Spreader (sailboat)

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Four sets of swept and fixed spreaders on a large yacht
1 – mainsail Edit this on Wikidata 2 – staysail Edit this on Wikidata 3 – Spinnaker Edit this on Wikidata
4 – hull Edit this on Wikidata 5 – keel Edit this on Wikidata 6 – rudder Edit this on Wikidata 7 – skeg Edit this on Wikidata
8 – spar Edit this on Wikidata 9 – Spreader Edit this on Wikidata 10 – Shroud Edit this on Wikidata
11 – sheet Edit this on Wikidata 12 – boom Edit this on Wikidata 13 - spar Edit this on Wikidata
14 – Spinnaker pole Edit this on Wikidata 15 – Backstay Edit this on Wikidata
16 – Forestay Edit this on Wikidata 17 – boom vang Edit this on Wikidata

A spreader is a spar on a sailboat used to deflect the shrouds to allow them to better support the mast. Often, there are multiples, called spreaders. The spreader or spreaders serve much the same purpose as the crosstrees and tops in a traditional sailing vessel.

Spreader design and tuning can be quite complex. The spreaders may be fixed (rigid) or swinging (pivoted at the mast). The purpose of the spreaders is to control, by either limiting, or inducing, bend into the spar so that when the windward shroud is loaded the mast achieves the desired bend characteristics. The spreaders may be designed to be angled in a way that either forces bend in to the spar or reduces bend, depending on the desired results.