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Discussion Starter #1
My genoa needs them!

Thought this should be simple. But searching on the subject reveals no clear choice:

  • tape (not recommended because of trapping moisture)
  • plastic boots (don’t breathe? - but they look the simplest to install)
  • leather (seems preferred, but did those owners install/stitch them while dangling from a halyard?)
  • a polyester wraparound, with buckle (one more thing to snag?)
  • a wheel, mounted on the stay (installation with rig up?)
Please share your thoughts and recommendations. Thanks.
 

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Guess you could always go with baggywinkles...but then there's that pesky moisture factor. I went with the boots on my aluminum spreaders. They had pre-molded small holes in the bottom of each for drainage of water. Lesser of the evils, I think.
 

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I've used the rubber ones with the slit in them that I'm sure you've seen all over the place. The slit lets them breath. I keep tape to a minimun (around the recessed nipples that the stays go through and around the part that forms around your spreaders) and I think that's allowing for moister to esacape and air to flow. The ONLY issue I've had is that the tape eventually unwraps, but this is an easy fix once a year or so.
 

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tape (not recommended because of trapping moisture)
Birds peck at it as well and can pick it loose over the season
plastic boots (don’t breathe? - but they look the simplest to install)
This is what most folks use
leather (seems preferred, but did those owners install/stitch them while dangling from a halyard?)
The owners didn't - their foredeck staff did it for them
a polyester wraparound, with buckle (one more thing to snag?)
Never seen this but it just kind of sounds wrong
a wheel, mounted on the stay (installation with rig up?)
These are fine in theory but I believe that you need to ride the boatswain's chair to adjust them as they ride above the spreaders. I bought some but chucked them once I realised it was going to be a ton of work getting them into position and making them stay where they should be. Others might have a better opinion of them. Apart from anything else though, they're ugly.

Please share your thoughts and recommendations. Thanks.
You're Welcome :)
 

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We have the Edson leather spreader boots and they are great! Nice and soft so if the sail rubs against them chafe is minimized. We had the opportunity to install ours when we stepped our mast to get through the Champlain Canal system. They take a little time (and sometimes a couple of tries) to get them stitched up evenly, but I guess the only way to install them with the mast up is to haul yourself up in the bosuns chair.
 

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We have the Edson leather spreader boots and they are great! Nice and soft so if the sail rubs against them chafe is minimized. We had the opportunity to install ours when we stepped our mast to get through the Champlain Canal system. They take a little time (and sometimes a couple of tries) to get them stitched up evenly, but I guess the only way to install them with the mast up is to haul yourself up in the bosuns chair.
I also installed Edson spreader boots last time my mast was down. The kit comes with a heavy needle and twine and didn't take that long at all to stitch. They are holding up well after five years!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks. I missed baggywinkles in my original considerations. Nice recap, Sailorman.

I think I'll order what I started to before I thought about it: the common rubber boots. (It's called a synthetic rubber, not plastic as I referred to - but I did discover some chintzy "real" plastic ones for only $9). Depending on how they hold up, I'll consider the Edison leather when mast comes down.

To complete the thread, following are the rubber, polyester, (taken from Defender web site) and leather boots (SailNet):
 

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I've used the wheels on the last two boats I've owned and they work well. The two sides snap together so they can be installed easily with the rigging up. They mount above the spreader and they spin freely with no adjusting. I've used boots in the past but found they deteriorate and break over time.
 

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install them with the rig up - every sailor should know how to go to the top and the view's great.
Brian
 

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I remember seeing the leather kits for $50 on Catalina Direct. Any reason not to just go get some leather end pieces or scraps from the fabric store for $10? I'm gonna try this to replace my UV-degraded plastic ones. Should be fun; it will test my faith in my rope-to-wire splices :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Brian: Looking forward to first time up. Until then, I’m accumulating parts (e.g. spreader boots, anchor light bulb and, most of all, new halyards) & knowledge I might need. Deciding on what harness to get (plan to use it for climbing trees, too). In the meantime, I will be removing the roller furling so I can use the hank on jib until spreader boots installed and genoa repaired.

AdamLien: Good idea. I vaguely recall learning something about leather work in boy scouts; I used to know most of the knots 50 years ago too! The rubber boots are ~$22/pair, so...

zz4gta: Other than the leather, I haven't see instructions yet, I just assumed they snapped on. Is tape better than a zip tie?
 
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