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Old 29-05-2024, 00:51   #1
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How Much Weight can I hang off the lower spreaders ?

My mast is down and stripped down for a full refurb. While it is down I want to make some mods to it.

I am looking into a crows nest above the lower spreaders - a mini crows nest in order to keep weight down. I also need a camera/s up there as well, so am concerned about how much weight can I add up there?

I do realise i cant go crazy and build a small town up there so need to be realistic. I have a very good mast guy and he says, yes we can put a crows nest on it as well as a camera. I haven't had an in-depth discussion about this with the mast guy as I had to leave the boat and fly home for a while.

So in the interim would appreciate input on these aspects from those who have the experience.

The camera I am interested in is Axis Communications Q6225-LE 2MP Outdoor PTZ Network Camera with Night Vision & Wiper (60 Hz) - it weighs 8.7Kg.

Is 8.7Kg hanging off a spreader too much? I could do 2 cameras to balance out the weight if that is a concern - one on each spreader.

Is this doable or crazy for even thinking about it?

I have no experience with adding anything to the mast so rely on guidance from those who do know.
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Old 29-05-2024, 02:15   #2
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Re: How Much Weight can I hang off the lower spreaders ?

The shrouds I have are discontinuous and I would be very comfortable loading up the spreaders with the kind of weight indicated. Not sure about how comfortable I would be with continuous shrouds. Should be OK though. In any case from the perspective of vertical loads.

In view of the horizontal, dynamic loads I would try and take two aspects into consideration. Firstly, to reduce any weight up in the mast as much as possible and secondly, to place any load on a spreader as close to the mast as possible.
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Old 29-05-2024, 02:30   #3
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Re: How Much Weight can I hang off the lower spreaders ?

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Originally Posted by HeinSdL View Post
The shrouds I have are discontinuous and I would be very comfortable loading up the spreaders with the kind of weight indicated. Not sure about how comfortable I would be with continuous shrouds. Should be OK though. In any case from the perspective of vertical loads.

In view of the horizontal, dynamic loads I would try and take two aspects into consideration. Firstly, to reduce any weight up in the mast as much as possible and secondly, to place any load on a spreader as close to the mast as possible.
Yes placing the load as close as possible to the mast sounds sensible.

The camera I referenced seems to be the ticket for me - IP68 (not many cameras rated for that) and has a long distance IR illuminator onboard. I was going to go for a smaller camera and add IR illuminators separately but this camera has IR that is powerful enough - keeps clutter/cabling down.

Thinking of adding 1x camera to each spreader to balance out the weight. I was originally thinking of putting a camera of this type/style mounted to the bottom of the crows nest and putting smaller cameras on the spreaders with the IR illuminators added along side the smaller cameras on each spreader, but an all in one unit seems to be the way to go and Axis are a very good reliable brand and that IP68 is key.

I do get that I have very specific needs that 99.8% of you wouldnt so this may seem a little "out there " to some.

My mast guy seems to think its OK (but then again we spoke one camera under the crows next, so vertically inline with the mast and not hanging off to the sides like if cameras are mounted to each spreader). However I have learnt the hard way that there are as many opinions on how to do something on a boat as there are....well there are many opinions and a lot of them are wrong.

So casting around here to learn from the very experienced folk here who are out there actually doing it rather then talking around the club bar. (Is it just this club or do most boats at the Yacht clubs rarely leave thier mooring?)
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Old 29-05-2024, 02:54   #4
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Re: How Much Weight can I hang off the lower spreaders ?

Have you thought about fitting Lazy Jacks?



https://www.deckhardware.com.au/asse...es/B-41143.pdf
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Old 29-05-2024, 04:07   #5
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Re: How Much Weight can I hang off the lower spreaders ?

I have lazy jacks on the boom/mast already.

But I am confused - how would lazy jacks help in this instance vis a vis weight on the spreaders?
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Old 29-05-2024, 04:21   #6
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Re: How Much Weight can I hang off the lower spreaders ?

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Originally Posted by Jim Jones View Post
I have lazy jacks on the boom/mast already.

But I am confused - how would lazy jacks help in this instance vis a vis weight on the spreaders?

I meant it would be a good time to install them if you hadn't already.
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Old 29-05-2024, 04:22   #7
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Re: How Much Weight can I hang off the lower spreaders ?

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Originally Posted by coopec43 View Post
I meant it would be a good time to install them if you hadn't already.
oh ok, gotcha
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Old 29-05-2024, 04:56   #8
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Re: How Much Weight can I hang off the lower spreaders ?

**WOW** Just wow.....

I came across this ; https://www.wiseled.com/starling-q62

Its the same Axis IP camera I linked but modified by Wiseled (in Denmark)

Honestly this thing is HOT HOT HOT ! Wiseled have taken the camera in question as a base and modified it to include a powerful search light and a Green Laser for deterrence ie, point the green laser (non lethal - not sure if it can damage eyes or not?) at the approaching threat as a way to scare them off - would surely work where I am :-)

I am fairly certain I cant afford it though !! (not sure of the price, you can bet I will be following up - but I am willing to bet its out of my price range!)

This is really fantastic - get a search light AND deterrence AND the camera with IR long range all in one unit - that saves considerable space, weight and wiring on the mast.

I wanted a search light up on the mast as well but its getting a bit crowded up there - so decided to forego the search light in favour of cameras. This camera linked above solves all my mounting/weight/wiring issues - will most likely have to go back to one camera as I am sure it will be mega expensive !

If anyone is interested in a Kidney for sale let me know - I dont drink so its in good condition - we can negotiate !!
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Old 29-05-2024, 05:09   #9
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Re: How Much Weight can I hang off the lower spreaders ?

A very lightweight crow's nest can be made of aluminum tubing--the more elaborate/comfortable, the more weight and windage.
Why do you want one? will you be spending long periods aloft, where standing on a spreader, short-clipped to something (a dedicated padeye, perhaps) won't do?
If you build one, make sure the jib or staysail passing by won't foul it.
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Old 29-05-2024, 05:11   #10
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Re: How Much Weight can I hang off the lower spreaders ?

People put radar antennae that weigh similar amounts up on their masts all the time. They also stand on their spreaders. Worry about the spreaders supporting 9 kg is misplaced. Radars may not get mounted up as high as you're envisaging, but that's because the mast swinging around higher up messes up the display. For that reason hope your camera has stabilizers, and that you have plenty of dramamine for the lookout in the crow's nest.
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Old 29-05-2024, 05:18   #11
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Re: How Much Weight can I hang off the lower spreaders ?

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Originally Posted by Benz View Post
A very lightweight crow's nest can be made of aluminum tubing--the more elaborate/comfortable, the more weight and windage.
Why do you want one? will you be spending long periods aloft, where standing on a spreader, short-clipped to something (a dedicated padeye, perhaps) won't do?
If you build one, make sure the jib or staysail passing by won't foul it.
well ...its complicated.

The boat will be in a very remote and wild part of the world. I have bandit problems to deal with. Its not **IF** they try to board the boat its **when**, so I need to put a night watchman up the mast every night that the boat is out there. To the local villagers my boat is like a floating ATM machine! So I have to take precautions.

Originally I was told that a crows nest on a sail boat was a stupid idea - I now have my mast down for refurb and was asking about what I need to put on the mast expressly for putting a bosuns chair up every night to have a small guy up the mast every night. Of course the mast guy was intrigued by this and asked why - I told him about my circumstances - it was the mast guy who suggested the crows nest. He says it will have to be quite small - not a very elaborate affair but assures me my setup will allow it. First thing I asked about was fouling the sails - but he says it can work.
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Old 29-05-2024, 05:37   #12
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Re: How Much Weight can I hang off the lower spreaders ?

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Originally Posted by psk125 View Post
People put radar antennae that weigh similar amounts up on their masts all the time. They also stand on their spreaders. Worry about the spreaders supporting 9 kg is misplaced. Radars may not get mounted up as high as you're envisaging, but that's because the mast swinging around higher up messes up the display. For that reason hope your camera has stabilizers, and that you have plenty of dramamine for the lookout in the crow's nest.
Yes I have a radar up there already - might have to move to the rear arch to get some weight off the mast - the crows nest / cameras are way way more important to me then the radar. The radar is nice to have but I dont know if it will pick up small wooden canoes or not ??

Yes the camera has electronic stabilisation.

All of this is on a lake - not the ocean. There is no wind at night unless there is a big storm going on in the rainy season. In the dry season there is no wind at night. We have a light wind that blows down the lake most days and it comes up around 9.30ish every morning, picks up strength (but still relatively light wind - maybe 6-8 kts ?) till around 2.00PM then starts dropping off and is gone by about 4-4.30 in the afternoon.


The lake is 700 Klms long and the wind comes from the North. It blows down the lake all day and by 5PM most days we get waves that are about 300 - 500mm high crashing on my beach - sometimes more in the rainy season when there is a big storm going on.

So all that bodes well for night time observations from a crows nest. My danger zone is after midnight - the borders of 3 countries meet on the middle of the lake - so smuggling is rampart !! There are literally hundreds of small wooden boats plying back and forth across the lake every night. The ones coming out of Congo are my danger - Congo is pretty lawless - esp at night in the middle of the lake.

I have never had a big sail boat on the lake before but anchoring is going to be difficult - the lake is 1500m deep and has very very sharp drop offs along the shore line - very difficult to anchor on. So my plan at this stage is to simply head out into the middle of the lake at night and just float around till the sun comes up and then motor in to our dive site of the day.

Its quite the drama hey? Bandits, Crocs, hippo's, under water cobras - it goes on and on, but boy its a beautiful part of the world (apart from all that) - at least its fresh water!

I am an old hand at this - I have lived there for 25 years this year. So quite used to all this - none of it fazes me anymore - one learns to just deal with it.

But it does mean I need to think very very seriously about security - main point of the crows nest is to have a small local guy up there every night with NV to keep a look out for trouble incoming. We need to be ready for them when they come in - not let them get on top of us before we know they are there.
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Old 29-05-2024, 05:53   #13
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Re: How Much Weight can I hang off the lower spreaders ?

Jim Jones. Just our of curiosity what lake. I was looking on the map around the Congo and nothing stands out. Sounds like a very interesting place for sure. Good luck.

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Old 29-05-2024, 05:56   #14
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Re: How Much Weight can I hang off the lower spreaders ?

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Jim Jones. Just our of curiosity what lake. I was looking on the map around the Congo and nothing stands out. Sounds like a very interesting place for sure. Good luck.

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Lake Tanganyika.
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Old 29-05-2024, 05:57   #15
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Re: How Much Weight can I hang off the lower spreaders ?

I would mount it on a radar mounting bracket on the front of the mast. Much easier to run the wires. Less windage. No weight concerns. Will look better. Just can’t see directly aft.

If you insist on one looking aft mount one at the stern. You don’t want the light or dazzler illuminating you at the helm
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