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Old 02-21-2014
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Making wooden spreaders. Material?

Getting ready to pull the stick on the Yankee 30 and know I need to replace at least one spreader. I have a nice piece of teak. Any reason I shouldn't use it to fabricate spreaders?
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Old 02-21-2014
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Re: Making wooden spreaders. Material?

weight?
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Old 02-21-2014
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Re: Making wooden spreaders. Material?

There's really no reason not to make them out of good straight grain teak. However traditionally they would be out of good soft wood like spruce, ceder, or Douglas fir. The most important however is straight tight grained see what the original spreaders are made of and try to duplicate it
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Old 02-21-2014
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Re: Making wooden spreaders. Material?

You can get aluminum spreaders for the Yankee 30 rig from the original manufacturer. Check the Yankee 30 list, I think the mast was made be LeFiell in CA.
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Re: Making wooden spreaders. Material?

Quote:
Originally Posted by newhaul View Post
There's really no reason not to make them out of good straight grain teak. However traditionally they would be out of good soft wood like spruce, ceder, or Douglas fir. The most important however is straight tight grained see what the original spreaders are made of and try to duplicate it
Interesting, and counter intuitive to me. Why softer wood? I would think you would want to use a harder, more weather resistant wood.
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Old 02-22-2014
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Re: Making wooden spreaders. Material?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex W View Post
You can get aluminum spreaders for the Yankee 30 rig from the original manufacturer. Check the Yankee 30 list, I think the mast was made be LeFiell in CA.
Thanks! Gotta love this site...learn things all the time.

Don't know what the "Yankee list" is, but emailed LeFiell with a inquiry.
LEFIELL MARINE PRODUCTS
If they make them, It will feel freaky to order a factory replacement part for the 40+ year old boat. Certainly a first for me, didn't even consider it!

Are Aluminium spreaders necessarily better than wood? As with most things, I'll bet there are pros and con's. One pro for wood is that I can make them. However, I'd be happy to buy aluminum if the price isn't prohibitive.

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Re: Making wooden spreaders. Material?

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Originally Posted by L124C View Post
Interesting, and counter intuitive to me. Why softer wood? I would think you would want to use a harder, more weather resistant wood.
The soft woods are traditionally used due to lighter weight straight grain and more flexible for spars hard woods won't flex and are actually more likely to break under sailing loads than soft woods.
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Re: Making wooden spreaders. Material?

Quote:
Originally Posted by newhaul View Post
The soft woods are traditionally used due to lighter weight straight grain and more flexible for spars hard woods won't flex and are actually more likely to break under sailing loads than soft woods.
Yup, I think as teak ages, it would tend to split and crack under the stress of the rigging. Softer woods are lighter and will flex more and not crack or split. Since they are aloft they tend to dry fairly quickly so rot is not as much of an issue, like it would be on a toe rail. That said, they do tend to rot out near the fixtures that will hold the moisture against the wood.

Aluminum is a good option as it will likely last longer than the boat, but the original ones lasted this long and would be cheap and easy to make. It is harder to get good spruce than it once was, but if I had a good source that is the way I would go. Should last another 40 years or so. That is about as long as I expect to be sailing. Though who knows I might be climbing the mast to replace them when I am 90!
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Old 02-22-2014
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Re: Making wooden spreaders. Material?

If you decide to go with wood spreaders, given the limited availability of old-growth (tight grained) spruce, "pattern grade" South American mahogany is a good choice.

While not as light as spruce, it is very tight grained and in "pattern-grade" straight grained and essentially defect free. Exceptional dimensional stability, good workability and easy on the tooling. $6.00-$12.00 / bd-ft depending on your source. A chunk 5/4"x4"x96" is 3.3 bd-ft. Check in your local area for "custom mill-work" who will probably have what you need without having to deal with shipping and minimum orders.
Most shops will sell you a single piece to DIY.

Teak while very resistant to abrasion and rot (High silica and oil content) is IMHO over rated and over used in marine applications. Good decking material as used in old ships, but poor dimensional stability, hell on the tooling (high silica content) and tough to get an adequate glue joint (oil content).
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Re: Making wooden spreaders. Material?

yeah teak no good here...think what old wood spars are made of mostly spruce or fir...

you want light and flexible....

a lot of give is involved in spreader design, even in aluminum or glass...

I have to fix my port upper spreader on my boat, slightly cracket ath the mount bolt at the mast..but since its glass its an easy epoxy putty seal and maybe a wrap of glass there and Im good to go
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