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Standing on the spreaders

May 4, 2012
35
Hunter 45DS Toronto
Hi Everyone I have always wondered this and never got a definitive answer.

I have a hunter 45DS and go up the mast for one reason or another once or twice per year. I am a big guy and the winches really creak on the way up. So I pull myself up the best I can, but now the question. Should I or can I stand on the spreaders? They are under a lot of pressure. Could they be damaged?

Murray
 
Jan 19, 2010
790
Catalina 34 Casco Bay
Maybe right next to the mast....Need help going up? Research the Milwaukee 24v right angle drill with winch chuck....
 
  • Like
Likes: mnmpizza
Nov 8, 2007
1,362
Hunter 27_75-84 Sandusky Harbor Marina, Ohio
You will get answers from some real experts, Murray, but here is my take:

The spreaders are designed for a pretty light compression load. The stays push straight on the end of the spreader, and through the spreader onto the mast. You could pretty easily bend one of my spreaders by putting your weight on the middle of the spreader. The fixture that holds the spreader arm to the mast is usually a casting fixed to the mast by bolts or screws. They could take more downward load than the center of the spreader. I have used them to steady myself, but never to take my weight. Your boat is a lot bigger than mine, so I await other responses with you. When we used to pull our mast every year, we would rest the loop for the crane on the spreader fixtures with no problem. (The mast weight is around 100 pounds.)

No problem with your halyard, though. Halyard strengths are measured in tons, so hauling me up when I weighed 300 pounds was no sweat for the halyard. (Significant work for the crew on the winch, though.)
 
Jan 1, 2006
5,355
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
A couple of years ago we sat in an anchorage and watched young males climb the mast to the spreaders, walk out on them and jump off the boat into the water. I cringed each time. Young women were on board.
I would not do this. The spreaders weren't made for it. The spreader mounts weren't. The spreader attachments to the shrouds weren't - on my Ranger that was just some seizing wire.
 
  • Helpful
Likes: jssailem
Sep 25, 2008
5,926
Alden 50 Sarasota, Florida
Curious - why would you want/need to stand there? There isn’t much located within reach to work on, is there?
 
Jun 1, 2009
1,299
Hunter 49 toronto
Hi Everyone I have always wondered this and never got a definitive answer.

I have a hunter 45DS and go up the mast for one reason or another once or twice per year. I am a big guy and the winches really creak on the way up. So I pull myself up the best I can, but now the question. Should I or can I stand on the spreaders? They are under a lot of pressure. Could they be damaged?

Murray
Murray
Firstly,
Are you using 2 halyards?
Never clip a shackle onto the bosuns chair. Always tie a bowline through the rings on the chair.
Lastly, think about how easy it it to hire someone to go up your rig. I’m just sayin..
 
Jul 25, 2004
352
Hunter 42 currently in New Zealand
Hi Murray, I have a 1991 Passage 42. I have mast steps up just past the lower spreaders which I use to climb up to those lower spreaders. For many years I have regularly climbed up them to stand on the spreaders while we are underway to look out for coral heads. I have also been up there during some pretty heavy pitching when it was necessary. Apropos to Artboas' comment, I always wear a safety harness that is tethered to the mast. I straddle the mast and keep my feet directly over (or very close to) the spreader supports. I've felt safe doing so.