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Old 14-01-2014, 07:51   #1
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LeFiel Spars Love em or Hate em?

I'm looking at replacing the original spruce mast and boom on a 1982 Tayana 37 with an aluminum stick and boom. Does anyone have any opinions on replacing them with a LeFiel spar? They seem reasonably priced. Are they a good option or should I consider another company?

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Old 14-01-2014, 08:02   #2
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Re: LeFiel Spars Love em or Hate em?

I have been happy with mine. it is 20yo, but parts and service are easily available. I have not had any issues with it. All the Pacific Seacraft boats have the LeFiel spars, and I have not seen any complaints on the owners group.

The one caveat to this is it is painted. That was a poor choice in my opinion, and I would not use a painted one. Bare aluminum would be my choice, and powder coated my second choice.
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Old 14-01-2014, 08:08   #3
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Re: LeFiel Spars Love em or Hate em?

I looked at them when I replaced my spar. Went with Ballenger in the end. I had a friend who had his mast painted and they did a pretty good job. I asked numerous riggers prior to making my choice, the reason I decided against was I was not sold on their engineering and Ballenger has such a strong rep. My advise is get very clear on what you are buying from them. My experience was in 2006-2007 so things could well have changed. Also talk to some riggers and get their opinions.

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Old 14-01-2014, 08:15   #4
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Re: LeFiel Spars Love em or Hate em?

le fiell used to be THE mast to buy in 1990, and some years prior. as many marques used them.
location was good for costa mesa manufacturers of boats in da day.
la fiell is in santa fe springs, about an hour in traffic away from costa mesa.
check your costa mesa manufactured antique boat for mast manufacturer--you may find it to be le fiell.
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Old 14-01-2014, 09:31   #5
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Re: LeFiel Spars Love em or Hate em?

VALIS (Pacific Seacraft) has a LeFiel mast/spreaders and it has been fine. It is painted. One issue I have is with the trysail track. It is riveted on and I am seeing corrosion bubbles under the paint. One of these days I will have to pull the track and reinstall it with a better isolation barrier.

I have added a couple of halyard clutches to the mast, and the aluminum wall thickness is good -- these clutches are really loaded-up at times and the mountings remain solid.

VALIS has a Leisurefurl boom, but the LeFeil booms I've seem look good.
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Old 14-01-2014, 09:47   #6
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Re: LeFiel Spars Love em or Hate em?

I used Lafiell on a boat I built years ago... basic simple stuff but seemed OK. The masthead and spreader base fittings etc were cast aluminum... I wasnt all that enthused about that, cast alum with drilled holes for the wire attachment.... and some of the edge margins (hole to edge of metal) seemed marginal to me. Cast aluminum worries me unless it's inspected like aircraft pieces would be. No idea of their inspection scheme... if any.
But... never heard of one breaking!
I guess personally I would much rather see a fabricated wrought aluminum/welded mast head assembly.
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Old 14-01-2014, 11:48   #7
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Re: LeFiel Spars Love em or Hate em?

Ok. Good advice. I've also checked with Selden, but haven't heard back yet. And I've got a inquiry into Ta Yang to find out what spars they recommend for their new build TY37s. So, other than Ballenger, are there any other manufacturers I should check out?

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Old 14-01-2014, 11:53   #8
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Re: LeFiel Spars Love em or Hate em?

Interestingly enough, last week I called LeFiell. We have a mast from them on our Westsail and it had come time to change the mast tang bolts along with the tangs themselves. I just found their number online and called them. The people there were nice and knew exactly what I needed. Shipped all the parts to me at half the price of rigging only. I don't have experience with other masts so take that with a grain of salt, but they were good on service.
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Old 14-01-2014, 12:27   #9
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Re: LeFiel Spars Love em or Hate em?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Target9000 View Post
Interestingly enough, last week I called LeFiell. We have a mast from them on our Westsail and it had come time to change the mast tang bolts along with the tangs themselves. I just found their number online and called them. The people there were nice and knew exactly what I needed. Shipped all the parts to me at half the price of rigging only. I don't have experience with other masts so take that with a grain of salt, but they were good on service.
That's good to hear. Add a check on the plus side.

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Old 16-01-2014, 16:06   #10
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Re: LeFiel Spars Love em or Hate em?

What about US Spars? Has anyone heard of them? Just got a quote from them and they seem pretty thorough. But I've never heard of them.

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Old 16-01-2014, 18:45   #11
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Re: LeFiel Spars Love em or Hate em?

I've got a US Spars boom on my boat and it's worked fine including a TransPac. Got it through Mack sails when I ordered the new main. Price was excellent and it had all the bells and whistles the other other mfgs offered.

Lefiell was that mast maker for almost all the production boats from SoCal till most of the boat companies went out of business or moved to lower production cost areas in the '90s. They had a reputation for building hell for stout but not svelte sticks. They do not have anodizing capabilities, believe California EPA shut them all down, so paint their sticks. Paint's fine for a decade or two but needs to be redone for aesthetic reasons, if nothing else, after awhile. If you are going racing might want to see if they are still doing custom spars or go with Selden.

One thing is almost certain, Selden will be way more expensive than LeFiel.
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Old 16-01-2014, 20:16   #12
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Re: LeFiel Spars Love em or Hate em?

Yeah, the US Spars are very expensive. For the mast and boom alone they want over around $10,000 not including shipping, standing rigging, lights, anything. I'm definitely leaning toward LeFiel.

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Old 17-01-2014, 12:05   #13
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Re: LeFiel Spars Love em or Hate em?

Shipping a stick across country can be very expensive. They are a long load unless built with an unassembled sleeve. Usually will have to go as an add on to a boat being trucked across country which may involve diverting a truck significantly out of its route to pick up. You may get lucky, the stars will all align and you can piggy back on a boat being shipped from MDR to your location but I wouldn't count on it. Even a 40' section is expensive. The shipping companies get you for odd sized items.
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Old 17-01-2014, 12:23   #14
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Re: LeFiel Spars Love em or Hate em?

That's true. Fortunately, I'm in the transportation industry so I can probably swing a pretty decent deal. At least I'm hoping so.

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Old 17-01-2014, 15:34   #15
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Re: LeFiel Spars Love em or Hate em?

Kevin,

Where were you a few years ago? I needed a someone who could swing a transport deal on a 115' carbon mast, and would have loved dealing with someone who understands boats.

I think you have gotten some good advice on manufacturers so I don't have much to add there. But I would also explore switching to a carbon rig. Prices have fallen recently and may not be as much as you think, and once you are already at the replace,net stage for a rig, the difference is often not terrible. And they really do make a huge difference in how the boat feels.
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