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Old 29-09-2016, 18:47   #1
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DIY Carbon Fiber Spinnaker Pole

Has anyone made their own carbon fiber spinnaker pole? I saw a and it looks pretty straight forward. I'm thinking that'd be sweet to reuse my current fittings with a stronger, lighter pole made out of carbon fiber. Another option is to buy premade carbon fiber tubes and splice together. I saw 6' pieces. Anyone done this or am I crazy?
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Old 29-09-2016, 18:53   #2
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Re: DIY Carbon Fiber Spinnaker Pole

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Has anyone made their own carbon fiber spinnaker pole? I saw a and it looks pretty straight forward. I'm thinking that'd be sweet to reuse my current fittings with a stronger, lighter pole made out of carbon fiber. Another option is to buy premade carbon fiber tubes and splice together. I saw 6' pieces. Anyone done this or am I crazy?
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I made one out pre-made fiberglass tubes I picked up for free. Very nice until some one stole it..........
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Old 29-09-2016, 19:55   #3
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Re: DIY Carbon Fiber Spinnaker Pole

You do realize that he's built at least 5 (if not 20) poles to get his technique to that point, right? And that the first few that were made were likely horrid.

Basically in order to get a good one, chances are you'll spend more on materials than pre-made tubing will cost you. Well, unless you get a great deal on carbon fiber cloth.

Also, from 1 viewing of that clip, I can name 20+ things which he did incorrectly in building it, which will significanlty downgrade it's strength as compared to one made properly. Let alone compared to one made professionally, using pre-pregs & an autoclave.

Not that any of that would stop me if I wanted to build one myself. Such as for a detachable deck mounted prod on a mono to fly a-sails from

Just do your homework first. Then try things out with cheap materials (read old t-shirts & cheap resin) to refine your process. And finally step up to using the stuff that goes for $80 - $150/lb Oh, & this is AFTER you've worked the kinks out of your post curing oven, & vacuum bagging process.

There's some info available on this kind of thing at www.boatdesign.net & in issues of www.proboat.com Also, one off & custom multihull builders are usually up to speed on these things. Ditto on one-design box rule racers like I-14's & various small catamarans like A & C-class, or Little America's Cup boats.
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Old 29-09-2016, 21:12   #4
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Re: DIY Carbon Fiber Spinnaker Pole

I saw premade carbon tubes, varying diameters. I'd probably have to join 2 together, probably with an internal sleeve. Curious what others think.
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Old 30-09-2016, 08:28   #5
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Re: DIY Carbon Fiber Spinnaker Pole

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I saw premade carbon tubes, varying diameters. I'd probably have to join 2 together, probably with an internal sleeve. Curious what others think.
I am pretty confident that I could splice two pieces together, as the stress in the center is lower. I have made fiberglass repairs in the past. (aircraft, not boats)
I concur that is unlikely to produce a good spar in a home garage.
Needs to be reasonably straight, strong and especially, light. Cheaper would be nice too.
The real question, where can you buy carbon fiber, or fiberglass, tube at a good delivered price?

On further reflection, maybe a 3 piece pole...
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Old 30-09-2016, 08:54   #6
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Re: DIY Carbon Fiber Spinnaker Pole

There are a lot of places to get structural carbon tubes, and ferrules on the Internet. But honestly the cost of building your own versus buying a finished one just isn't that big a difference. good poles are made from high end materials, and those are expensive. By the time you add in shipping, the markup from major builders just isn't that high. Certainly not high enough to go they the process of building your own from scratch. Just building your own autoclave will cost more than a dozen finished poles retail.
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Old 30-09-2016, 09:10   #7
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Re: DIY Carbon Fiber Spinnaker Pole

Check Rock West Composites. Take a look at their telescoping carbon fiber tubing, look's perfect for what you want to do.
https://www.rockwestcomposites.com/r...-carbon-tubing
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Old 30-09-2016, 09:34   #8
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Re: DIY Carbon Fiber Spinnaker Pole

I would hate to be on the fore deck on a tight spinnaker reach next to a home built pole. The loads on a pole in breeze are scary.
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Old 30-09-2016, 14:57   #9
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Re: DIY Carbon Fiber Spinnaker Pole

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I would hate to be on the fore deck on a tight spinnaker reach next to a home built pole. The loads on a pole in breeze are scary.
A very good point! And when carbon fails, it sometimes makes sharp, jagged fractures... sort of bowman shishkabob skewer material!

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Old 30-09-2016, 14:58   #10
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Re: DIY Carbon Fiber Spinnaker Pole

Starting to think this is not a very good idea!
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Old 30-09-2016, 19:50   #11
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Re: DIY Carbon Fiber Spinnaker Pole

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I am pretty confident that I could splice two pieces together, as the stress in the center is lower. ..
The load is usually a maximum at the centre, which is why poles usually break at the centre. (Though not always, depends on configuration of lift and downhaul etc.).
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Old 30-09-2016, 20:50   #12
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Re: DIY Carbon Fiber Spinnaker Pole

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I saw premade carbon tubes, varying diameters. I'd probably have to join 2 together, probably with an internal sleeve. Curious what others think.
Bad idea. No load path (nor fiber) continuity. Creation of hard spots, & stress risers. And the scarf ratio for carbon fiber Starts at 20:1, so that fixing it is much trickier than glass or other materials.

This is compounded by how much thinner carbon laminates are than standard fiberglass ones. So that you have a lot less material thickness to work with when repairing things, compounded by the vastly greater strength of the material. Thus any errors in a repair make themselves known much more readily. Usually when the part shatters in the vicinity of the fix.
However the upside of this is that the shards are non-magnetic, & some of them can make good "letter openers". Or so I'm told
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Old 01-10-2016, 02:43   #13
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Re: DIY Carbon Fiber Spinnaker Pole

Ha ha Jim, that was very visual graphic that got me giggling. I ate at a Russian restaurant in Sacramento last night and I had pork shashlick ( kabob)!!

Being on the bow during a wild sleigh ride is the scariest position on any boat. Been flattened more than once. It is a very valid point of being properly spec'd and technically manufactured. Chris Whites beautiful Atlantic cats that have two wing masts had one or two of the masts come apart before Chris reengineered them. This is a guy who knows his stuff and executed at awloplast in Chile... they are pretty darn good at their trade also. My point is ... is it worth the safety of your crew to have that thing come apart at the worst possible time? No one wants to be on that foredeck during a wild sleigh ride or when you get the dreaded oscillating spiny. Can u imagine that pole coming apart on you and now u are dealing with a possible lethal flailing splintered pole thrashing about. me thinks I tell the captain it is his turn. Smile.
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Old 01-10-2016, 02:54   #14
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Unhappy Re: DIY Carbon Fiber Spinnaker Pole

Doesn't carbon have tiny 'splinters' that imbed into your hands/fingers whenever you touch it? Not nice.
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Old 01-10-2016, 09:18   #15
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Re: DIY Carbon Fiber Spinnaker Pole

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Doesn't carbon have tiny 'splinters' that imbed into your hands/fingers whenever you touch it? Not nice.
Not unless it has been so neglected it is no longer usable. It would take decades of neglect to getto this condition.
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