It's interesting to me because:
1. I would have thought that having the forstay and shrounds connected to the same point and the rig tightened up to suit the weather, with a hinged mast step you couldn't get any significant mast movement, certainly not flex - unless I've missed something.. which is possible, SD..
Last I checked, any time you put a mast under a heavy load, the shrouds will stretch a bit..and the mast will flex. On a small boat, the loads and the resulting flexing isn't going to be enough to fatigue the mast... but where the line between fatiguing the mast and not fatiguing the mast exactly is, is going to be pure guesswork. Also, how well engineered the chainplates and how well maintained they are will also effect the movement of the mast.
2. I've been told that the majority of mast failures with my rig set-up occur at the spreader/mast connection - not at the shroud/mast connection. This could(?) only come with side-ways flex which I would not have thought you'd get under jib alone.
Again... if the mast flexes enough, the spreaders may move enough to fatigue the base connection point. If that happens, the spreaders will detach from the mast and then fail completely.
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a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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