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Old 29-04-2012, 07:50   #1
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Spreader problem

My wife said "I'm not afraid of heights", so up the mast she went. At the second set of spreaders she said "Hmm, I guess I am afraid of heights". But she wanted to keep going and she made it to the top. Good girl!

Anyway, she found a loose screw on one of the top spreader attachments and was actually able to wiggle the spreader up and down with ease (probably about an inch). The tang is a little bent but doesn't look serious and upon close (ish) inspection we can see no cracks in it.
I'm wondering about the outboard end though. Here are some pics...

My questions are... 1) Shouldn't there be some form of fastener/cap on the outboard end, 2) does that tang look like it might be an issue and 3), is some play in the spreader ok (read would you still sail in this condition)?

Thanks,
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Old 29-04-2012, 09:47   #2
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Re: Spreader problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Wraun View Post
My wife said "I'm not afraid of heights", so up the mast she went. At the second set of spreaders she said "Hmm, I guess I am afraid of heights". But she wanted to keep going and she made it to the top. Good girl!

Anyway, she found a loose screw on one of the top spreader attachments and was actually able to wiggle the spreader up and down with ease (probably about an inch). The tang is a little bent but doesn't look serious and upon close (ish) inspection we can see no cracks in it.
I'm wondering about the outboard end though. Here are some pics...

My questions are... 1) Shouldn't there be some form of fastener/cap on the outboard end, 2) does that tang look like it might be an issue and 3), is some play in the spreader ok (read would you still sail in this condition)?

Thanks,
1. There seems to be a fastener in the first photo. Any extra "cap" would be for chafe protection only IMV.
2. Doesn't look bent to me - it should point "up" a little, i.e. not be at right angles to the mast.
3. I would have thought (but don't know) that there would be no play if the shrouds were tight enough.

Perhaps a more experienced person or rigger can help.
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Old 29-04-2012, 10:05   #3
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Re: Spreader problem

Thanks for the reply. Sorry I should have been more clear. There is the through bolt keeping the shrouds in the groove but I mean something to keep the spreader from moving up and down. I was thinking about maybe crimping a ferrule to the shroud (one above and one below) the spreader tip to prevent the spreader from moving up and down.

We have taped the ends of the spreaders to avoid chafe.

The bend that I was trying to show in the photos (again I should have pointed it out, sorry ) is actually on the tang itself. You can see the difference between the two tangs.

The shroud doesn't have any slack in it and ya I'm asking around to find a local rigger to consult but we're kind of isolated up here.

Thanks again

Perhaps a more experienced person or rigger can help.[/QUOTE]
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Old 29-04-2012, 10:35   #4
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Re: Spreader problem

there is often a little play in spreaders.. I dont know if that is bad or not. putting those rubber boots or nice sail leather oneson the outboard end and securing them well will eliminate movement.
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Old 29-04-2012, 11:08   #5
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Re: Spreader problem

Mine were really funky and loose and I didn't have the money to replace them so I put U bolt cable clamps below the spreaders to help support the ends. Flawless so far.
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Old 29-04-2012, 11:24   #6
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Re: Spreader problem

yes, the reason I fixed mine in place is that I noticed walking the dock one day that they were not at the sameangle!
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Old 29-04-2012, 12:16   #7
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Re: Spreader problem

The inclination of the spreader from horizontal, should be 1/2 the acute angle made by the mast and the upper part of the shroud above the spreader.
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Old 29-04-2012, 13:35   #8
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Re: Spreader problem

Spreaders are usually floating and will assume the correct angle. Sometimes they don't and need a little encouragement. In normal use, it's not necessary, however.

If you use your spreaders as a seat, like in navigating coral reefs, some form of keeping the spreader from collapsing is necessary. We added a wire lift from the spreader end to the mast. A cable clamp would probably work okay be careful not to tighten it too tight and deform the shroud.
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Old 29-04-2012, 15:11   #9
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Re: Spreader problem

Spreaders normally move around a bit, they are supposed to do that. Taping the ends can be a bad thing if it traps moisture and hides corrosion. What looks odd from the 2nd and 3rd photos is that the "bolt" under the spreader, holding the rigging terminal in place, seems to be standing proud, with access to it hidden (?) on the mast side of the mounting plate. Is that fitting secure?
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Old 29-04-2012, 17:31   #10
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Re: Spreader problem

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
. . . What looks odd from the 2nd and 3rd photos is that the "bolt" under the spreader, holding the rigging terminal in place, seems to be standing proud, with access to it hidden (?) on the mast side of the mounting plate. Is that fitting secure?
I agree, that looks strange. Almost as if the clevis pin goes through one plate and then the lower shroud eye terminal and then through another thin plate that is part of the spreader mount.

And the clevis pin has its cotter pin wedged between the inner spreader plate and the mast tube itself. Not good, IMHO, Getting the lower shrouds disconnected would seem to require removing the spreader base fitting. Also the clevis pin is pressing on the mast tube which causes the cotter pin to be wedged up against the spreader mount plate inducing wear in the cotter pin.
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Old 29-04-2012, 20:13   #11
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Re: Spreader problem

I'm wondering if that clevis pin was installed backwards (i.e. with the cotter on the inaccessible side. Then again, if you can reach the cotter with a needlenose...this is the only way it can be accessed without removing the spreader plate. Installed "cotter out" it would be trapped in any case.

Like one of those puzzle placemats in a diner: What's wrong with this picture? <G>
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Old 29-04-2012, 20:42   #12
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Re: Spreader problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
. . . What's wrong with this picture? <G>
Looking carefully at the OP's photos, it appears that the "tang" or attachment point for the lower shrouds are the spreader base plates. I can envision with the mast under load the bottom of the spreader base plate pulling away from the side of the mast tube which will also tend to make the spreader angle further upwards.

Also the spreader base plate and lower shroud attachment seems to be held to the mast tube by 6 or so machine screws on the top of the spreader base. I would prefer to see a large rod or bolt that passes through the mast tube and out the other side onto which the lower shroud tang is mounted. Then the spreader and lower shroud for each side would not be both relying upon a single base plate attached by machine screws.
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Old 29-04-2012, 20:51   #13
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Re: Spreader problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Spreaders normally move around a bit, they are supposed to do that. Taping the ends can be a bad thing if it traps moisture and hides corrosion. What looks odd from the 2nd and 3rd photos is that the "bolt" under the spreader, holding the rigging terminal in place, seems to be standing proud, with access to it hidden (?) on the mast side of the mounting plate. Is that fitting secure?
I probably wouldn't have been worried had both (or all four) spreaders moved as this one does but all the others seem solid.
I agree that the pin you are talking about "standing proud" is odd but like you said, if you insert the pin from the other way, it is trapped and cannot be removed without removing the entire tang/spreader mount system. How is it "normally" done?
I can see only two ways and neither is a good scenario. I've looked with binoculars and zoomed in on these pics and cannot for the life of me see any cotter pins, although there has to be (or at least should be) one on each pin. I was wondering if the backside plate of the tang might be concave, allowing for the pin to conceal the cotter pin and protect it and the mast from excessive pressure/wear. (?)
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Old 29-04-2012, 21:08   #14
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Re: Spreader problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
Looking carefully at the OP's photos, it appears that the "tang" or attachment point for the lower shrouds are the spreader base plates. I can envision with the mast under load the bottom of the spreader base plate pulling away from the side of the mast tube which will also tend to make the spreader angle further upwards.

Also the spreader base plate and lower shroud attachment seems to be held to the mast tube by 6 or so machine screws on the top of the spreader base. I would prefer to see a large rod or bolt that passes through the mast tube and out the other side onto which the lower shroud tang is mounted. Then the spreader and lower shroud for each side would not be both relying upon a single base plate attached by machine screws.
Would a thru-bolt through the mast really be necessary? There are five machine screws holding the tang in place and the load placed on them would seem to me to be only lateral. The major force exerted against the tangs would be from the spreaders being forced (mostly) directly toward the mast. No?
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Old 29-04-2012, 21:31   #15
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Re: Spreader problem

Best practice would have the spreader bases and tangs mounted to the mast separately. The tang could be close as wanted to the spreader base, but combining them is risky. And in the case of each, a compression tube would be proper.

In your case, I'd stick to day sailing close to home port and not go offshore 'til you've found that rigger! I really don't like the looks of that rig.
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