Spreaders

Thread starter #1
Hi All,

I'm wondering why Catalina lengthened the spreaders on the newer boats and how does this affect sailing characteristics?

Also, I've noticed that there is an adjustment on the spreaders of my Mod 3 to allow them to be swept forward or back. How does that affect sailing?
 

Ed Jones

Secretary/Vice Commodore
#2
It's a long story, Jack. The first couple of thousand boats had the long spreaders. Then in the late 80's some racers came up with the idea that a bendier mast would have better performance. So they convinced Catalina to go with shorter spreaders. This went on for a thousand boats or so, then buyers complained the rig was too sloppy, so the factory went back to the long ones. I've used both and don't see a dimes worth of difference in performance. I personally use the long ones now because I want a more stable rig.

You can tell the difference downwind in ligh air when you get hit by powerboat wakes. Rigs with short spreaders are rocking and rolling while mine is nice and stable.

As for the rake: Some like to have the spreaders not raked so much when downwind, so the tip doesn't press so hard against the mainsail. I say the exact shape of the main dead downwind is unimportant -- it's just a giant drag device.
 
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