Re: Reaching struts
The merit of the reaching strut is that it increases the angle between the center axis of the spinnaker pole and the center-line of the after-guy in the same manner that a spreader does for a cap shroud on a mast. This reduces the tension needed in the guy and the induced compression load in the pole from the guy. On some of the wide-butt lead haulers of today ("sleds"), where the lead-block for the guy is already quite far off the center line of the yacht, a reaching strut might not be necessary but in older yachts, and particularly those with IOR induced lines, the reaching strut is a necessary element of the rig. The good news is that they are relatively short, accordingly light weight, and relatively easily positioned.
"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."