DIY Wing Mast Questions

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by UNCIVILIZED, Jul 30, 2017.

    Joined: Jun 2014
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    UNCIVILIZED DIY Junkyard MadScientist

    Guys, I've been curious about wing masts for ages. Meaning building one myself for a mid-sized multihull. And I'm wondering what the more common methods for attaching stays & shrouds are any more? I know that on say PRB there are holes through the mast tube for Spectra (Dyneema) Loops, to which the stays are attached. And on other boats there are stainless rotator hounds instead. The question is, what's the most reliable method of attaching one's stays, including a furler for the jib? How often do various components need swapping so that the mast doesn't suffer any failures & fall? Plus any other key questions I forgot to ask/need to know when seriously considering building one. Such as can the shrouds be connected to a different point on the mast than the headstay or forestays? And what factors influence such things?

    Obviously the tech & options as to how to attach shrouds, stays, & other structural bits have advanced quite a bit in the last few years. With a plethora of options for soft attachments using Dyneema, & fittings akin to Ropeye & other soft padeyes. That said, please pretend that I know naught about what's available, & help me to get educated on this. Both self-educated, & schooled by wizened sailors & riggers.

    Also, I'm curious to hear folks thoughts on the pro's & con's of Colligo Marine's soft furler.
    Extra Light Headsail Furling Sytem
    And if you have one is it an improvement over standard furlers, & or structural furlers? Would you buy another one, & why or why not?

    Bottom line, what are the better routes to pursue if starting from scratch, to build a DIY wing mast for a cat or tri in the 30'-45' LOA range? And any & all links to relavent info pages, or hardware would be greatly welcomed. Thanks!

    PS: I'm thinking wood/epoxy, or wood/epoxy with some carbon. But not a purely carbon spar. With halyards for a: mainsail, jib, solent/staysail, code 0/screecher, & a spinnaker. And structural furlers are an option to some degree.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
  2. ThomD
    Joined: Mar 2009
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    Location: TO

    ThomD Senior Member

    For what purpose? For cruising. Charter. Racing? A lot of the answers for the latter including their later experiments into low resistance spars, rather than their iconic wingspars, can be found at the Gougeon yard. You used to be able to get access to their boat sheds for the polite asking.
  3. MichaelRoberts
    Joined: Sep 2015
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    Location: Australia

    MichaelRoberts Archimedes

    Hi DIY Scientist
    I am building such a mast - see the picture in my last post about mast prebend

  4. tspeer
    Joined: Feb 2002
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    Location: Port Gamble, Washington, USA

    tspeer Senior Member

    Take a look at this article by Eric Sponberg. This article has a picture of the cross section of a Gold Coast Catamarans wing mast. I suspect the heavy centerline structure is only at the bottom to take the concentrated loads of the ball.

    Here's an article by Kurt Hughes on building wing masts. He discusses how to attach the stays. This Wooden Boat article has more ideas on the detailed design of fittings.
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