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Old 27-11-2009, 08:38   #1
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Location: Northern Michigan
Boat: Catalina 34
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Replacing My Spreaders?

Yes yet another question for you all.

I have a Catalina 30 with wooden spreaders. They appear to be in good shape from the bottom but you never know whats happening on top till you make the climb. They look like they could use some paint so there might be some issues as yet unknown.

Question is what do you all think of just ordering a new set of aluminum replacements? I know they don't come cheap but with the cost at around $500 it seems like cheap insurance. I'm thinking I can replace them without stepping the mast. Can't I just secure the halyards on the side I'm replacing and after I'm done replacing one and setting the shroud tension move the halyards to the other side and replace the other one?

Thank you all for your help with all my questions.
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Old 27-11-2009, 09:06   #2
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I see no reason you cannot replace them like you say using halyard to hold the mast while you are working on it. I have done that with no problem. 500 seems a lot to spend why not just replace the wood ones? I have done this using treaded good quality wood and painted. Loads on spreaders are mainly compression any good quality wood should work fine and much cheaper. Also you would not be adding more holes to the mast with new spreader fittings. Use the money saved for other things like rum lol.

Good luck

Wayne Canning, AMS
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Old 27-11-2009, 09:12   #3
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I replaced the wood spreaders on my Morgan with aluminum 25 years ago. If you tend to keep a boat for a long term like me, then I'd definitely change to aluminum. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 27-11-2009, 09:18   #4
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The replacement spreaders I'm looking at are a retrofit kit that uses the same mounting as the old ones so there is no need to drill new holes. I'm thinking that by going to aluminum it will be one less thing I'll have to maintain over the likely time I'll own this boat.
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Old 27-11-2009, 11:01   #5
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I had to replace the wooden spreaders on the Nico last year. I was up the mast on an unrelated job and on the way down I saw it a black/gray looking film over the wood. ROT on the port spreader at the boot. A lot of rot... in fact I was able to stab a flat head screwdriver down thru it!
I fabricated the new ones out of Brazilian Cyprus, lightweight and rot resistant. I used the non rotted speader as a pattern for the 2 new ones.
Once they were cut and sanded and such I put 2-3 coats of epoxy on them. After which I painted them w/ 2 coats of epoxy paint. When installing them, I used more than enough 5200 at the thru bolts. The Nico shouldn’t have water infiltration there again…at least for a few years, especially w/ the annual maintenance in mind.
I figure I should get a decade and a half out of them...? We shall see.
Good Luck w/ your spreader issues, Steelshooter. I did it myself for the reason of Cost and they work just as the old ones did. With a little time on your hands DIY isn’t impossible. I do have a construction background which made the DIY deal a no-brainer for me. Good Luck, David The spraders in my avitar are the new ones
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