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Old 27-06-2016, 15:53   #31
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Re: Carbon fiber mast on a cruiser?

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
I would always choose a carbon rig over aluminium. Weight for weight the carbon is worlds stronger, reduces rigging loads, weight, tension on the hull, motion, etc. standing rigging attachment to carbon masts is a pretty well understood issue, isolation isn't difficult or tricky.

The one issue I can see is that it may cause to to spend money on performance sails, and then decide to start racing... The cycle can be problematic.
Why?

Carbon has a high specific stiffness relative to aluminium assuming the actual built mast has been optimally designed. Without any details I wouldn't blindly claim carbon is better or worse.

The downside of an unknown provenance carbon mast is latent defects. Something that is virtually unknown in aluminium extrusions that have no visible damage.

I would inspect it carefully for any visible defects which could be from usage or manufacturing. I would also inspect attachment and contact points closely. Carbon has low hardness compared to an anodized aluminium mast so any wear or contact may tender it unserviceable.

Repairs will tend to be unsightly and lead to the introduction of stress risers unless you have access to an autoclave, the original laminate schedule and resin specifics.

One question I would ask is why did the po fit a carbon mast? Did he get it cheap? Why was it cheap? Who engineered the rigging, spars and interfaces?

Where do all those carbon masts go that fail quality control? Don't assume that because it is carbon it's good.

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Old 28-06-2016, 10:25   #32
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Re: Carbon fiber mast on a cruiser?

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Originally Posted by leftbrainstuff View Post
Why?

Carbon has a high specific stiffness relative to aluminium assuming the actual built mast has been optimally designed. Without any details I wouldn't blindly claim carbon is better or worse.

The downside of an unknown provenance carbon mast is latent defects. Something that is virtually unknown in aluminium extrusions that have no visible damage.

I would inspect it carefully for any visible defects which could be from usage or manufacturing. I would also inspect attachment and contact points closely. Carbon has low hardness compared to an anodized aluminium mast so any wear or contact may tender it unserviceable.

Repairs will tend to be unsightly and lead to the introduction of stress risers unless you have access to an autoclave, the original laminate schedule and resin specifics.

One question I would ask is why did the po fit a carbon mast? Did he get it cheap? Why was it cheap? Who engineered the rigging, spars and interfaces?

Where do all those carbon masts go that fail quality control? Don't assume that because it is carbon it's good.

Sent from my SM-N900T using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
That's a fair correction. I would rather have a carbon mast from a ruputable supplier than an aluminium mast from an equally reputable supplier. But if you forced me to accept either a terribly made carbon rig or a exallent lay made aluminium mast I would go aluminium.

But don't always assume that an aluminium mast is fine either. I had a mast failure due to a bad extrusion from a very reputable manufacturer. There was a massive inclusion in the metal that lead to premature failure at about five years from manufacturing.

I am not sure what point you are trying to make other than bad manufacturing processes can result in bad products. But sure I will give you that.
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Old 07-07-2016, 20:14   #33
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Re: Carbon fiber mast on a cruiser?

Article on a boat with two carbon sticks after a lightning strike
What happens when a yacht is struck by lightning
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Old 07-07-2016, 23:08   #34
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Re: Carbon fiber mast on a cruiser?

I don't have an opinion about this particular boat and CF mast, but you're never going to change some people's minds about these rigs. I look at the number of times an aluminum mast has come down versus lightening strike on a CF mast, and that's enough to convince me. Lots of them are sailing the world, too. Whenever the wind pipes up around here (which it is wont to do on San Francisco Bay in the summer with 25-30 knots almost any day), I am the last one to reef. Actually, the last time I reefed was some time last year when it was gusting to 36 knots. The bendy CF just dumps wind and right up we go. Ask anyone with a CF rig whether they'd change to an aluminum stayed mast if someone were to offer it for free, and I'll bet good money they'd have no part of it.
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Old 09-07-2016, 07:19   #35
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Re: Carbon fiber mast on a cruiser?

I went and saw the boat and I'm not sure if it's for me, but not because of the carbon stick. The asking price is $55k. Funny enough the PO had it made after his aluminum mast was struck by lightning, although I'm not sure what the damage exactly was. The broker said he did it to have a wider margin of strength and safety, although it is obviously a smaller mast than the aluminum was because of the big mast boot seen on deck, so maybe he was really more interested in performance. He also moved a couple of the chainplates. This was all 20 years ago, and in general the boat is set up more for racing than cruising. Thanks for all the insight.
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