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Where to get aluminium spreaders made 2019?
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mgav451
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August 28, 2019 - 3:26 pm
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Cracked a spreader today. I'm trying to find a place that will coustom make me ones out of aluminium.  Called lefeil their marine division is closed down they said and can no longer help with spars and masts. Or anything marine.. why does it say press 3 to be transfered to the Marine division I don't know?!?!! I've called all over the world  no luck.  I ready don't want to cut the tabs off and or drill holes in the mast. But seems that's what is gonna have to happen. Looking like a job in the tjousands$$$$!!??!. I  already sent them to sparcraft America. Because the secretary said "oh yea we can do them In 3 days" . Talking to the tech he's not sounding like they can Fab these up. But he's gonna get back to me, but doesn't sound promising. So I'm just trying to get something on the back burner. Any one know who or where? Im not replaceing them with wood I could kill downeaster for making them out of wood!!! 

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Scott Carle
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August 28, 2019 - 6:44 pm
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I'm searching for the company name that has made aluminum spreaders for DE boat owners in florida before. If you can't find anything but high dollar solutions just find some wood and use a table saw and belt sander to shape new ones using the old ones as a template. We did that out of teak on valkyr. added a couple lbs aloft that I wasn't happy about but will last forever. Even normal Fir/spruce that most are made of have long life spans and your talking under a hundred dollars of materials. I think the teak was 180 or so for a single piece large enough to cut both spreaders out of.

 

ok some links these are for DE32 but probably applicable to being adapted to DE38  maybe

http://downeasteryachts.com/th.....s-spreader

http://downeasteryachts.com/ar.....r-spreader

http://downeasteryachts.com/ar.....hives/2685

 

thread on types of wood for spreaders

http://downeasteryachts.com/fo.....-wood-type

in this thread I talk about replacing valkyr's and have a few photos also

http://downeasteryachts.com/fo.....eplacement

 

also link to rigrite where you can get parts for wooden spreaders. Their website says they no longer make wood spreaders but that they do make aluminum replacements.

https://www.rigrite.com/Spars/SparParts/Spreaders_Wood.php

 

last thought. It would be really easy to laminate your own spreaders out of fiberglass and wood. multiple 1/8 inch thick  layers of decent wood with penetrating epoxy and then layer of wood layer of epoxy and fiberglass (or carbon fiber/kevlar whatever you want) another layer of wood or multiple layers at once and then clamp and press the hell out of them untill you get a blank the right size. Then trim and sand to shape. Coat with epoxy and wrap with layer of glass. They will be about the same weight or just a bit more than stock and 10 times stronger and longer lived.

 

The cost of materials for this type of project will be minimal as it is physically a small project.

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Scott Carle DE38 Cutter s/v Valkyr
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mgav451
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August 29, 2019 - 8:54 am
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Yes I think I may have to go back to wood..being a metal fabricator( just not alu.,) I hate to think of wood anywhere structural but I think your right. 

 You think a board of straight grain Sitka vs laminating wood together would be stronger? Plan on a circum nav with this boat don't like wood but looks like I'm gonna have to go today route

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Scott Carle
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August 29, 2019 - 7:37 pm
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I think the laminated will be much stronger. Use penetrating epoxy to seal the wood and then laminate with good glass or carbon fiber or combo there of. Once laminated and shaped wrap in glass and epoxy and shrink wrap it to cure it to get the lightest strongest lamination. all holes drilled oversize filled with thickened hardend epoxy and the drilled again for the through bolts or screws that are holding anything on.. Paint it white.. mount it and you should be able to forget it for the next 20 years.

Next plan is just shape a solid piece of wood. soak in some penetrating epoxy and paint and go with it. Check it every few years..

Or use a piece of teak... mount it and check every few years. Ours has been up ten years and still looks good and we have never even sealed it. It's a pretty silver from UV and weathering. Now it was a nice piece of teak 🙂 I've see some I wouldn't have used as it had softer sections in it that would have worn away quicker.

 

Boat was designed for wood. It meets the engineering. aluminum or laminated would exceed the specs for just wood. I think that the solid wood will be about the same price as laminated as a nice solid chunk of sitka or teak is going to be decently pricey unless you have a source so to say.

 

Laminating will be the most work. Laminating is going to need epoxy and your glass or carbon fiber. I would use glass with pieces of carbon fiber tape. I would vacuum bag it at all stages of construction to get the lightest strongest lamination. a shop vac and some plastic and tape should be all you need to do that. lots of online resources for do it yourself methods with a google search or two. Because it is a small part you shouldn't need any of the dedicated or special parts that is normally used.

 

hmm.. might look up laminated beams and how they stand up to comprehensive force now that I think about it. maybe solid piece of wood with penetrating epoxy and wrapped in glass and carbon fiber.

 

🙂

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Scott Carle DE38 Cutter s/v Valkyr
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mgav451
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August 29, 2019 - 10:24 pm
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Man I've been all over the internet with this spreader jobbie job!  Sent them to sparcraft they recommended their through bar system which is basically an extruded oval bar. You drill a 3 inch by 1 inch hole insert the 13"   bar  thent spreader gets slid over the bar at a 5degree rake . Finally it's bolted to the bar. Sounds good but I don't want to remove my tabs and cut a hole. Now I'm scouering rig- rites site trying to find a replacement . But seems they were back yard made spreaders. Some one mentioned alberg used similar spreaders? Can't verify that though. On cruisers forum I was given the idea to try to get an aluminium block to fit inside the bracket. Then weld a heavy wall tube tube to that block and finally a spreader tip to the end.  I like that idea but seems alot of work. 

So if I may pick your brain.   have you heard of spreader failures with the de32?( Obviously ones that were not rotted) if kept moisture free sealed up would you put your life on them?  Getting these made in aluminium is getting to be a real pain in the arse.

Other then the block and tube method mentioned above. I'm thinking I may order 6061 sheet .125" and just cut the pieces and have all 4 sides welded together back into a replica of the wood.

 

Or go with wood. I thought Sitka spruce was stronger then teak? Teak's heavier and more rot resistant? Hmmmm what to do what to do. I'm racking my brain I gotta get this mast up.?

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Scott Carle
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August 30, 2019 - 7:58 am
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I have not heard of any of the DE's having a spreader failure other than defective/rot and even that i can only remember a couple people including you mentioning it happening.

 

your idea of a box section in aluminum sounds good but you will need to smooth and polish all edges so that it doesn't wear holes in your main sail.

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Scott Carle DE38 Cutter s/v Valkyr
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mgav451
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August 30, 2019 - 11:56 am
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Ok and FYI the only reason I did crack a spreader was due to the mast being down and improper storage it rolled and cracked it..

 

any sources you might. Recomend for sitka spruce?

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Scott Carle
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August 31, 2019 - 9:36 am
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I've go nothing for where to get wood. been a few years since I sourced anything. Maybe go out on some of the wooden boat forums? look for local specialty wood providers/sawmills. We used to have someone here but they got old and shut down their business about 8 years ago.

🙂 start exercising your google fu... search terms would be sawmill sitka spruce specialty wood

 

ok... i can't help myself.. did that search and found a couple places you can order the wood from

https://www.google.com/search?client=ubuntu&channel=fs&q=sawmill+sitka+spruce+specialty+wood&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

https://www.jcitouchwood.ca/our-timbers-jci-touchwood-sawmills#mast-and-spar

https://goosebaylumber.net/wood-products/atlantic-white-boat-cedar these guys have a bunch of marine grade ceders and firs.. all ranging in the 5 dollar a ft range for a 4x4 size chunk.. double check but I think a single 5ish ft 4x4 could be cut in half and made into a couple spreaders.. which would put your cost around 30 dollars and shipping. Measure existing spreaders and figure dimensions you need to get .. remember when cutting in half you will lose about 1/8 of an inch to the saw blade. At that price range I would purchase enough to do 4 spreaders in case you mess up. Or you could do 4 spreaders so you have a spare or two. Or could sell the spares. I would definitely make and keep a spare on the boat. Actually as small a space as they would take up in the lazarette  I would make the four and keep a full set as spares. I would also get enough to make 6 or 8 spreaders and sell one or two pairs to turn the project from a net expense into a profit for you.

 

https://www.glen-l.com/resources/lumber-suppliers.html

anyway .. i have now officially spent to much time on this 🙂 lol... hope some of this helps.

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Scott Carle DE38 Cutter s/v Valkyr
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jimha
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September 1, 2019 - 8:36 am
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Would like to add to the thread.  It is possible to break a good DE 38 made spreader without rot.  My first year of sailing my Downeaster I broke my spreader by back-winding my large jib in strong winds.  The pressure of the sail, laying against the spreader caused it to crack.  Replaced it with another spreader make of Sitka Spruce. a light, strong, flexible wood that has been used for years. 

Since then my skills have improved, and still have the same spreaders 38 yrs later.

Cheers and beers,

Jim

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mgav451
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September 15, 2019 - 8:51 pm
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Sparcraft America . No custom replacements. Very helpful very professional. But they only wanted to sell me their crossbar piece and extrusion which seems to be ok, but not what I wanted to do. So I've had them mailed back.

 

Sent them to rig rite. Their address on the website is wrong. So after I gave them a heads up they were enroute they gave me another address with the wrong zip. Had the first adress corrected to the 2nd wrong address after they didn't arrive I called trying to get the right adress . The bitch that works there hung up on me!. Very unproffedional. sentso I had them sent back before they got there. Nothing but horrible reviews about that place on Google.

So I ordered 2x5x48 " spar grade Sitka spruce from cheseapeake light craft. 89$ each.im gonna make them out of Sitka again against my wishes, just to get them done..I was gonna replace my upper tangs to accept 1/2" pins and go with 1/2 turnbuckles and bigger wires but I wonder if the small uppers wire size is due to the wooden spreaders( under compression)?

Any how. I read the suggestion of laminating some layers of wood together. Do you think I ought to go with the solid Sitka or cut it in 3 and layer some glass and epoxy them. I'm not sure if that would make them stronger then they already are?

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mgav451
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September 21, 2019 - 5:56 pm
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Decided to put a strongback on the Sitka spruce spreaders  ( on bottom ) Gonna seal them up with epoxy then awlgrip them. 20190921_125340.jpgImage Enlarger

 

 

20190921_125331.jpgImage Enlarger

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Treenut
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October 29, 2020 - 8:28 am
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I recently removed the spreaders from my 1975 DE38, and they looked bad; covered in moss, dirty, nasty looking, they probably haven't bee touched in at least 30 years.  I wasn't giving much hope for resurrecting them, but after close inspection they were completely sound, so I sanded them down, coated with 4 coats of RAKA 127 epoxy with 350 hardener, then coated with 4 coats of Interlux Perfection Plus 2-part polyurethane.   I then spray painted the aluminum fittings white and re-assembled.  since this I have added LED spreader lights with the wiring attached UNDER the spar rather than on top as they were done originally.  Even though the spreaders are about 20 feet above the deck, they are beautiful.  I was going to replace them with aluminum, but I am very glad I did not!IMG_1439.jpgImage Enlarger

spreaders2.jpgImage Enlarger

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