Most older yachts have a single spreader, most modern yachts have double spreaders. Why?
Spreaders offer a way to position the standing rigging in a more favorable stance to provide the most strength at the lowest force. They also serve as a point of support to the spar, giving it loads of strength and rigidity.
The video below shows how spreaders work to support the mast via demonstration with a raw piece of spaghetti.
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