Just another Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
Thanked 320 Times in 305 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Are the spreaders tubular? or foil sectioned? Generally the fit of the spreader into the receptacle for it is not a close tolerance fit and may permit the small angle required to get the correct shroud/spreader angles.
The problem is that without a positive clamp to fix the outboard tip at the shroud, the spreader will/may tend to slide a bit unless a) the vectors are balanced or b) the spreader root fitting stabilizes the spreader where it is.
With your shrouds 'wired' into a spreader tip slot they are protected from 'falling out' if the leeward goes slack.. but there's not necessarily the ability to resist the vector forces.. could be you're at the bottom of allowable movement in your spreader cups and they are limiting further droop.
In any case, as you've indicated a lot of miles without any serious issues, you're probably OK. And you're certainly not alone in having so called 'imperfect' spreader angles. As long as all the parts are sound I'm sure you'll be fine.
If you ever get the rig off, see how much play there is in the spreader root fitting, maybe you can correct the angles via the slack available there.. if you split the shroud angles there should be no forces trying to undo that.
Beyond that, I wouldn't worry! (disclosure... I'm not a rigger...We need Knothead to chime in here.)
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)