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Old 15-05-2006, 05:13   #1
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Spreaders

I am presently fabricating new spreaders for my ketch, they are sitka spruce. The boat is a Far East Mariner; I have seen on the web site that some of the smaller Mariners have swinging spreaders. So I am assuming mine should be the same, I know, be careful when you assume. I have to admit I am rather new to the sailing game and have never heard of a swinging spreader? Any advice or comments on the difference in a set spreader vs a swinging spreader. While the boat did have the masts when I purchased her, the spreaders were not with the boat. So at this point I am not sure as to whether I should round the end or keep it flat. I have tried to get an answer on the site, but they are so few 40 owners that often I get no response. I have asked questions on this site before and found everyone to be very helpful, I only hope this question does not put me in the crazy catagory?

Thanks
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Old 15-05-2006, 20:00   #2
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Good questions. The swinging spreaders should be fine, as the pressure lateral not transverse. The advantage to pivoting spreaders is you do not have to be as precise when locating them. A few degrees of pivot will allow them to align with the rig when the shroud is tensioned. The length is the critical issue. The design must create an angle of greater than 12 degrees on the shroud at the masthead. "The Riggers Apprentice" has a very detailed section on spreader design that you might find helpful. As for the ends, it really depends on how you set them up structurally. A shaped strap, inserted into a slot, and wraping all the way around the end of the spreader will keep the spreader from splitting from the pressure of the shroud.
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Old 16-05-2006, 04:54   #3
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Thanks KAI NUI,

I am going to get "The Riggers Apprentice" and see what they have to say. But I do appreciate your input, I certainly was not aware of the 12 degrees at the masthead. I am basically having to refit everything, when I purchased the boat everything had been removed. So while I do have everything, except the spreaders, I am not sure where it all goes. It is fun and informative figuring it out though. I will let you know how they turn out, I am actually fabricating them out of sitika spruce and hope to be finished in a few weeks. The mizzens are aprox 70% complete.

Thanks again.
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Old 16-05-2006, 05:20   #4
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I would strongly recommend against pivoting spreaders on a heavy crusier like you are considering. The problem with a pivoting spreader is that in heavy air, the leeward spreader can swivel out of line when unloaded and be damaged when the boat was tacked. Figuring the proper angle takes a little work, but its not all that difficult.

Jeff
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Old 16-05-2006, 06:30   #5
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Mike, I would suggest you think of the decisions you will be making re: spreader design to be those of a sub-system. You don't say but I assume (there I go...) your spars are wood. You also don't tell us if you are working from the original hardware for the spreader bases. Were it mine to do, I'd start with the spar cross-section and construction and build up my decisions based on the hardware choices available (if you must purchase them). It could also be that you have the original hardware but it does not provide for the raised angle that Kai Nui mentions; it was pretty common in the 70's and 80's to find spreaders placed perpendicular to the spar, in which case the design of the bases might be simplified...but that doesn't mean it's a good idea now. There are numerous end tip designs, as well.

Given your 'project', how good a reference library have you been able to assemble? This might be a good time to visit Amazon, shop among the resellers of used books there (or any other good source) and pick up a few 'old' books that, for these kinds of issues, will not be dated.

Ross Norgrove's Rigs and Rigging was a standard of its time (15? years ago)
Don Street's Ocean Sailing Yacht I and II get into many basic structure and design issues, and Vol. II was illustrated by Bruce Bingham, which makes it especially useful
Shipshape & Bristol Fashion has lots of rigging and other techniques for finishing off the yacht
Dan Spurr's book on refurbishing an older boat (sorry, title escapes me) was also illustrated by Bruce Bingham, another good reference.
Sailor's Sketchbook by Bruce is a compilation of projects, well illustrated, that the owner can do; they were published for some years in Sail magazine. I believe a later volume comes from the CW column Bruce subsequently did.

With the exception of that last pub, I wouldn't think any of these books would cost more than a few dollars. Supplement it with Calder's Boatowners Electrical & Mechicanical Guide, and those references will serve you will, even provide alternatives to what you hear from Web sources.

Jack
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Old 16-05-2006, 09:23   #6
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Thanks to both Jack and Jeff, I appreciate your feedback. As a matter of fact out I have started to assemble various books on different aspects of a crusing boat. I am anxious to learn as much as possible about the different systems of my boat and how to repair if needed.
I believe all the hardware is in the boat, the spar is constructed of Sitka Spruce as the spreaders will be. Often what happens in this type of situation is informational overload. So I do appreciate your advice and guidence. And look forward to talking about this more.
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Old 16-05-2006, 11:13   #7
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Sitka spruce finish

Since I live in the Seattle area I was able to get some beautiful long rough-cut Sitka spruce which I fashoned into long boat poles. They are so light and easy to handle and spring back when pushing the boat off of something.

The strength is not only dependent upon the grain it is also dependent upon the surface finish. I used a low viscosity epoxy, sanded smooth after the wood was very smooth as well (breaks propogate from surface defects like rough edges of a grain). I used a good quality paint over the epoxy to protect it against the sun and hard knocks.

Several years later they are still very nice. One can always sand off the white paint to expose the nice protected grain beneath which is not penetrated by the pigment.
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Old 16-05-2006, 13:14   #8
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While we are on the topic of finishing spruce....Sitka spruce for all of its wonderful characteristics is pretty rot prone. My favorite way to finish spreaders is prime with a good penetrating epoxy resin (WEST or MAS) and then to paint them white on top (lasts a lot longer than varnish, and reflects heat) and vanish the bottom of the spreader so that I can tell if water is getting into the wood.

Jeff
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