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  #1  
Old 03-30-2010
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How to raise spreader level?

My new (to me) Catalina 250 has a small issue with one of the spreaders. The spreader on one side contacts the upper shroud a few inches lower than it should. It needs to be angled up to be even with the other side, so that the shroud makes an equal angle above and below (i.e., pure compression on the spreader). Everyone tells me that I should not have to hire someone to do this, that I should be able to do it myself.

I tried reaching up with a long extension pole to push it up, but it would not budge. I don't know if it's bound too tightly with seizing wire or rigging tape, or maybe the shroud's tension should be released first.

Could someone advise the appropriate procedure for doing this? Should it be possible to push it up with a long pole standing on the cabintop? Do I need to send my son or me up in a Bosun's chair (which totally freaked out my wife when I mentioned it to her)?

FYI, my broker's wonderful parents gave me a Loos & Co. Professional Tension Gauge, so I can retension the rig after I adjust the spreader. I suspect this is required since changing the spreader angle could affect the tension on that side.
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Last edited by TakeFive; 03-30-2010 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 03-30-2010
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Well, I am not completely sure but I would just get a long 2x4 and push it up into place. I used to have to do it with my first boat, they would get knocked out of place somehow. But I would just go up there and give them a good whack (I believe that is the proper nautical technical term).

Tell your wife you need to send her up the mast. After she stops hyperventilating she might decide it wouldn't be too bad letting you go up.

Gene
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Old 03-30-2010
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how about a metal shackle with a down haul pulled up by the halyard, clip it on the shroud pull it up, use the winch if you need to then pull down the halyard when done.
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Old 03-30-2010
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I have always thought that an owner should know their boat from one end to the other and that means the upper end as well. Use a bosun's chair and adjust it from the required height. While you're at it go to the top and inspect the rigging as well as the attached fittings. Take a camera for pics of the fittings for future reference as well. And the view which is great from the top.
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Old 04-17-2010
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you have to release tension on spreader some what in order to move spreader so loosen your stay then retighten stay
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Old 04-17-2010
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I'd second using a bosun's chair. I'd also point out that many spreaders have either a clamp or wire seizing them to the shroud, which means you need to go aloft to manually fix it and then re-clamp or re-seize the spreader tip to the shroud.
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Old 04-17-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
I'd second using a bosun's chair. I'd also point out that many spreaders have either a clamp or wire seizing them to the shroud, which means you need to go aloft to manually fix it and then re-clamp or re-seize the spreader tip to the shroud.
Well, it's going to take quite a bit of working on my wife to do this - or we'll have to sneak around behind her back. When I first brought up the idea of sending up my 23 year old son (who is a firefighter accustomed to heights) she literally broke out into cold sweats. Then I made it worse by saying, "OK, I'll go up," and she broke into tears and cold sweats.

Assuming I figure a way around this problem, I do have a rational safety concern that needs your advice. Should someone really go up in a bosun's chair with the upper shrouds loosened? What if, after removing the seizing wire or clamp, the shroud comes off the spreader tip and luffs (or whatever the term is for that)? Wouldn't there be some risk of the rig coming down or swaying so much it endangers the guy in the chair?
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Old 04-17-2010
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You're only loosening the upper a bit in order to move the spreader so it shouldn't be a problem. I would think the lowers, forestay and backstay should be enough without the uppers. Besides you're only going to the spreaders at which point the mast is well stayed. Going up in a chair is not a big deal when done properly. And the view is great from up there!

As far as your wife, you could always send her up.
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