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Old 02-08-2015, 13:13   #136
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Re: Sailboats with Free Standing Masts

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Originally Posted by NevisDog View Post
There is no one more cost-conscious than me when comparing sailboats. Initial price and through-life cost are best with a short waterline (berthing fees, annual haul-out and yard storage charges, antifoul paint) so a short beamy cruising boat tends to save us money (my one caveat is it must meet offshore stability requirements). With rigs, I doubt anything comes close to JR in reducing costs for cruisers. Then if we can save on insurance and still feel confident of not losing out due to some minor fitting failure, potential savings when we head offshore are huge. All the economics points me towards freestanding rig - the reason there aren't so many around cannot be due to economics. I'm convinced the racing imperative of squeezing out the last fraction of a knot to windward is more likely the cause, which then sets the trend for cruisers also.
Good post! Good points!

I agree with you and especially on the bold point above.
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Old 02-08-2015, 13:20   #137
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Re: Sailboats with Free Standing Masts

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Originally Posted by micah719 View Post
How can a free standing mast be more expensive than stayed, both in initial and lifetime cost? One is a simple cantilever beam, the other is a complex truss.
Right!

And, let's not forget, this thread is about "Free Standing Masts" (rigs) and those are NOT always made of high-tech materials (carbon fiber) and sometimes are literally a tree trunk (or lumber that has been joined and shaped to look round).

Earlier, it was mentioned that even low cost aluminum light poles (used for street lights) have been used.

I drove by a business yesterday that has a tall tapered aluminum flag pole outside. I looked at it and thought: "That might make a good mast!"

While I do think it is interesting to see the "latest and greatest high tech leading edge" engineering marvels in Free Standing Masts, I don't want readers of this thread to think that every boat requires one or requires an expensive mast in order to have a Free Standing Mast rig.

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Old 02-08-2015, 14:09   #138
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Re: Sailboats with Free Standing Masts

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Beta is a better tape system than VHS, but the popularity wasn't decided on technical merits.
Absolutely.. We see this example time and time again.
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Old 02-08-2015, 14:18   #139
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Re: Sailboats with Free Standing Masts

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Yeah, I don't get this reasoning either. My 1988 boat was quite reasonably priced (compared to a newer Wylie) and the upgrades I've put into it were all things that would go into a boat with stays, and except for the headstay, I didn't have to upgrade the rigging.

As to sails being more expensive because of the boat, I decided not to go with Dacron because I wanted something a little more performance oriented. It is a membrane sail made by Quantum (https://www.quantumsails.com/sails/C...MainSails.aspx) and so I paid more than a basic cruising sail, but not much more than what I hear others have paid for their mainsails. However, there are 5 full length battens so that had to increase the price a bit.

I've always heard Freedoms are for a niche market. There are plenty of people out there who'd never consider one. That's OK by me. I've never followed the pack, and I am very happy; but it would be more helpful for those considering these boats to not spread misinformation because there's relatively little out there on their merits. Everyone I know who owns a Freedom or Wylie or Alerion, absolutely LOVE their boats, and everyone who comes on my boat (including long-time racers/sailors) are impressed with its performance. That is not the case with other friends' boats, but then again, there are more of those "other" boats than these freaky unstayed things so a simple law of averages would account for that
This is my take on it Gamayun..

The free standing mast is viable at about the 40 foot mark. Especially if you can get some economy of scale with a series build. Beyond this size the costs become kind of exponential.

Micah asked above how it can be more expensive because I would agree a cantilever beam does seem simple in concept but it is far from that when it comes to engineering the design and then constructing it to meet spec especially when it has to be light, flexible and strong. It is a big ask that encompasses advanced material handling and highly specialised skills all the way through the design and construction work flow which is expensive.

Mutually exclusive tensile and compression loads by comparison(stayed masts)are easy to design for and construct and come with a less expensive overhead. A hammer and nails difference nearly.

If I designed a boat that was to use a stayed mast I can near enough give my parameters to a rigging company like Selden who in turn could give me a rig design and "production line" cost solution in 10 days that will have a performance and cost margin of error of no more than 5%.

However, If I want to have a free standing mast the approach is far different to the above mentioned. It is much more of a bespoke and holistic process. The boat/mast would need a much higher level of mutual consideration and for all intent and purposes would be nearly designed mast centric due to the mast being very integral to the overall boat design. This is not the way manufacturers like to work.

Then of course I would have to find a qualified carbon mast fabricator which would be another story. Carbon mast fabrication it is a very niche sector which does not lend itself to mass production very well. This is why even on a stayed rig if you choose the carbon option you pay a very big premium to have this included and that is just in consideration primarily of resisting compression forces. I am sure you can imagine just how many aluminium masts Selden can produce in a week by comparison which is why it is more expensive as most niche markets tend to be. Unfortunately aluminium free standing masts do not fit the strength requirement needed except on smaller boats so you are kinda locked into the carbon path if you want to venture into the 50 foot realm else you can not really release the full potential of a free standing mast capability which we all know is excellent and then you would have to ask what would be the point.

To be honest even carbon is not fully adequate because of its properties and we will see I think even more expense in this sector before it gets cheaper through the use of even more exotic materials that are starting to become available.

I love your boat.. Wish I had it so don't think I don't like it.. Just giving you my rhyme and reason to your question. I could be wrong but I think this is very much part of the reason why we have a cost conflict.
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Old 02-08-2015, 14:44   #140
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Re: Sailboats with Free Standing Masts

I've paid engineers to stamp drawings for me me before. I know firsthand what it costs.

A typical double spreader rig has a mast, four spreaders, connections between them (x4), uppers, middles, and lower shrouds, connections between them (x22), chain plates for the shrouds (X6), a headstay and a backstay, connections between them (x4), chain plates for the headstay and backstay (x2), partners at the deck and a step. Each individual piece of standing rigging has about six parts not including the chain plates or mast connection. All together that's a lot of parts and connections, so many I lost count.

A freestanding rig has a mast, partners, and a step.

Engineers perform something called finite element analysis. They do this for each part of an assembly. Sure a lot of those parts are off the shelf but do not believe this man when he says it is more expensive to engineer three parts than it is to engineer more than fifty or that it is more expensive to manufacture and install a typical freestanding rig than not.
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Old 02-08-2015, 14:46   #141
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Re: Sailboats with Free Standing Masts

Nevisdog, since you factored in cost, Freedom style rigs are the least costly due to fewer parts: all those blocks or fairleads for all those braille lines to reef up or down times two or three masts.
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Old 02-08-2015, 14:51   #142
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Re: Sailboats with Free Standing Masts

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Originally Posted by Rubikoop View Post
I think any seller of sails will generally suggest more performance can be gained by using a laminated cloth rather than Dacron. I'm not a sailmaker so I won't go any deeper into the merits of sail materials. I have Dacron sails and they work fine for my purposes. They were made by Haarstick (now Quantum) who has likely made more sails for Freedoms than anyone else. After much discussion with Haarstick it was clear that Dacron fit the parameters that I set.


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Yeh.. Could be this.. What were your technical discussion points?
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Old 02-08-2015, 15:00   #143
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Re: Sailboats with Free Standing Masts

It seems as though the Freedom rig is so maligned because it is trying to be a Marconi..or at least, everyone is trying to measure it that way. They're using strange metrics though, as though closest to the wind wins all the time, to the exclusion of all else.

The Bermudan rig is an adaptation for a purpose. It was developed from the leg-o-mutton and lateen sails, for the Bermudan environment; an archipelago that conformed to the prevailing W - E winds. It initially had to make do with solid wooden masts like everyone else, but needed lightweight gear because the rig must have tall masts. Hollow spars were developed for them. It was chosen for military purposes because the weather gage was vital to winning fights, or getting dispatches to commands regardless of wind direction. It only worked with significant tradeoffs....complexity, fragility, expense. A lot of work to design, build and run. A lot of risk, because a complex interdependent system has many failure points.

Rich folks adapted it to racing because it is an artificial environment, they could afford the expense and weren't wagering their existence on it. The rules were written around this system, penalising anything else. Instead of a one-design class, it is a one-system class. If there were a race-to-budget over the long term, counting tonnage carried and miles sailed, marconi wouldn't be in it. Which is a better fit for purpose? Depends on your purpose!

The jr was developed by poor fisherfolk and cargo haulers who couldn't afford high overheads, or survive the long-term gamble. Sooner or later, something will break. The question is how, and how badly will it affect the whole system.

Captain Megabucks McMoney won't care. A lot of others will emulate them. They are faced with a cultural bias: this is how it's done and we've always done it that way and everyone else is doing it this way. There isn't much money in a robust easily repaired system accessible to the uneducated and poor. The jr won't win marconi races, but will last much longer and cost a fraction of the money and worry doing what it is designed for.

The industry that relies on the big money doesn't like it, and the folks actually using the stuff are the same folks that make decisions emotionally and not logically, unless forced to take a close look and ask the important questions; not simply recite rote answers because that's how everyone else does it. There'd be a lot more folks cruising for longer, if they'd match their gear and procedures to what they are trying to do, rather than shoehorn themselves into someone else's expectations, cash-registers and egos.

The Freedom rig seems like a hybrid of JR and Bermudan....it hasn't had a lot of development, but it has promise. For instance, a Freedom-JR conversion wouldn't be hard at all, it is even conceivable to have both on the same boat; two rigs, for different purposes, though the trouble would be mostly academic. JR man isn't about to swap out his lounge-lizard gear without a good reason.

Now about the strutted aeroplane thing. It seems as though the marconi boys are trying to justify their trusses by pointing to the structurally similar biplane/external strut machine. Let's not forget that the biplane is optimised for lift and maneuvrability over speed, and the strut gang for strength over cost. The cantilever monoplane is clean and fast but expensive compared. The comparison fails because aeroplane wings support the whole machine and take the maneuvering load as well. Sails for us are merely propulsion and balance with maneuvering chiefly the rudder and keel, with bouyancy hopefully supporting the whole system; we operate at the interface between two fluids, one good for lungs and propulsion, the other not so much. We don't do rolls and loops.
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Old 02-08-2015, 15:09   #144
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Re: Sailboats with Free Standing Masts

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Originally Posted by Delancey View Post
I've paid engineers to stamp drawings for me me before. I know firsthand what it costs.

A typical double spreader rig has a mast, four spreaders, connections between them (x4), uppers, middles, and lower shrouds, connections between them (x22), chain plates for the shrouds, a headstay and a backstay, connections between them (x4), chain plates for the headstay and backstay, partners at the deck and a step. Each piece of standing rigging has about six parts not including the chain plates or mast connection. All together that's a lot of parts and connections, so many I lost count.

A freestanding rig has a mast, partners, and a step.

Engineers perform something called finite element analysis. They do this for each part of an assembly. Sure a lot of those parts are off the shelf but do not believe this man when he says it is more expensive to engineer three parts than it is to engineer more than fifty.

Well... If you wish to believe that the designing and construction of a discrete complex composite free standing mast is less expensive than an assembly job of an aluminium mast from a parts bin that benefits from economy of scale then continue to do so - free world. I would also suggest though that every one on here is blessed with a mind and can determine for them self the merit of something without the need of your lobbying. Your "but do not believe this man when he says" is not really acceptable.
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Old 02-08-2015, 15:19   #145
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Re: Sailboats with Free Standing Masts

Yawn.
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Old 02-08-2015, 15:19   #146
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Re: Sailboats with Free Standing Masts

I really don't think it's a cost issue because of the mast's attributes, per se. I have no data to back this up, but it seems to me that it's because there is just no demand for these boats. The ones that are being made, fit a niche market for those willing to pay a higher price because they know what they are getting and they are unique. Few people in the vast sailing world will even consider one because they think they're dangerous (i.e., the mast is going to fall down) or that they perform poorly. Production line builders are also not going to revamp their entire process to build something on a whim that doesn't have a strong market potential. It seems this is a better argument for why new cat-rig boats cost so much, not because of engineering constraints. Just look at who's building new sailboats these days for the salary of the average Joe. For the general market, this has got to be a cost-losing proposition except for those popular brands that seem to get so much grief on this forum. Anyway, check out the Hunter Vision. It's a 32 to 36-ft boat with a free-standing mast in a popular brand that was considered "innovative" when they were building them. Are they still being built? if not, why? How many were sold? Why not more? Maybe there's some magic line that gets crossed for boats over 40-ft when carbon fiber has to be so much bigger and the cost factor too huge to get to the right cost point, but this still seems like a specious argument to me.
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Old 02-08-2015, 15:25   #147
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Re: Sailboats with Free Standing Masts

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Originally Posted by micah719 View Post
It seems as though the Freedom rig is so maligned because it is trying to be a Marconi..or at least, everyone is trying to measure it that way. They're using strange metrics though, as though closest to the wind wins all the time, to the exclusion of all else.

The Bermudan rig is an adaptation for a purpose. It was developed from the leg-o-mutton and lateen sails, for the Bermudan environment; an archipelago that conformed to the prevailing W - E winds. It initially had to make do with solid wooden masts like everyone else, but needed lightweight gear because the rig must have tall masts. Hollow spars were developed for them. It was chosen for military purposes because the weather gage was vital to winning fights, or getting dispatches to commands regardless of wind direction. It only worked with significant tradeoffs....complexity, fragility, expense. A lot of work to design, build and run. A lot of risk, because a complex interdependent system has many failure points.

Rich folks adapted it to racing because it is an artificial environment, they could afford the expense and weren't wagering their existence on it. The rules were written around this system, penalising anything else. Instead of a one-design class, it is a one-system class. If there were a race-to-budget over the long term, counting tonnage carried and miles sailed, marconi wouldn't be in it. Which is a better fit for purpose? Depends on your purpose!

The jr was developed by poor fisherfolk and cargo haulers who couldn't afford high overheads, or survive the long-term gamble. Sooner or later, something will break. The question is how, and how badly will it affect the whole system.

Captain Megabucks McMoney won't care. A lot of others will emulate them. They are faced with a cultural bias: this is how it's done and we've always done it that way and everyone else is doing it this way. There isn't much money in a robust easily repaired system accessible to the uneducated and poor. The jr won't win marconi races, but will last much longer and cost a fraction of the money and worry doing what it is designed for.

The industry that relies on the big money doesn't like it, and the folks actually using the stuff are the same folks that make decisions emotionally and not logically, unless forced to take a close look and ask the important questions; not simply recite rote answers because that's how everyone else does it. There'd be a lot more folks cruising for longer, if they'd match their gear and procedures to what they are trying to do, rather than shoehorn themselves into someone else's expectations, cash-registers and egos.

The Freedom rig seems like a hybrid of JR and Bermudan....it hasn't had a lot of development, but it has promise. For instance, a Freedom-JR conversion wouldn't be hard at all, it is even conceivable to have both on the same boat; two rigs, for different purposes, though the trouble would be mostly academic. JR man isn't about to swap out his lounge-lizard gear without a good reason.

Now about the strutted aeroplane thing. It seems as though the marconi boys are trying to justify their trusses by pointing to the structurally similar biplane/external strut machine. Let's not forget that the biplane is optimised for lift and maneuvrability over speed, and the strut gang for strength over cost. The cantilever monoplane is clean and fast but expensive compared. The comparison fails because aeroplane wings support the whole machine and take the maneuvering load as well. Sails for us are merely propulsion and balance with maneuvering chiefly the rudder and keel, with bouyancy hopefully supporting the whole system; we operate at the interface between two fluids, one good for lungs and propulsion, the other not so much. We don't do rolls and loops.
My points exactly and much more eloquently stated
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Old 02-08-2015, 15:29   #148
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Re: Sailboats with Free Standing Masts

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Originally Posted by paulanthony View Post
This is my take on it Gamayun..

The free standing mast is viable at about the 40 foot mark. Especially if you can get some economy of scale with a series build. Beyond this size the costs become kind of exponential.

Micah asked above how it can be more expensive because I would agree a cantilever beam does seem simple in concept but it is far from that when it comes to engineering the design and then constructing it to meet spec especially when it has to be light, flexible and strong. It is a big ask that encompasses advanced material handling and highly specialised skills all the way through the design and construction work flow which is expensive.

Mutually exclusive tensile and compression loads by comparison(stayed masts)are easy to design for and construct and come with a less expensive overhead. A hammer and nails difference nearly.

If I designed a boat that was to use a stayed mast I can near enough give my parameters to a rigging company like Selden who in turn could give me a rig design and "production line" cost solution in 10 days that will have a performance and cost margin of error of no more than 5%.

However, If I want to have a free standing mast the approach is far different to the above mentioned. It is much more of a bespoke and holistic process.The boat/mast would need a much higher level of mutual consideration and for all intent and purposes would be nearly designed mast centric due to the mast being very integral to the overall boat design. This is not the way manufacturers like to work.

Then of course I would have to find a qualified carbon mast fabricator which would be another story. Carbon mast fabrication it is a very niche sector which does not lend itself to mass production very well. This is why even on a stayed rig if you choose the carbon option you pay a very big premium to have this included and that is just in consideration primarily of resisting compression forces. I am sure you can imagine just how many aluminium masts Selden can produce in a week by comparison which is why it is more expensive as most niche markets tend to be. Unfortunately aluminium free standing masts do not fit the strength requirement needed except on smaller boats so you are kinda locked into the carbon path if you want to venture into the 50 foot realm else you can not really release the full potential of a free standing mast capability which we all know is excellent and then you would have to ask what would be the point.

To be honest even carbon is not fully adequate because of its properties and we will see I think even more expense in this sector before it gets cheaper through the use of even more exotic materials that are starting to become available.

I love your boat.. Wish I had it so don't think I don't like it.. Just giving you my rhyme and reason to your question. I could be wrong but I think this is very much part of the reason why we have a cost conflict.
The freestanding mast is much simpler in design, build, install and run. The main consideration is the righting moment of the boat. Since the only thing holding the whole lot up is a stick and its mountings, there are much fewer points to calculate. The freestanding mast is going to be thicker in section but there isn't any standing rigging at all....windage wise it isn't so big a deal, but as a whole system the single stick will remain standing long after the many wires and connectors have failed because one small component failed.

The partners and step are the only attachments...they'd better be robust. 10% bury is the usually stated minimum, no harm in exceeding that. There isn't any upper or lower limit to the boat LOA; there are many dinghies and the Maltese Falcon at the other end of the scale, not to mention every lamp post in between, all without wires holding them up.

I'm of the opinion that a sail boat should indeed be designed as a whole...you can shoehorn something that isn't meant to be, but it will be an expensive fragile freak under a lot of pressure from natural selection. No wonder cruising is so expensive and stressful. It's a wonder anyone chooses to subject themselves it, to get away from the expensive stressful life ashore. Of course companies like Selden can whip out a quote on a bunch of wire and connectors....it's what they do. The light pole company can do the same, and so can the shipwright building your partners and step.....once.

We haven't mentioned rudders and CE yet....which should be mentioned for folks doing conversions or even new builds. JR's were sailed on their rudders and daggerboards, which were massive and huge, and also depth adjustable and fenestrated. They also had freeflooding compartments fore & aft for dynamic stability in high waves. Those old Chinese were smarter than we are; are we smart enough to plagiarise?
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Old 02-08-2015, 15:31   #149
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Re: Sailboats with Free Standing Masts

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Originally Posted by jreiter190 View Post
Nevisdog, since you factored in cost, Freedom style rigs are the least costly due to fewer parts: all those blocks or fairleads for all those braille lines to reef up or down times two or three masts.
I counted, my nothing special double spreader rig with double lowers has 151 individual parts. That's just the mast and what holds it up. Boom or running rigging not included.
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Old 02-08-2015, 15:35   #150
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Re: Sailboats with Free Standing Masts

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specious.
Cool word.. I can make use of that. - Will add it to my every day vocab.
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