Hi all,

I purchased Misty #5 in October and moved her from Seattle to Lake Superior this Spring. This is my first boat, so I am amidst a steep learning curve (expect more posts soon :-)). After stepping the mast, rigging, and tuning (done by marina), I noticed that the lower spreaders are easily moved up and down. In fact, I inadvertently lowered the lower, starboard spreader after securing the attached pennant halyard. Is this normal? Is there a proper way to secure spreaders to rigging or is my rigging not tuned correctly?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.


For whatever it is worth from a non professional
who has set up the rigging on my BCC a couple of
times, the spreaders are not rock solid, but should
not bend down by pulling a pennant up either. They fit
over a tang on the mast where they are held there by a
pin. The outboard edge slot meets the shroud and
should be seized tightly with monel wire. It seems to
me that the combination of the wire and a tight shroud
supports the outter part of the spreader and keep it
from moving. I know that they can get bent in
something like a knockdown, but not by a pennant or
radar reflector like I have hanging off of the lower
port spreader. See if they used any wire at the otter
tip. Hopefully that helps.
By the way, where do you keep your boat in Lake
Wayne Edney BCC “Odyssey” San Francisco

Hi Paul, we all have to start somewhere, yes same thing happened to
me on my first boat. After study, I learned some solutions. First is
that your spreader tip should be locked in place and not move. There
are a few ways to do this. I use Brian Toss’s reccommendation, and it
works on my BCC. He advised using 2 constrictor knots below the tip
junction and one constrictor knot above on the cap shroud. He taught
me to position the tip correctly, make two “leverage tight” seperate
constrictor knots over 3 wraps of friction tape with tared marline,
just below the tip, on the cap shroud, then one just above the tip,
thus entraping it. Yes you still have to use the monel wire to keep
the cap shroud bedded in the tip groove. Westsail 32’s use a diagonal
strut wire attached to the mast above then down to the spreader, for
the same reason. Some riggers use bulldog “U” bolt clamps, and some
spreader tips have clamps designed in, but cheep and simple
constrictor knots work well on Calliste.
Congratulations on you purchase of Misty, school is in session ,

Hi Wayne,

Thanks for your response. Given your response and Douglas’s, I will definitely be making some adjustments.

My boat is at http://www.knife-river-marina.com/ - a few miles north of Duluth MN.


Interesting. Can you share how you determine the correct position
for the lower and upper spreaders? I have tried to eyeball the
appropriate angles, but I’m not sure they’re right. I’m curious what
Brion Toss had to say on this.


Tom Unruh
Galatea, #117

Hi All – Spreader angle is supposed to exactly bisect shroud angle. This makes perfect sense because the spreaders will only be in compression if this is the case. Spreader angle will be greater for the uppers than the lowers because the shroud leaves the mast at the masthead. The lower spreaders have a very shallow?angle because the shroud is coming off of the upper spreaders and going to the deck. This can all be?measured?on the rigging plan and transferred with a bevel angle to the mast. Your eyeball is also surprisingly accurate- stand on a high dock and try to use parallax against a known horizontal object such as the horizon and you will be able to see a very small angle.???
I haven’t felt the need to use knots?but do seize the shroud in the tips of the spreaders quite snugly. It’s certainly possible to loose a mast due to?a fallen spreader, so?stay observant.??

Gosh Tom, an excellent question, I agree with Roy, his
description is very accurate, determining the spreader angle.
I was going to use the u bolt bulldog clamps at first, because I had
the same problem as Paul, with my flag halyard pulling my
spreader tip down, but Brian talked me out of it, and demonstrated
the excellent grip that a lever tightened constrictor knot has,
Brian went on to say that using the knot / friction tape combo, did
not create a corrosion problem, or dent or damage the cap shroud
wire, at a cyclically loaded point. He also pointed out that it
was easy to cut away the knot and tape for corrosion and shroud
inspection later on. I just wish the tarred marline had a test
strength greater than 90 lb, because using a lever to tighten the
constrictor knot, it is very easy to break it, and you have to start
making the knot again.