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Old 22-01-2012, 10:08   #76
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Re: Carbon or Aluminium Mast Insurance Premium Difference

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Originally Posted by ejlindahl View Post
Does anyone have any idea if there is a difference in insurance premium amounts for a CF mast on a cruising boat vs an aluminum mast.
We just left Palma last night heading for a boatyard on the mainland where we are having this yacht pulled and surveyed this Thursday to see if we need to use our escape clause in this sales contract. We are hopefully buying a repo from a bank pending the survey amounts. They are paying /or splitting depending on the survey amounts for the crew, slip, repairs, lift fees etc. but I have to pay for the insurance which went effective 9am yesterday morning. The previous owner had just replaced his alum masts with cf before he lost the boat (IMHO mainly due to divorce issues) just over a yr ago. He never informed ins co of same. This boat is <120 ft. Has 2 CF masts over <100ft and is a mono. The ins co added $1138 UDSD a month to my premium for the cf masts BUT if we upgrade the lightning protection onboard to their specs we will get a credit of $1100 month USD making our breakeven point incl consumables @ 37 months. So after just over an additonal 40k recommended upgrade giving credit for the ins reduction it will cost us $38 a month more for just over 240 ft of cf masts to answer your question. Apx 16 cents a cf ft but until we do the upgrade they are lots of exclusions EXCEPT for this trip to the mainland and the specified boatyard.
No brainer on the recomended upgrade IMHO!but obviously the ins co considers the cf masts a slighlty larger risk as they raised the premium and proposed an upgrade pre survey.

John (watching the angelic Cheshire Cat smile on my fiancee's face as she steers the boat thru the Balearic Sea) & Carol
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Old 22-01-2012, 17:13   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Cruiser

We just left Palma last night heading for a boatyard on the mainland where we are having this yacht pulled and surveyed this Thursday to see if we need to use our escape clause in this sales contract. We are hopefully buying a repo from a bank pending the survey amounts. They are paying /or splitting depending on the survey amounts for the crew, slip, repairs, lift fees etc. but I have to pay for the insurance which went effective 9am yesterday morning. The previous owner had just replaced his alum masts with cf before he lost the boat (IMHO mainly due to divorce issues) just over a yr ago. He never informed ins co of same. This boat is <120 ft. Has 2 CF masts over <100ft and is a mono. The ins co added $1138 UDSD a month to my premium for the cf masts BUT if we upgrade the lightning protection onboard to their specs we will get a credit of $1100 month USD making our breakeven point incl consumables @ 37 months. So after just over an additonal 40k recommended upgrade giving credit for the ins reduction it will cost us $38 a month more for just over 240 ft of cf masts to answer your question. Apx 16 cents a cf ft but until we do the upgrade they are lots of exclusions EXCEPT for this trip to the mainland and the specified boatyard.
No brainer on the recomended upgrade IMHO!but obviously the ins co considers the cf masts a slighlty larger risk as they raised the premium and proposed an upgrade pre survey.

John (watching the angelic Cheshire Cat smile on my fiancee's face as she steers the boat thru the Balearic Sea) & Carol
I am interested to know the detailed specifications for the lightning protection which the insurance company requires - there is very little hard data available and would be helpful to have some reliable specs. Presumably the insurance company has some basis for their engineering requests.

Please let us know when you can.
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Old 23-01-2012, 09:31   #78
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Re: Carbon or Aluminium Mast ?

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Originally Posted by stillbuilding View Post
I am interested to know the detailed specifications for the lightning protection which the insurance company requires - there is very little hard data available and would be helpful to have some reliable specs. Presumably the insurance company has some basis for their engineering requests.

Please let us know when you can.
Stillbuilding,
Sent your info request as mine to my INS agent. He and this co were the only INS this yacht has ever had since she hit the water 8 1/2 yrs ago. The bank kept them and so did I. Found an original old change order for "lightning protection per ins co" but offers no other info but the cost so also asked for what that was spec'd for. Will be interesting to see what else they now want for a lower rate based on improvements and claims and their payout experience. Did specifically ask what if any lightning standard they are now using. Do not know how long will take for answer but will keep you informed of what I find out.
John & Carol
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Old 23-01-2012, 09:54   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Cruiser
Stillbuilding,
Sent your info request as mine to my INS agent. He and this co were the only INS this yacht has ever had since she hit the water 8 1/2 yrs ago. The bank kept them and so did I. Found an original old change order for "lightning protection per ins co" but offers no other info but the cost so also asked for what that was spec'd for. Will be interesting to see what else they now want for a lower rate based on improvements and claims and their payout experience. Did specifically ask what if any lightning standard they are now using. Do not know how long will take for answer but will keep you informed of what I find out.
John & Carol
Thanks for that. I have only ever seen one forensic analysis of a lightning strike which had seemed to provide adequate protection (quoted earlier in this thread) and a couple of personal guestimates of what might be suitable so anything the insurer can dig up may be helpful.

Changing over to a CF mast I am intending to run a substantial copper cable internally to the S/S cap and bolt to the steel keel but suspect there ain't much science in the calculations. And heavy cable is, well ... heavy.
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Old 23-01-2012, 16:18   #80
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I do not know what a CF mast saves in weight. Some one here said 30%. I replaced my entire 34' trimaran rig with Dux fiber and aluminum dead eyes. I weighed everything at 50 lbs. with SS 7/32 wire and turnbuckle.
The new rig weighs 15 lbs, total.
Cost is very similar to re-rigging with SS.
The boats motion was noticeably better right off. Light air with some chop, she hobby horses very little, and will keep the sails filled without shaking the slight wind out of them.
On anchor much quieter, taking 35lbs. Off, much of it up high, has been a great improvement.... You can just feel the not fighting to compensate the rig movement.
I would love to build a CF mast of the chance ever came up. I am a firm believer in loosing weight aloft.
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Old 26-01-2012, 05:04   #81
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Re: Carbon or Aluminium Mast ?

To all,

Thank you for the references to my website and the material that I have written on carbon fiber mast. Here are some thoughts in a nutshell that confirm what a number of you have said:
  • Carbon fiber masts are more expensive than aluminum masts.
  • Carbon fiber masts tubes are about 60% of the weight of aluminum tubes, size for size.
  • If two rigs of the same size are built of carbon and aluminum respectively, with the same arrangement of rigging, the size and weight of the rigging will be the same for both rigs if made of the same material.
  • To save weight in the rigging, you have to go with lighter composite rigging materials that are now coming available.
  • You generally go for a carbon fiber stayed mast because of the weight advantage.
  • It is quite difficult to build your own carbon fiber mast. For the vast majority of sailors, it is best to purchase a mast from a carbon mast builder.
  • Carbon fiber masts can survive lightning strikes just fine if they are equipped with a lightning protection protection which is the same as used for aluminum rigs. The current technology that is approved by the industry is specified by the standards at the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), and they are the same that you are all probably familiar with.
I hope that helps a little.

Eric
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Old 26-01-2012, 13:36   #82
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Re: Carbon or Aluminium Mast ?

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Originally Posted by ewsponberg View Post
...
  • Carbon fiber masts can survive lightning strikes just fine if they are equipped with a lightning protection protection which is the same as used for aluminum rigs. The current technology that is approved by the industry is specified by the standards at the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), and they are the same that you are all probably familiar with.
Eric,
Thanks for your comments and great website info.
Can you talk a little more about your opinion on lightening protection? Your website shows a carbon rod with rounded end in the successful case -- who is the manufactuer of this system? Many of us are familiar with the bottle brush mast head units - they seemed pretty doubtful as to their effectiveness.
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Old 26-01-2012, 13:54   #83
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Re: Carbon or Aluminum Mast ?

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Eric,
Thanks for your comments and great website info.
Can you talk a little more about your opinion on lightening protection? Your website shows a carbon rod with rounded end in the successful case -- who is the manufactuer of this system? Many of us are familiar with the bottle brush mast head units - they seemed pretty doubtful as to their effectiveness.
JUST ONE DATA POINT: My CF mast took a direct strike without damage. There is a top cap of stainless and a bottom cap also of stainless, which terminates the jumper stays. The jumpers are stainless and run from the collar fitting at the top of the headstay furler (shown) to the mast bottom cap (which is grounded to a stainless compression post connected to a Dynaplate directly beneath underwater. There is an aluminum batten car track mounted externally which runs down near to the aluminum boom and is not connected to anything, or grounded.

The only contiguous ground from the mast top cap to the grounded base is a heavy copper wire (probably AWG#6 or #8) run internally.

All rigging and hull components were inspected carefully by myself and a professional rigger, and a professional surveyor. The only damage was to engine electronics, navigation and weather instruments, AP, radios and some of the lighting. Radar and portable electronics survived, somehow, and any electronics aboard that weren't connected to the boat at the time were OK. All suspect components replaced and total damage did not even reach the deductible, so no insurance claim.

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Old 27-01-2012, 04:51   #84
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Re: Carbon or Aluminium Mast ?

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Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
Eric,
Thanks for your comments and great website info.
Can you talk a little more about your opinion on lightening protection? Your website shows a carbon rod with rounded end in the successful case -- who is the manufactuer of this system? Many of us are familiar with the bottle brush mast head units - they seemed pretty doubtful as to their effectiveness.
For more complete information on lightning protection, maybe more than you really every want to know, go to Dr. Ewen Thomson's website: Marine Lightning Protection Inc.. He has invented a new system for lightning protection that includes both air terminals and ground terminals. It seems to make a lot of sense. I have not actually seen one installed, however, so I am a novice in this case.

In the meantime, the ABYC standard governs, at least as far as providing as direct a path as possible for the lightning to find its way to ground. I have seen and talked to owners of boats with carbon fiber masts that have had a proper lightning conductor installed, and the boats and masts have survived just fine. Although I will say, the electronics almost always get fried--but the boat and mast remain intact.

As for the air terminal, there are a number of sources that discuss the proper air terminals in addition to the website above. Google "Lightning air terminal" and you'll get plenty of sources. A rounded end is best, not the brush type. I have not discovered the manufacturer of the stainless capped carbon fiber terminal that shows up in the pictures on my website. At least, I can't track them down just now so I don't have a lead or link to pass on. If I find it, I'll post it.

Eric
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Old 24-02-2012, 19:19   #85
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Re: Carbon or Aluminium Mast ?

I will be going with a carbon balestron rig on my new cat which is 18 months away from being launched. I approached the insurance broker in Australia for a price to insure my boat with the rig and was told that there would be a 30% premium compared with the standard aluminum rig. Asked for the reason why the difference especially noting that unstayed rigs do not fall down, and expecting that it would have something to do with the perception that they are more prone to lightening strikes and I was advised that the premium has nothing to do with a perception of lightening strikes but due to the cost of replacement and the fact that carbon rotating masts are mainly fitted to performance racing boats. No such thing as a cruising boat with carbon mast. I was also told that there was only one insurer in Australia that insured boats with a carbon rigs.

I am lead to believe that a pure carbon mast insurance would be less than 30% but when you talk carbon, winged and rotating you cop the whole 30% premium. So I have worked out that I will pay between $1500-$2000 per year for the privilege of having a carbon mast. In my case a balestron rig made out of any other material would be way too heavy!
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Old 25-02-2012, 08:33   #86
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Re: Carbon or Aluminium Mast ?

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I will be going with a carbon balestron rig on my new cat which is 18 months away from being launched. I approached the insurance broker in Australia for a price to insure my boat with the rig and was told that there would be a 30% premium compared with the standard aluminum rig. Asked for the reason why the difference especially noting that unstayed rigs do not fall down, and expecting that it would have something to do with the perception that they are more prone to lightening strikes and I was advised that the premium has nothing to do with a perception of lightening strikes but due to the cost of replacement and the fact that carbon rotating masts are mainly fitted to performance racing boats. No such thing as a cruising boat with carbon mast. I was also told that there was only one insurer in Australia that insured boats with a carbon rigs.

I am lead to believe that a pure carbon mast insurance would be less than 30% but when you talk carbon, winged and rotating you cop the whole 30% premium. So I have worked out that I will pay between $1500-$2000 per year for the privilege of having a carbon mast. In my case a balestron rig made out of any other material would be way too heavy!
Well, re the statement highlighted above--First, carbon fiber rigs probably do occur more on racing sailboats than cruising sailboats, BUT: the vast majority of racing boats cannot have rotating masts--they are outlawed by the racing design and handicapping rules--always have, always will be as far as I can see. The current on-goings with the America's Cup is the big exception as they are multihulls with carbon fiber wingmasts that rotate, but they are also stayed and they are highly specialized for that sport and that venue only.

Cruising boats do have carbon fiber rigs, and they have carbon fiber free-standing rigs. And they don't fall down. It is also important to note that in high level racing, the safety factors in carbon fiber rigs are cut right down to the bone, they are very small. There is not much extra material there to handle the anticipated loads. On cruising rigs, however, survivability is paramount, the safety factors are high by comparison. In a well thought out design and proper construction, a cruising rig design has a much greater chance of survivability than a racing rig design, just based on safety factors alone. Remember, too, that racing sailors take lots of chances in their racing behavior--"If you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much space." is a frequent quote from racing sailors. Cruising sailors don't like to take chances, they sail conservatively. So on this fact, again, a cruising boat's chances of survival are very much greater than a racing boat's chances.

Certainly, a balustron rig would not be allowed on the vast majority of race courses. Only round-the-world racing events MIGHT allow balustron rigs, but I have yet to see one. Balustron rigs are found only on cruising boats, never on racing boats. All the balustron rigs that I am aware of are made out of carbon fiber; there are none built in any other materials, certainly not aluminum--they would be way too heavy.

Regarding replacement cost, a balustron rig is going to cost more than most other rigs by its design and construction. But, as you have already touched upon, why would it have to be replaced? What is going to break? Are you going to run into a bridge, collide with another boat? You have to do something really stupid in handling the boat to cause such a mast to break. And that is why you have insurance, to protect yourself against being stupid. With a stayed rig, it is really easy to be forgetful of inspecting all the fittings, not maintaining it properly, or have some little piece of hardware fall out of place. Not so with a free-standing rig. If it is not there, it cannot break, fall out of place, etc., etc. It is many times inherently safer than a stayed rig.

I hope that helps your case. Print this message and give it to your insurance company, maybe they'll change their minds or at least lower your premium a bit. Insurance is all about assessing risk, and with free-standing rigs, compared to stayed rigs, and in particularly stayed racing rigs, there is just plain less risk.

Eric
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Old 27-02-2012, 15:03   #87
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Re: Carbon or Aluminium Mast ?

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Originally Posted by stillbuilding View Post
Thanks for that. I have only ever seen one forensic analysis of a lightning strike which had seemed to provide adequate protection (quoted earlier in this thread) and a couple of personal guestimates of what might be suitable so anything the insurer can dig up may be helpful.

Changing over to a CF mast I am intending to run a substantial copper cable internally to the S/S cap and bolt to the steel keel but suspect there ain't much science in the calculations. And heavy cable is, well ... heavy.
Stillbuilding,
Been busy on charter so offline couple days but Ins Co Underwriter finally got back to me. His response was they look at many such as ABYC TE-4 and NEC and then they take the toughest one currently NFPA 780-2011 Elec Fire Code and they increase the wire size to reduce their risk and my rate.

How can I argue with that??

My new boat is currently enroute from the Canaries to Florida to upgrade and improve its' lightning protection. Will not probaly see it till get back to the States and the Cayman's Mid May but will let you know how it looks. Am going with adding a system as advocated by Marine Lightning Protection and current system also. Plus have already reinstalled the electronics protection. Since current schedule has boat in Jacksonville/St. Augustine in late August will have to invite Eric S. over to have a look when we are in his neck of the woods.

Hopefully this boat will never need the systems as it has already been hit by lightning already!

Feel it is money well spent since if never used it still offered protection for my guests, family, crew and myself. Don't want to tempt Fate as had better odds of being hit by lightning then growing up poor and penniless in the ghetto and leaving the opposite.

John
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Old 27-02-2012, 19:18   #88
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Originally Posted by Johnny Cruiser

Stillbuilding,
Been busy on charter so offline couple days but Ins Co Underwriter finally got back to me. His response was they look at many such as ABYC TE-4 and NEC and then they take the toughest one currently NFPA 780-2011 Elec Fire Code and they increase the wire size to reduce their risk and my rate.

How can I argue with that??

My new boat is currently enroute from the Canaries to Florida to upgrade and improve its' lightning protection. Will not probaly see it till get back to the States and the Cayman's Mid May but will let you know how it looks. Am going with adding a system as advocated by Marine Lightning Protection and current system also. Plus have already reinstalled the electronics protection. Since current schedule has boat in Jacksonville/St. Augustine in late August will have to invite Eric S. over to have a look when we are in his neck of the woods.

Hopefully this boat will never need the systems as it has already been hit by lightning already!

Feel it is money well spent since if never used it still offered protection for my guests, family, crew and myself. Don't want to tempt Fate as had better odds of being hit by lightning then growing up poor and penniless in the ghetto and leaving the opposite.

John
Well at least they are aware of standards rather than guessing! Useful info. Thanks for the effort.
Good luck with the additional protection.
Having a steel hull I am certainly not going to drill holes in the hull for electrodes but might consider adding more zincs strategically near the water line to achieve the same ends.
Fair winds
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Old 27-02-2012, 22:22   #89
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Re: Carbon or aluminium mast?

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"Threadkiller"

Is that some kind of troll name, or doesn't want to show his authority by IDing himself? Be brave!
9 posts in 4 years ?

Can't be much good at it.
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Old 27-02-2012, 22:28   #90
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Re: Carbon or aluminium mast?

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Hey PBR,

I bet that he was referring to Australia 1, not Young America, FWIW.

And on that boat... I had an interesting conversation with John McConaghy (sp?), her designer. I sorta expected him to be a bit defensive about her, but he was not at all. Said something to the effect of " when you are designing at that level you really push the envelope to the limits. If things don't break now and then, you are likely being too conservative" He pointed out that the failure occurred in the lead up races when things were still being experimented with. Very interesting fellow! Incidentally, he has a gorgeous ALL carbon cruising boat of his own design... 48 ft OAL, 8 tonnes light ship, sumptuous interior fitout with lots of carbon fibre inlays in the timber, drop keel, and so on. Stunning boat that "the boys threw together during slack periods at the shop". Pays to be in the right business, I guess! BTW, he has actually done some coastal cruising in her, and now that I hear that he has retired, maybe we will see him about.

Cheers,

Jim
There's a similar boat (built by him) tied up at MHYC with a dark blue hull. Take a look at it if you are passing by. Where are the sheets, the winches, the deck hardware ? ? ? Interesting design but you can smell the money even on a cold day.

The owner hardly uses it.
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