Latest News: Forums Technical Wooden mast – decent spreaders – is it possible

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  • #3414
    TimTownsend
    Participant

    Hi All,
    For those in the know, I’m nearly 6 years into the restoration of 978 – getting there, not sure where there is though?
    Has anyone fitted decent spreaders to a wooden mast? If so is performance enhanced? How do you sort out the mast step to get mast bend?

    Look forward to any insights

    Tim Fisher
    Boombird

    #7904
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi

    I see no one posted a response! I wondered how you got on. I renovated W590 a few years ago. It too me 5 years in all and included rebuilding the 1960s collars mast. I refitted all the original fittings but now would like to fit fixed spreaders since I don’t like the way the mast wabbles at sea.

    I’m thinking of buying a second hand spreader bracket, cutting it in half, drilling fixing holes at the front and packing out to get the profile right.

    Any thoughts?

    Peter

    W590

    #7906
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi Peter,
    Thanks for the post,
    I’m just in the process of fitting out Boombird W978. I’ve been working on the project since the summer of 2001 (not continiously!)

    I’ve got a pair of aerofoil spreaders from a small yacht which has an opening wide enough for the mast to fit into. It looks like they will also be the correct dimensions tip to tip and can be fixed when adjusted.

    The tubular spreaders look to wibbly wobbly for my liking and it sounds like your experience at sea backs this up.

    How have you secured the foot of the mast?

    I was thinking of a hard block for the foot to sit against (block positioned to allow correct mast rake). Then some shims either side to stop the mast moving from side to side. I’d be interested to hear what you’ve done?

    Also I’d like enough genoa halyard tension so I can use a furling system, have you achieved this? If so how?

    Great to hear from another season wayfarer restorer!

    Regards

    Tim

    #7908
    Colin Parkstone
    Participant

    Tim and Peter
    I am not so sure about fixed spreaders on a wooden mast myself but anyone tell me otherwise?

    How i see a wood mast is, being a long single piece of wood and it being held up with a single point support,ie shrouds.

    The mast then bends and moves about that point with its own built in flexibility.

    If you put a fixed point in that mast like fixed spreaders,will that not put in a second point that may then become a fulcrum and put strain on the mast that up to that point has had the flexiblity to move ???

    I have thought but cannot remember any other class that uses a wooden mast with fixed spreaders, well a dinghy anyway.

    Bigger boat mast often have diamond spreaders !!

    Also the mast is hollow,will the screws hold in the mast when the tension is put on and is a wooden mast made for it ??

    Any engineers out there who no the answer??

    C P 🙁

    #7909
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi Colin,

    I take your point. Is it sensible to try to treat a wooden mast like an allow mast? But surely the same is true of a flexible alloy tube. Granted, fixings to a hollow wooden mast may not hold the same as rivets in an alloy one. The spreader brackets are still screwed into the side wall. But what your saying is that if fixed speaders are used there are circumstances that will put very different stresses on these fixings.

    Having rebuilt the mast it is not that hollow. The walls are quite thick – probably 20mm.

    Surely the spreaders are put on a wooden mast for the same reasons as an alloy one? The section and bend characteristics are simlar to an E section for example, so surely they are designed to act in a similar way?

    Agreed – any engineers out there!

    Peter
    W590

    #7910
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Tim,

    I’m also wanting to increase rig tension so that I can use headsail reefing. Currently the mast is resting on the pin, but I appreciate that it needs for be fixed at the base and at the deck. I was thinking of cutting a slot in the base of the mast and setting it over a ridged piece of mahogany. Alternatively, creating a slot piece for it to swing into with a gate across the front.

    BUT, given Colin’s comments about fixed spreaders, should we actually be trying to stiffen up a wooden mast to such an extent?

    I was thinking of a wire halyard and a highfield lever, which may give sufficient rig tension to make the swing spreaders work more efficiently and therefore not need replacing?

    Peter

    W590

    #7912
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Peter/Colin,
    Perhaps the first thing to do is set the rake correctly and chock the mast foot. Then see if the mast can cope with a wire genoa halyard.

    Perhaps the wibbly wobbly spreaders will be adequate?

    I’ve got an old muscle box, but will involve a turning block to direct the halyard from the sheeve outlet. I’ll get hold of a highfield lever and see how it goes.
    T

    #7921
    Colin Parkstone
    Participant

    Peter,

    I think what i worry about is your nice wooden mast and all the work you have done to it, Why??

    The spreader bracket does not rap round the back of the mast which would resist the push the spreaders will give the mast for prebend.

    They are fixed to the side and front and will have a pulling action on the screws/fixings and as its just wood I think will pull out and rip the masts wooden walls.

    Also have a good look at the jib sheave in the mast and make sure it is made to take wire as the old ones I have seen would not.

    Maybe use modern low stretch rope, it would go over he sheave better and not stretch so mush as the old stuff.

    As for all the chat about forces, I find the local ones want to drag me in all directions already,so I will keep my head down!!!!!

    C P 😉

    #7925
    Bob Harland
    Participant

    The posts about rig tension have been split.
    Please keep this to wooden masts and spreaders.

    thanks
    bob

    #7926
    Bob Harland
    Participant

    The original purpose of spreaders (on masts in general) was to increase the angle between the shroud and mast at the hounds. This means that the rig can be used with lower tension – though there is compression at the hounds instead.
    It had nothing to do with mast bend.

    I would guess that the original wooden Wayfarer mast was not intended to bend, but I cannot say whether or not it had spreaders.
    Unless you can see fittings from where spreaders have been fitted I would be inclined to keep it spreader-less. Spreaders could induce mast bend that your mast was not designed for.
    I can see that spreaders could reduce

    the wabbles at sea

    – but in so doing perhaps induce new problems.

    I would suggest that if you want to enhance performance or have a more robust rig then get a metal mast.

    #7999
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Well today I sail Boombird. Having spent a good seven years restoring the boat. And I seem to have set the wooden mast up nicely. Keeping the tubular spreaders and using a cascade tensioning system for the genoa. She points very well and the mast and spreaders don’t wibble wobble about. Below are two photos to keep other ardent wayfarer restorers going!

    Thanks all for all help and advice esp Mr Sharman

    T

    #8000
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Sorry about that. Here are the photos.

    #8015
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Bob and Tim,

    My mast and I suspect Tim’s was definitely meant to have spreaders. It is very bending and judging by my alloy Firefly mast it is more bendy than an alloy Wayfarer mast. Although probably more resilient it certainly needs spreader help, if only to maintain lateral stiffness. Otherwise it takes on an s-bend profile.

    The mast has the original brackets and spreaders, which are both on their way out. In order to replace them I need new brackets as well as spreaders. Whether they need to be fixed or not is another matter. Trident-uk kindly contacted Selden on my behalf and they have proposed the following, which I will probably purchase, although expensive.

    http://www.seldenmast.co.uk/fittings/content.asp?Category_ID=7
    if not the part numbers are
    503-753
    522-180
    522-179

    Tim,

    well done for getting it on the water, it’s a great feeling, I remember it well. My mast needed revarnishing after two years so it’s currently stripped for 4 more coats.

    I’m interested in your jib halyard cascade system, do you have a picture? And what did you do at deck level and the step?

    Peter

    #8020
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi Peter,
    I used a thin mast pin which rattles when rig is tensioned. Only been out once but closely watched foot. It didn’t seem to move.

    There is a gap between the front of the mast and the deck, I’m in the process of making some chocks.

    I’ll post a photo of the cascade system tomorrow

    T

    #8022
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi Tim,

    My experience in a bit of a blow and a choppy sea (North Kent Coast) is that with deck and step support there is a lot of flex and damage incurred to the mast. I’m thinking of putting lateral pads on the mast rather than the deck to protect the soft wood of the mast and some kind of fixed step.

    Did you use a wire jib halyard ? if so what mast sheave boxes did you use? I’ve found replacement Holt ones at Marinestore, since my original holt ones are very coroded.

    Peter

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