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Old 29-12-2013, 19:39   #1
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Carbon fiber spars

Sure, all the glossy adds tell us they are lighter and super-strong.....but how do they hold up over the long haul?

Does extended exposure to UV cause delamination or splintering?

Can you repaint / refinish an old carbon spar?

Other longevity problems?

Any wisdom the forum could offer would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 29-12-2013, 20:31   #2
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Re: Carbon fiber spars

Figure an aloft weight reduction of 40-50% with standard carbon, and a 65% weight reduction with HM carbon. This may or may not be important to you, but it can make a substantial difference in the stiffness of the boat, in large part because the weight is carried so far aloft.

Many small (moth, windsurfers, A-Cat's) masts are just clear coated, but for a mast that isn't protected they should really be painted to protect the epoxy. That being said, painting a carbon mast is much easier than trying to paint aluminum, much more like painting fiberglass. Over time it may become necessary to repaint, but it isn't a regular maintenance item.

Overall I would always prefer CF to aluminum however the price (while getting more affordable) can still be substantially more.
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Old 29-12-2013, 21:32   #3
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Re: Carbon fiber spars

The 50-foot CF spar on my Freedom 36/38 is 25 years old. No problems. Hasn't needed repainting either. You just have to remember to not reach for the stays when going forward....
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Old 29-12-2013, 22:36   #4
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Re: Carbon fiber spars

Quote:
Originally Posted by gamayun View Post
You just have to remember to not reach for the stays when going forward....
Why is that?

There has been some discussion on the subject >here<.
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Old 29-12-2013, 23:48   #5
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Re: Carbon fiber spars

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Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
Why is that?

There has been some discussion on the subject >here<.
Because there are no stays on a Freedom. It's a free standing rig.
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