How to install the J/24 Spreader Thru-Bar Kit
Editors Note: Though this How-To is specifically for the J/24 Spreader Thru-Bar Kit the same principles apply to removing and replacing riveted parts on your mast or boom like a J24 Spinnaker Mast Bail, or a J24 Vang Bracket.
The J/24Spreader Thru-Bar kit is a great upgrade for those with older boats and original rigs.
The kit comes with all the parts you will need to complete the job and instructions on how to do the replacement. The instructions are a great map to finishing the project but many of us (myself included) could use a visual representations of the steps. Follow below to install your kit.
1. Open the package and make sure you have all of the parts. There should be: 2 Brackets, 1 Bar, and 16 rivets.
2. Tools you will need: Drill with multiple bits, rubber mallet, pop-rivet gun, End Cutting Pliers, 3-in-1 Oil, paper towels, sharp flat head screw driver, metal file, a few hard thin nails.
3. Clean the old rivets and bracket off with the paper towel and some water. Make sure there isn’t grime down in the rivet head.
4. Take a nail and the rubber mallet, place a nail in the rivet, strike it a few times and the pin should fall out (into the mast). Do this for all rivets.
5. If the rivet pins are not falling out with the nail and mallet go right to the drill. Find a drill bit that fits well into the rivet head. Oil the bit with 3-in-1 so it stays sharp. Apply pressure to the drill until the back pops out of the rivet. Then drill on an angle to knock off the back of the rivet.
6. Switch to a larger bit and repeat the process until the rivet begins to spin.
7. Take your flat head and place it underneath the rivet head. Strike the end of the screw driver with the mallet. This should begin to lift up a side of the rivet. Try to work your way around the rivet to make a nice lip.
8. Take the End Cutters and clamp on to the rivet. Rock the cutters back and forth until the rivet head shears off.
9. If you do not have cutters. Use the flat head screw driver as a chisel and work through the rivet until it shears off. This takes a lot of hammering but does work.
10. When all the rivets have been removed take the rubber mallet and strike the old bracket. It should pop off. Watch out it usually does go flying.
11. Clean up the surface of the mast that was under the bracket if it is messy and drill out the rivet remains left in the holes.
12. Lay on the first new bracket. MAKE SURE THE NEW SLOT IS ON THE HIGHER SIDE.
13. Take your new rivets and place them in each hole to make sure they fit. If they don’t, find a drill bit and carefully gauge out the old hole.
14. Using the new rivets to keep the bracket steady, take your rivet gun and pop each one into place.
TIP: to avoid potential corrosion dip or coat each rivet in LanoCote, Duralac, or Tef-Gel Corrosion Protection
15. Your new brackets are on! Congrats. Now it’s time to drill out the slot for your Thru-Bar.
16. Take your drill and find a bit that just fits in the bracket slot. Drill through the mast. Drill next to each hole as you work your way down the slot. You should leave a nice gap with some rounded edges.
17. Grab your metal file and start working the little bits down flush with bracket slot.
18. It should look like this
19. The Thru-Bar will be sung fitting, so do not try to file out the pre-cut slot.You may need the mallet to get it into place the first time. Tip:Wrap the middle of the bar in Teflon tape.
20.There you have it, a new upgraded spreader system.