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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi All,

Seems simple enough, upper shrouds go into grooves in the spreader tips, held in by wire wraps covered with a boot or tape. When I get ready to re-step in a couple weeks, I'm wondering how tight do I wrap the wire around the spreader tip? While we're there, what kind of wire, aluminum, galvanized or stainless? I ask because I'm thinking if I wrap those suckers in tight, then set the mast down and start tightening the turnbuckles, wouldn't that pull down on the spreaders? Should the shroud slide freely in the spreader tip? Side note, when I was taking everything apart, the shroud was stuck in the spreader tip real good, leaving imprints of the wire in the aluminum tip.

Dave
 

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Once known as Hartley18
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Dave, I'd suggest:

1. Use stainless wire wrap (to match the shrouds) if you have it - although some of us use small (tiny!) stainless hose clamps for easy adjustment..

2. Leave it loose for the moment, and set the spreaders to be approximately 90 degrees to the mast to offer some support to the rig as the mast goes in(*). Adjust the spreaders upwards to the correct angle whilst tensioning the rig later. It means going up the mast to do this though.. but that's life.

Hope this helps. :)


(EDIT: * = Somebody's bound to jump in and suggest you try to set a rough spreader angle, bisecting the angle, whilst the mast is horizontal. The issue with this is, if someone hardens up the upper turnbuckles as soon as the mast has gone in without looking up first, the spreader could collapse upwards.. nasty!)
 

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Th wire is called "seizing wire." You can find it on Ebay and other places on the net cheaply enough. Of course I bought mine at WM and paid a premium. :)
The wire is wrapped loose enough so that your shroud can slip through it easily. I don't know about your boat, but on mine the spreader can only go on one way with the angle or rake already set. The diameter of the wire is .041.

Jeff
 

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Personal Preferences....

As I have hinged tubular spreaders (as opposed to flat fixed-angle) with open slots for the shrouds, I use a tight seizing before stepping the mast. This holds the spreader in place while stepping. I can usually get it close enough that it maintains the proper angle after tensioning the shroud. If not, a trip up the stick to spreader level to remove and re-seize the shroud is not a big deal along side the dock. There is a lot of movement and difference in shroud tension between the lee and windward shrouds while underway, so if my dockside angles are equal and within a couple degrees of optimal, I am happy enough.

Seizing purpose is two-fold, for hinged spreaders it serves to keep the lee spreader(s) from shifting angle, and for both fixed and hinged shrouds, it serves to keep a loose lee shroud from "jumping" the slot, which can lead to a really bad day.

One last comment... I much prefer to "cap" the shroud ends with rubber or leather boots, rather than rigging tape. Reason being is rigging tape while useful for an emergency cap, can create a low oxygen environment possibly leading to increased corrosion in common stainless steels.

(Edit:) Tight does not mean huge tension on the seizing wire. It just means enough figure 8 wraps to prevent the shroud and spreader from moving relative to each other.
 

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on my old wooden boat the po was awesome and gave me a spool of monel sezing wire...
really expensive but worth it

I used it for a lot of stuff but this is great for rigging...and what you want to do

honestly you can also use that white sail tape...or even zipties...yes I said it but hey...even twine if you want

leather is great like mentioned above

btw you should wrap the tips after tuning and making sure the mast is in line

wrapping tight before is impossible...you wont be able to get the correct angle or for sure they will be uneven if doing it this way

everything losey gosey then you finish after tuning

well thats what I would do

good luck!
 
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btw you should wrap the tips after tuning and making sure the mast is in line

wrapping tight before is impossible...you wont be able to get the correct angle or for sure they will be uneven if doing it this way

everything losey gosey then you finish after tuning
Thanks Christian. I'm guessing that I'll be able to swing myself over far enough and hold onto the spreaders while being suspended by a halyard to put on wire and rubber boots?
 

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Once known as Hartley18
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Thanks Christian. I'm guessing that I'll be able to swing myself over far enough and hold onto the spreaders while being suspended by a halyard to put on wire and rubber boots?
If you have yourself hauled up on the main halyard, it's an easy enough job - but you'll need someone dockside to tell you if you have the spreader angle correct, because you won't be able to see it properly whilst out there..

If you don't want the hassle of leathering, I'd suggest plastic boots rather than rubber ones which won't last more than a year or two in most places.
 

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Should the seizing wire be monel, stainless or ???. Also should the wire be a solid strand or say 7x7 wire rope? The setup on our boat is an end cap is inserted in the spreader then the spreader is bolted on an mount welded to the mast. The end cap has a slot for the shroud and some holes for the seizing wire to pass through.

Also there is some debate about using a boot because it might trap water leading to accelerated corrosion. If the boot fits loosely around the shroud wouldn't that allow air to circulate thereby drying the enclosed fittings?
 

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The boots should generally drain...

Our spreaders have shroud clamps built in to the tips.. nice setup (Selden) Of course they need to be set up once the rig is at least nominally tightened.

Can't overemphasize the need to ensure that the spreader tip somehow 'captures' the shroud.. esp on marginally tuned rigs. When the leeward spreaders go slack, if the shroud manages to separate from the tip in a blow you'll be in for a big surprise on the next tack..

That sudden CRACK/BANG when the mast folds over at the spreaders is something you'll never forget...
 

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I would highly recommend you use monel seizing wire, not stainless steel. It is much more flexible and easier to work with. The tail is easily tucked in and leaves nothing for your sails to get caught on. This is the same wire we use to secure all shackles aloft and on our anchor tackle.
 

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Rubber boots held on with rigging tape, loosely wrapped then twisted stainless wire. My speaders are flat, hollow aluminum that slip over angled tabs on the mast where a through bolt holds them on. Being a pack-rat, i use cut to length pieces of un-layed stainless wire from a replaced forestay. Used multiple pieces of this same wire pushed through a couple dozen holes I drilled in a piece of flat aluminum for the top of the mast. Spreading them out to form something that looks like half an asterisk to keep the birds off.

Forstay was 1/9 stainless wire but not sure of the diameter. Came off a 26 Seafarer.
 

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Monel then, it is! Thanks.

I was looking at boots made from leather. Any downside to leather boots?
 

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Monel then, it is! Thanks.

I was looking at boots made from leather. Any downside to leather boots?
None at all... and leather will outlast rubber by a long way. Just make sure they're laced up good and tight.
 
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