Build a Freestanding or buy a Traditional mast?

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by Kaptin-Jer, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. Kaptin-Jer
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    Kaptin-Jer Semi-Pro

    I'm at the stage of my re-build that I need to consider the mast. The original mast was deck stepped to 43". I like the idea of building a freestanding spar, but I am reluctant (-don't have) the $1,000.00 for the plans and another $1,000.00 for the "engineering" basically a set of instructions on how to reinforce stuff below deck. Add the coast of carbon fiber and the mast will end up costing more then the boat. I don't begrudge the designer his fee, I'm a building type Architect so I understand, but does anyone know were I can get a reasonable set of instructions? or should I just look for a used aluminum mast and re-rig the way it was?
     
  2. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    I think you have answered your own question. ;)

    You have to assume that the engineering of the boat matches the rig. Without a professional or experienced mast builder/rigger to guide you, you will be time and $$$ ahead to re-build the boat as designed.

    Consider a mast/boom 'kit' from LaFiel (sp) in LA. They will provide all you need in almost any stage of completion for a very fair price. If you are not in a rush, a 43' stick can be a top load in a normal trailer so shipping is reasonable too.
     
  3. Kaptin-Jer
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    Kaptin-Jer Semi-Pro

    Thanks RH,
    We all know that I'll probably end up re-rigging the way it was, but I really want to know what it would take to install a freestanding mast, and if there are any benefits other then losing wire and turnbuckles. I contacted a Guy in New Zealand, He seemed expensive and dealt mostly with Catamarans. I have emailed a Naval Arch. in St Augustine, Fl. who has converted 3 or 4 mono hulls about the same size as mine (38'). I'm waiting for a reply. I guess the whole thing boils down to money.
     
  4. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    In general, the rig is decided early on during the design stage. Rigging stresses are calculated and the structure is designed to support them.

    An unstayed rig of the same area as the designed rig will place different loads on the hull structure. In general, highly stressed areas are heavier than lightly stressed areas. After altering the hull/deck to allow for the load of a freestanding rig, weight will be added to support the new loads, but the extra weight designed in for the original rig loads probably cannot be removed, so the boat will be heavier.

    There is no doubt that it can be done, but I doubt that it can be done well *and* economically. Just ensuring that the new rig will sail as well as the original will take careful planning. When you say "freestanding" do you mean to convert a sloop to a Nonsuch style cat rig? If you have a boat that was a masthead sloop, how will a freestanding rig get the COE close to the same place as the original rig?

    A simple question is why consider a freestanding rig in the first place? In other words, what problem do you have with the original rig that changing to a freestanding rig will solve?
     
  5. Kaptin-Jer
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    Kaptin-Jer Semi-Pro

    I just received an answer from the Architect in Florida. ... I will be going traditional!!!
    Partial quote from his email:

    All my mast designs are custom, and start at about $4,000 for the mast tube, and go up from there depending on how much detail is required by the owner.
    ....... you can expect to pay around $110-$130 per pound. A single mast for a sloop rig for your boat, not including boom, rigging, or sails, will likely weigh around 300 lbs, so that's going to be $33,000 to $39,000, probably. Costs are pretty volatile lately, following the shortages on raw materials everywhere and the rising cost of oil, so I would not be surprised if these numbers are a little off.


    That is not including The engineering and material for the below deck work. The mast will end up coasting $45,000.00 Plus boom and fittings at least $50,000 for a boat I paid $800.00. Something doesn't add up:p
    :confused: :confused: Am I missing something??
     
  6. Kaptin-Jer
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    Kaptin-Jer Semi-Pro

  7. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    Nope ... for a custom CF mast that sounds very resonable.

    The retail cost to refurbish/overhaul a alloy stick is in the $2500-5000 range.

    The new rigging for your $800 boat will run $1500-2000.

    Unless you find a stick that was built for a sister ship, any used mast will require $1000's to rework (properly) and make fit. Add $50-75 per foot for a sound used mast and you have a $2000-3000 ante to get into the game.

    I would be surprised if you can get a mast and boom into a 38' boat for less than $10,000.
     
  8. Kaptin-Jer
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    Kaptin-Jer Semi-Pro

    We'll keep that between us, Can't let the wife know!

    Actually I still have the original mast, in two pieces, but I have it, and the boom. There is a good rigger down here and I have seen his splice work. I might have to go that route, but I'll lose about 4' and I really didn't want to lose any if it could be helped.
     
  9. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    If the section was common ... you might find a chunk from another broken mast that will allow you to build/splice a full length spar. The tube is the least of your worries, having all the bits that turn a tube into a mast is the tough part and you have those. :)
     
  10. Kaptin-Jer
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    Kaptin-Jer Semi-Pro

    Thanks,
    I have fought this boat back from the salvage yard for the past 3 years. I'm not going to let a small thing like a mast section stop me now.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    Great job so far. Good thing it's a bene. Chances of finding a matching section are good.
     
  12. Kaptin-Jer
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    Kaptin-Jer Semi-Pro

    If you hear of one give me a shout.
     
  13. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    Year and model? I'll send out a smoke signal or two.

    Should be a Z-Spar or Isomat section. (IIRC)
     
  14. Kaptin-Jer
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    Kaptin-Jer Semi-Pro

    This boat was commissioned in France. Idylle 11.50 1986
    I'm patient I still have two years to go before I retire.
     

  15. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Come on Jerry, find a big old pine tree, say at 3:00 in the morning, while you happen to have a chain saw handy, along with a suitable trailer and pluck some of mother nature's finest. How about birdsmouth with Home Depot spruce. I'll bet you can buy the lumber for the whole stick for less then $100 if you use my building method. A few cans of aerosol aluminum (poor man's chrome) from Ace hardware and you're go to go man . . .
     
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