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Old 16-02-2011, 21:06   #1
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Spreader Length

Hi, I own a Hartley Southseas and am on my way round the world (in Australia at the moment) and as my Girlfriend has joined me I thought it my be an idea to purchase a roller furling kit from allmasts in Tasmania. My problem is that my spreaders are quite long and when sailing close hauled with a small head sail up or a storm jib the sheets touch the outside shrouds preventing me from sheeting in tight, now this is not so bad as I am hank on at the moment and just run the sheets inside the shrouds if I run a smaller head sail but if I am to upgrade to a furling system I will have the same problem if I have it reefed and I donít want to have to go to the bow if I have a furling set up, it defeats the purpose.

Soooo.. Option 1 would be to cut the spreaders and shorten the shrouds to suit but I would lose some strength.
Can anyone give me any other ideas?
also what is the guide to how long your spreaders should be?

Thanks John-Lee
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Old 16-02-2011, 21:25   #2
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Shortening spreaders is a big project. It would probably include moving the chainplates or shroud bases. The design of such a change would be best left to a professional spar designer or rigger.

The angle from shroud base to stem to centerline is from 15 degrees for a racer to 20 degrees or more for more sedate craft. Spreaders tend to be shorter as they get higher so that on a carefully designed rig the genoa will trim to just touch the spreader tips and shroud base at the same time when sailing in a breeze at the low end of the selected sail's wind pressure.

Sheeting angles, the angle from the sheet block to the stem to the centerline runs around 6 degrees for racers to 10 degrees or more on non-racers.

What are your angles?
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Old 16-02-2011, 21:39   #3
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rule of thumb, The angle of the shroud at the top of your spreader should equal the angle of the shroud below the spreader. The spreaders are there to redirect the forces holding your mast up, not only that those shrouds put a heck of a compression load on your mast, if you change the spreaders you stand of chance of unbalancing the loads on your rig and will throw it out of column possibly causing the whole thing to bend, break and come crashing down. FWIW
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Old 16-02-2011, 22:23   #4
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A few options - all assume that the cars can take 2 lines at once - most can.

1. Take the lazy sheet and run it inside the shrouds and then take up the load on it. (this does mean a trip along the low-side deck to run the sheet through the car).

2. Have a second set of sheets ready to go and tied off to the shrouds. When you need them, just tie them onto the clew (again requires a walk up the low side).

3. Have two sheets permanently rigged - one inside one outside. (no trips outside the cockpit necessary, but will probably be a pain if tacking a lot).

For cruising I'd personally go with option 2.

I wouldn't even be tempted to start modifying the rig for such a small inconvenience.
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Old 16-02-2011, 22:34   #5
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also what is the guide to how long your spreaders should be?
Your spreaders need to be long enough to keep your mast up.

If you want to point higher, modify your sails, not the rig.
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Old 17-02-2011, 18:06   #6
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DO NOT.

You may lower the shroud angle and induce extra load.

A well cut sail will allow for the spreader - not touching it. Once rolled, if sheets and shrouds interfere then wrap (if for chafe) or lead via blocks attached inside of the shrouds (if for sheeting angle).

When we sail long tacks upwind with a small jib I simply run the sheets inside of the shrouds - I keep one extra sheet with a snap shackle just for this purpose. Sheet in the regular way, go forward and snap in at clew, lead inside, trim.

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Old 17-02-2011, 18:15   #7
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When we sail long tacks upwind with a small jib I simply run the sheets inside of the shrouds - I keep one extra sheet with a snap shackle just for this purpose. Sheet in the regular way, go forward and snap in at clew, lead inside, trim.
Good advice, to be certain. If you want to throw money at the boat, add an inboard fairlead track. That money will be a lot better spent than moving your chainplates.
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Old 18-02-2011, 00:29   #8
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Thanks all,
I did think about the inside sheet but I thought there might be a another way, I am all about simple and cheap as there is always so much to spend money on, so the extra sheet/sheets with a snap shackle sounds like the business.
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Old 18-02-2011, 15:47   #9
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Good advice, to be certain. If you want to throw money at the boat, add an inboard fairlead track. That money will be a lot better spent than moving your chainplates.
Our boat came with both tracks. The big sail track is more aft, it is longer, and more outboard. The small sail track is more fore and closer inboard.

However, when running the jib sheets inside of the shrouds we will still use the big sail track (its fore portion) - otherwise we would end up with the jib sheeted to close inboard - counterproductive given the fact that our boat hates being pinched in heavy going - would sail slower and drift more.

However, we have a narrowish boat and the inner track probably comes in handy on anything beamy (or anything more racy) and especially so in flatter seas.

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Old 18-02-2011, 16:52   #10
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Would rigging a barber hauler do the trick?
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Old 18-02-2011, 16:58   #11
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Would rigging a barber hauler do the trick?
Barber-hauling is generally better for a close reach. As I read the OP, his problem is getting the boat to perform well close-hauled. A barber-hauling system would take him in the other direction from where's he's trying to get.
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Old 18-02-2011, 17:38   #12
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Barber-hauling is generally better for a close reach. As I read the OP, his problem is getting the boat to perform well close-hauled. A barber-hauling system would take him in the other direction from where's he's trying to get.
Barber hauling is useful for close hauled trim. I've used such to great advantage on a boat that had the genoa blocks on the toerail but had inboard shrouds. The Barber Hauler made all the difference in pointing.

Use a carabiner on the sheet, not to the sail's clew. Otherwise tacking mayhem will ensue.
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Old 19-02-2011, 02:55   #13
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Hi John-lee,
No comments to help you, but good to hear from another South-Seas owner, I am also a Kiwi.
I am in Perth at the moment, preparing to sail away at the end of 2012.
Good sailing, maybe we will share an anchoeage some day,
Cheers Emmo
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