Featured Image - Mast without spreader

Spreader Decisions and Deck fills

On DreamChaser the mizzen mast has upper and lower shrouds and a triadic stay that goes from the mizzen to the main, but the spreaders are not part of the rig.  I know this sounds odd since most boats have the upper stays that go from the top of the mast to the end of the spreader and then almost vertically down to the chainplates.  Not on DreamChasers ketch rig. So the question was do we put spreaders back on or not.
Initially, I had decided not to put them back up since they were small and wooden and would require maintenance up to the mast from time to time.  The yard confirmed that they don’t have a function beyond holding the spreader lights, so I was certainly leaning toward and have even told the yard, that I would not put the spreaders back on.
Pic of Spreader Attachment peice cut offWhen I told this they double checked to be sure that I was not going to put them back on as they would eliminate the upper spreader bracket to allow more room to get the bolt that holds the lower shroud bases to the mast on.    In the photo here you can see where the arrow points there was another bracket like the one to the right of it.  The spreader went between these two brackets and was through bolted.
My thought was the only thing I was going to put on the spreaders anyway was a spreader light, and I could just mount it to the lower bracket that used to support the spreader.  I did a quick test fit with a pair of lights I was considering for the spreaders.  They are inexpensive spreader lights that are waterproof and flood style, so they shine very brightly.  In the end, I went with a different light, but these were good too. I have included a link to them in the interest you want to consider something similar.  These are waterproof for outdoor use and are 12volts DC. They are MUCH less expensive then the ones you will see in marine catalogs and frankly they have the same waterproof rating, so I don’t see a reason to spend the extra money on it.
Pic of light being blocked by lower shroud bracketWhen I test fit the lights, I was concerned that the lower shroud bracket was so close to the direction of the light of beam that it might cast a shadow the primary part of the deck I would want to light up with a spreader light.  This had me seriously considering going back on with the spreaders.  This combined with that “classic look” we talked about earlier, I like the solid Teak spreaders on DreamChaser, so have leaned toward going back on with them.  I am interested in your thoughts.    My reasoning was aesthetics as well as the ability to put the lights a bit further outboard to reduce the shadow created by the lower shroud base as well as the real estate for installing flag halyards on the mizzen as well as the main.
Pic of Removing Deck Fill drains and hosesWhile I was in the yard, I also did a bit of work to prepare the deck for the work that was being done with the fiberglass finish work.  I removed the deck fill openings for the two water tanks, three diesel tanks and one waste pump out opening.  This lets the deck be finished in place, and the deck fills to be bedded properly when the deck is finished.  In this photo, you can see the first step was to remove the hose.  Removing it was not so easy after it is 30 years old and somewhat stiff.  A little heat gun action sure does help this.  Apparently, you should not do that on a fuel line, but in this photo of the water line, it was perfectly acceptable.
That is all for this week.  The work indeed continues, and I am hoping this week we can pick up the new glass for all the fixed ports and start the work to trim the fiberglass around them and dry fit the ports before treating the openings with epoxy and repairing some of the rotten core in the coach house in 2 places.

Also published on Medium.

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