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· Old as Dirt!
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First, ease the backstay an inch or so to reduce the compression load on the masthead. Then use your jib halyard to haul two lines to the masthead, one for either side of the yacht, and make these fast to the toe-rails near the cap shroud chain plates. Then you can ease the cap-shrouds enough to allow you to remove the spreaders once you assend the mast. Without the lateral support at the masthead while you're up the spar, you risk the possibility of buckeling the mast above the spreaders as you swing outboard to free the spreaders from the cap shrouds. Your weight will cause the yacht to heel somewhat which will induce an eccentric load at the masthead from the halyard supporting you. Without some the lateral support the mast will bend sideways, inducing more heeling and eccentricity (like the ponding phenomina of rain on a flat roof). While the spar section may be stiff enought about its fore-n-aft axis to support the induced load, why risk it?


s/v HyLyte
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