Current Issue Highlights

  • Robb Lovell shows how he brought a dangerous spinnaker pole back to life
  • Rob Mazza talks water ballast and Jerry Powlas talks hose clamps
  • DIY: Isaac Adam-Izikri pulls off the ultimate DIY when he builds a new steering quadrant from scratch — you could do it too, and he explains why you should
  • Torque wrenches! Ed Zacko makes a case for having one aboard
  • Allen Penticoff reviews the Seafarer 26 and Rob Mazza offers a design comparison
  • Ride along with Peter McKelvey as he explores the Bay of Fundy
  • Plus the Atomic 4, marriage aboard, dragons, and much more!

Featured Articles from Our Archives





Spreaders 101

They hold up the shrouds that hold up the mast

by Don Launer

Spreaders are struts attached to the sides of a mast to hold the shrouds away from the mast and increase the angle at which they meet the mast. The greater the angle between shroud and mast, the lower the shroud tension required to provide lateral support and, therefore, the less the compression on the mast. This means the shrouds’ diameter and the mast section can be smaller, thereby reducing windage and weight aloft.

A boat’s beam limits the length of the spreaders, so boats with very tall masts usually have more than one set of spreaders to achieve the desired angle of attachment at the masthead. Another reason to use multiple spreaders is to allow the shrouds to be mounted inboard to permit closer sheeting angles for headsails.

Very often, the short stout mast on a gaff-rigged boat will not need spreaders, but most high-aspect-ratio Bermudan-rigged boats will need at least one pair.

Originally, spreaders were called crosstrees, but that term is not used on modern recreational sailboats.

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Allied Boat Company

Builder of the Seawind and other legends

by Dan Smith

The Allied Boat Company established its building site on Catskill Creek in Catskill, N.Y., 100 miles north of New York City. Just off the Hudson River, it was an ideal place from which to build and launch boats. For the company’s entire time in business, from 1962 to 1981, it remained at this location.

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Nautical Vows

Wedding VowsBy Joan Gilmore

Asked to officiate at the wedding of sailing friends in the Caribbean, Captain Gilmore also wrote their vows. . . 

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Floating Time

By Craig Moodie

This article won first place in the Boating Lifestyles category of the 2018 Boating Writers International Writing Contest. It appeared in the August 2018 edition of The Dogwatch.

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