Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
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Re: repairing wooden spreaders with mast steps installed
.....so I climbed up the mast and noticed some rot on the starboard spreader and my finger tips sunk in as I was climbing......
...The rot is not as bad as I thought and actually one of the bolts was loose.........
Dan, just be sure you aren't rationalizing, because you don't have the resources to unstep the mast. A failed rig can kill you and/or your family. It doesn't reconcile that your finger tips sunk in on one inspection, but is not as bad as you thought on the next.
Do you have the skills/tools to refabricate the wooden spreader yourself? It doesn't look all that complicated from the photo. Even if not perfect and pretty, it would be better than convincing yourself it will be okay as is. Should buy you time to get proper new spreaders. If you insist on keeping the steps, lose the anti-wrap wires at first, and reinstall them as you figure out how to keep them from passing through your new spreaders. Worst case, you wrap a halyard once or twice, before you get back to installing the wires. Who cares, you have steps to go unwrap it. For that matter, bungie the halyard head grommet to the boom and keep some light tension on the halyard and you could avoid most wrapping. Plenty of ways to deal with this, without just taking your chances. Good luck.
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In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.