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Old 31-07-2012, 00:58   #1
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carbon spars?

My boat is getting up there in years, but I have tried to keep her up by upgrading anything possible (for the most part). This ambition to keep her up to date has lead me to wander if it was possible to upgrade to carbon spars. If so, any recommendations?
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Old 31-07-2012, 01:27   #2
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Re: carbon spars?

It is possible. But to what benefit? A well made aluminum spar with all the modern tweaks would be a plenty nice upgrade. I have a modern aluminium Ballenger rig on my 1965 Cal 36. Much better with stout strong spreaders. Everything internal. Nice sheaves and tracks. Tapered. Etc.
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Old 31-07-2012, 02:36   #3
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Re: carbon spars?

My boat has a shortish mast and with a full keel, isn't blazing fast in light air. Have thought about going to a carbon mast and synthetic standing rigging. With the much lighter mast and rigging, could add a few feet to the mast without effecting righting moment and get more sail area. There is only one small problem, MONEY. I've heard that I could get a 43' carbon stick stripped that I could finish off for something not too far north of 10 boat units. Boat isn't worth a whole hell lot more than that so have kind of put that idea on the back burner. If I ever get the boat to the PNW where wind is consistantly light, might have more motivation to spend the kids inheritance.
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Old 31-07-2012, 10:27   #4
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Re: carbon spars?

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Originally Posted by daddle View Post
It is possible. But to what benefit? A well made aluminum spar with all the modern tweaks would be a plenty nice upgrade. I have a modern aluminium Ballenger rig on my 1965 Cal 36. Much better with stout strong spreaders. Everything internal. Nice sheaves and tracks. Tapered. Etc.
Well, it looks cooler! But in all seriousness, I am looking to maybe add a few feet to the mast (Chesapeake is obviously a light air environment) and not have extra weight at the top.
This is of course without really knowing how much either would cost. I am expecting about 50k for the carbon mast but have no clue to the pricing of the comparable aluminum counterpart.
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Old 31-07-2012, 10:34   #5
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Re: carbon spars?

One advantage is that it does not oxidize or blister paint.
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Old 31-07-2012, 10:46   #6
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Re: carbon spars?

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One advantage is that it does not oxidize or blister paint.
But they will delamanate if you get a small scratch deep enough to allow moisture to get under the fiber..Have seen a carbon bike fall apart when this happend to it ..guy rode off a curb after an accident and the front separated from the rest of the bike ...A guy was flying a carbon hanglider and did a couple of loops and his leading edge snapped,when investigated found the layup was compromised because of moisture between the wraps...these days might not be such problems if its done right...DVC
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Old 31-07-2012, 10:51   #7
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Re: carbon spars?

Did the guy survive?

Could putting epoxy over a scratch ASAP prevent this type of delamination?
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Old 31-07-2012, 12:22   #8
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Re: carbon spars?

Invest 50k in a stick on a 25 year old hull, then another 8-10 for new sails and have no idea how the boat will handle? I love my C&C too, but you may have reached the limit as to what is a reasonable upgrade.
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Old 31-07-2012, 13:17   #9
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Re: carbon spars?

Most alloy spars can be upgraded to carbon. Other than competitive racing than aesthetics, it is difficult to justify the involved cost if the original mast is still OK.

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Old 31-07-2012, 13:42   #10
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Re: carbon spars?

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Did the guy survive?

Could putting epoxy over a scratch ASAP prevent this type of delamination?
Yes he threw his chute..Flying a TRX model glider,you can google it and read the story...My understanding is that once it is compromised it is no longer a viable product, but its been a long time since Ive had any business interest in carbon fiber and the material has probably been perfected...I remember the Freedom 33(?) had a carbon fiber spar with a wishbone cat-ketch rig way back in the 80s wonder how well they have held up?..DVC
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Old 31-07-2012, 15:11   #11
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Re: carbon spars?

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Invest 50k in a stick on a 25 year old hull, then another 8-10 for new sails and have no idea how the boat will handle? I love my C&C too, but you may have reached the limit as to what is a reasonable upgrade.
I canít imagine the upgrade would worsen the handling of the boat. The boat has been sailed hard for 30 years. The rigging is starting to make strange noises, and my wife freaks every time. The hull is still in great shape, so the spars need to be replaced regardless of the material, not only for the boat but for my wifeís peace of mind.
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Old 31-07-2012, 16:11   #12
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Re: carbon spars?

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Originally Posted by CnC40sailor View Post
I canít imagine the upgrade would worsen the handling of the boat. The boat has been sailed hard for 30 years. The rigging is starting to make strange noises, and my wife freaks every time. The hull is still in great shape, so the spars need to be replaced regardless of the material, not only for the boat but for my wifeís peace of mind.
As a fellow C&C owner, whose boat has been through numerous freeze/thaw cycles on Lake Superior since it was commissioned in '82, I suggest the following to alleviate those "strange noises" (and is what I'm gonna do this Winter): Pull the spar, check everything, and replace all that's necessary; sheaves, standing rod rigging, spreaders and attachments, electrical...everything. You won't increase your sail area, or your rating, but you and your wife will sleep better. And you can put that LED anchor light in then also. That'll cost you way, way less than $50k which isn't a heckuva lot less than what a C&C 40's total value is today. The other option is take the 50k and buy a newer, creak free, boat.
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Old 31-07-2012, 16:40   #13
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Originally Posted by sailstoo

As a fellow C&C owner, whose boat has been through numerous freeze/thaw cycles on Lake Superior since it was commissioned in '82, I suggest the following to alleviate those "strange noises" (and is what I'm gonna do this Winter): Pull the spar, check everything, and replace all that's necessary; sheaves, standing rod rigging, spreaders and attachments, electrical...everything. You won't increase your sail area, or your rating, but you and your wife will sleep better. And you can put that LED anchor light in then also. That'll cost you way, way less than $50k which isn't a heckuva lot less than what a C&C 40's total value is today. The other option is take the 50k and buy a newer, creak free, boat.
My boat, after I had it up for sale briefly, was up for 90k. So yes, the new mast would cost about as much as the boat is worth. But here's the thing, the rigging is new of 2 years ago, most of the electronics are new and were professionally installed. I have thought, and still am, thinking about replacing the spreaders. Replacing the sheaves I don't think will make a difference, its just a wheel, nothing truly major. Oh and, I've had the led light for a while .
I do appreciate, maybe a little more than others, the opinions of C&C owners because our problems are common. If you have any other ideas I would be thankful, but selling the boat is no option.
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Old 31-07-2012, 23:05   #14
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Re: carbon spars?

Dude, putting a carbon stick on is just wasting money. Yeah, your performance will be slightly better, but you aren't racing, are you? I have a J/40 and would never invest 50k in a carbon stick. The boat, just like a C&C, sails well enough.

If the rig makes "funny noises" find out why. It should be solvable for a fraction of the cost.

If you want to "upgrade" it is simple:
1. new sails.
2. new bottom job.
3. cunningham. Why do so many cruising boats not have one????
4. high modulus halyards. polyester doesn't cut it.
5. A diet. You don't really ever use that hand crank blender, do you???
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Old 31-07-2012, 23:22   #15
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Originally Posted by infinitysail
Dude, putting a carbon stick on is just wasting money. Yeah, your performance will be slightly better, but you aren't racing, are you? I have a J/40 and would never invest 50k in a carbon stick. The boat, just like a C&C, sails well enough.

If the rig makes "funny noises" find out why. It should be solvable for a fraction of the cost.

If you want to "upgrade" it is simple:
1. new sails.
2. new bottom job.
3. cunningham. Why do so many cruising boats not have one????
4. high modulus halyards. polyester doesn't cut it.
5. A diet. You don't really ever use that hand crank blender, do you???
First, I have no idea on the cost, 50k was a guess. Second I do race and quite often (at least 2 times a week).
The money to me, I don't think will be wasted if spent. I have no intention of selling the boat within the next 20 years. My sails are North sails 3DL 960 and only a year old. The bottom paint is hard and sanded up to a 1500 grit (its pretty smooth)! The rigging is a good idea, I will look into that! And on the diet, I'm American
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