers - Mother of Invention...

Tennis balls are the traditional better than nothing approach for those on a budget, especially for smaller spreaders such as those made out of pipe/tube.
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Old 29-08-2016, 14:53   #14
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Re: Spreader End Covers - Mother of Invention...

Defender carries Edson leather spreader boot kits in 3 sizes:
Edson Leather Spreader Boot Kit

They also have a "polyester textile" cover in 2 sizes:
Perimeter Spreader Boots
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Old 29-08-2016, 15:14   #15
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Re: Spreader End Covers - Mother of Invention...

Just out of interest, the soft, yet thick, hard wearing leather is called chromed leather due to it's method of tanning. This is the stuff that welding gloves and the like are made out of.

Having just refurbished my old PVC spreader boots and reused them, I'm not so sure I'd like leather that could stay damp in contact with aluminium and stainless steel. I'd much prefer synthetic materials for this reason.

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