I am starting the process of rebuilding my boat now that the thaw has begun here in the frozne lattitudes of Saskatchewan. I have been reading up about masts and the spreader brackets. Is it necessary to install compression tubes in the mast around the spreaders? I have a mast from an Aquarius 23 which is 3 x 4.5 inches which is heavier than a standard RL24 mast I know. Am I overthinking this project?
Your mast is already way in excess of the strength needs for a RL24, and the last thing that you need is any additional weight up top. The use of compression tubes for hound and spreader fastenings went out of fashion when Aluminium spars superseded hollow timber masts 50 years ago. Just keep it simple and don't get involved in unnecessary items used by other classes of boat.
Note. If your mast has been on an Aquarius 23 then it will be set up for a 7/8 rig, and the hounds will be much higher than the position used for a standard 24.
Thank you Rob. It is amazing how such a simple comment such as 7/8 and the RL being 3/4 rig makes everything suddenly fall into place. I don't have a full set of stays but have several which are in very good condition and may only need to be shortened. In the interests of keeping weight to a minimum do I need to put the spreaders on as well or given the size of the mast can they be left off. Thanks again you really have been amazing with your advice.
If the boat were mine and I had no access to a more suitable mast I would be inclined to rig the mast with just the forestay and the main set of shrouds taken from the position shown on the RL24 rigging plan. A 3/4 rig has a much better balance of stresses on the mast than a 7/8 rig, you can then see how the mast reacts when sailing, also note the actual fullness of the mainsail and how it reacts when sheeted in hard, then decide if spreaders are needed at all, with a big spar section like that it is unlikely that it would require further rigging.
Just ensure that the chain plates (U bolts) are at least 50cm aft of the mast.