Spreader Repair

While rigging the boat for the Norm Blanchard Regatta, I noticed that the spreader on the right side of the photo below  was no longer connected to the mast. A quick call to some other Fleet 1 sailors who were already in the water assured me that I could actually sail with the damaged spreader bolt but that it should be repaired as soon as possible. I sailed during the regatta but worked on repairing the spreader bolt the next weekend. The project was fairly simple. It took me less than an hour to complete. Tools needed - screw driver, appropriate sized wrenches, and a rivet gun.

Damage was was to the right spreader in above photo. Notice the rusted screw.

The bolt broke where the screw went through it. This may have been like this for awhile and I simply never noticed it. A quick check would be to see if you can pull the speaders out. If they don't come off the bolt then you are fine.

Inside the spreader arm is an aluminum slug where the bolt slides into.

Looking down the tube. You can see where the screw goes through.

I was originally going to reuse the the spreaders and just replace the spreader bolt until I took off the sail tape wrapped around the end of the arm where the shroud goes through. I noticed that the tip was actually cracked. This is something that has also probably been like this for awhile. I simply never noticed it.

The other tip once also took off the tape from that end as well. At this point, I ordered new spreaders arms with the tips from Gene at Port Gardner Sails. It was $30 all in all (two spreader arms with tips installed).

The tang needed to be removed from the mast to slide the bolt out. I drilled out the rivets. It is best to use a bigger drill bit than the photo above. You only want drill the top of the rivet out. DON'T go any deeper, otherwise you will make your hole bigger. You don't want to do that.

Tang removed on one side. In reality, I really did not need to remove both tangs. This side could have stayed in place since the bolt could have slid through without removing it. I did not realize this until I had removed it. Oh well.

This other side. On this side, the tang really had to be removed.

The new bolt assembly.

The new spreader tips.

Putting it back into the mast.

Rivets put into place to line everything up. I started with the center rivet, the left,
then the right.

Rivets in place.

Screwing on the spreader arms the aluminum slug.

Installing the shroud through the new tip.

Another photo of the other side.

Everything put together. All in all a fairly simple process. Not very expensive too.