Is it permitted to use deck-spreaders?

Question Details

Is it permitted to use deck spreaders?

These are sometimes referred to as outriggers and can be seen on IMOCA 60 Class boats. The inboard end is close to or on the deck and they have standing rigging going down from the outboard end to the hull and standing rigging going up to support the mast.


A deck spreader is defined in the ERS F1.4 (c)(iii) as a hull spar extending transversely to attach standing rigging. A hull spar is defined in ERS F.1.4 (c) as a spar attached to the hull. The spars permitted on a Marblehead rig are limited to one mast spar, one headsail luff spar and four boom spars.

A deck spreader is not permitted.

If the spreader is attached only to the mast, and not to the deck, then it no longer falls within the definition of a deck spreader. Instead it is a spreader defined in ERS F.1.5 as equipment used to brace a spar, attached at one end to the spar and the other end to rigging and working in compression when in use. It is effectively the same as any other spreader, normally placed higher up the mast.

A spreader, if not attached to the hull, is permitted.