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Old 10-04-2013
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Re: repairing wooden spreaders with mast steps installed

Originally Posted by GeorgeB View Post
You got a lot going on there. First, never, ever climb a mast while the boat is on the hard, never. Second, why didn't you go up the mast when you bought the boat? - It does have steps. The good news is C30's are common as grass and you should be able to pick up a set of spreaders pretty easily from Catalina Direct or even Catalina Inc. You can climb your mast easily enough while the boat is in the water and the lower shrouds would support you while you stand in the mast steps. Do one spreader at a time and use your spare halyard to support the mast while the spreader is loose. You do have some ugliness insomuch as there looks like a guy wire running alongside the steps and through the spreaders. Is that necessary? Perhaps a real rigger can weigh in. If it was up to me, I’d lose the guys as their pass through is most likely the source of the rot. You will be able to clean up the spreader light wiring when you are up there. The spreader fitting on the mast doesn’t look “factory”. You may have a problem when getting the replacement spreaders to fit. Dissimilar metals like the mast and the stainless steel screws for the steps are a big source of galvanic corrosion. You really need to re-bed them sometime in the future. Sadly, you will be spending some money, but a broken spreader under load will cause you to lose the rig so if you think this repair is expensive…

thanks for the input. I should have climbed up the mast before I bought it but I asked the previous owner and he looked me in the eyes and said no rot and that he paints them every year. I'm kinda freaking out as we spend more on this boat, don't have much left for fixing things, as we thought it was good to go. I'm not sure if I can remove those cables for the ladders. The top of the spreaders has 1/2" or so hole cut for the cables to go through. Those ladder cables are going to cause problems. The ladders look like they are held on with aluminum rivets though and not SS bolts.

Would I be able to epoxy them this year? The catalina direct spreader kit is over $500 and I have to unstep the mast. have been trying to find used spreaders or a way to make my own.
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