1. ryansemail707
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    Location: PA

    ryansemail707 Junior Member

    My friend and me have built a 10' sailboat out of wood. it is quite heavy already and we havent yet attached the mast. Does anyone have any suggestions on what to make the mast out of. It would be great if it was cheap and lightwieght.
     
  2. PsiPhi
    Joined: May 2007
    Posts: 152
    Likes: 3, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 44
    Location: Queensland

    PsiPhi Newbie

    Something Light!
    No I'm not being funny - there were 660 unread posts when I logged in this morning. I thought if I added a comment the thread would look busy and someone who knows the answer will come along and enlighten us both.

    Some people suggest aluminium alloy poles? - don't know where you're supposed to get them from though.
    Saw an interesting artical on making a (hollow) wooden mast "birds-mouth" style.
     
  3. ryansemail707
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    Location: PA

    ryansemail707 Junior Member

    hahaha Thanks man. Yeah i have heard some stuff about alumimun poles to. but i am not sure how much they are going to cost.
     
  4. USCGRET/E8
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    Location: Nowhere

    USCGRET/E8 Senior Chief

    You may be able to get a round stair case railing at Lowes or HD fairly cheap;
     
  5. ryansemail707
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    Location: PA

    ryansemail707 Junior Member

    Thank you that is a good idea. I am going to look into that
     
  6. Pete Dennison
    Joined: Dec 2006
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    Location: Sale Australia

    Pete Dennison Pete D

    Why don't you visit your nearest Yacht Club - they might have a few old masts off some dinghies lying around.
     
  7. ryansemail707
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    Location: PA

    ryansemail707 Junior Member

    yeah i will look around. But i am not sure there are any yacht clubs within an hour of me. The closest is probably at ocean city new jersey.
     
  8. Flumixt
    Joined: Oct 2006
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    Location: California

    Flumixt Junior Member

    >You may be able to get a round stair case railing at Lowes or HD fairly cheap<

    I'll 2nd that. Made a 2 masted sail canoe rig that way. 17 foot canoe, 8 foot masts. Same stuff for the booms. 2 foot long PVC pipes for mast steps so no stays.
     
  9. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Typical stair hand rails are flat on one side, cove sided and rounded on top, plus they are hardwood (or dense softwood, like SYP), quite flexible and heavy. If you're heavy now, you don't want weight up in the rig, so hollow is the way to go.

    Aluminum poles can be found in the phone book. Check with awning builders or any other business that may have a need for aluminum tubing, like custom gate/fence builders, for example. Scrap metal salvage yards also could be a good source for a section of tubing. Every major city has one or more of these types of businesses.

    A wooden box section mast is very easy to build, stiff, strong and reasonably light. Birdsmouth is more difficult to build, but makes a round or oval mast.
     
  10. Flumixt
    Joined: Oct 2006
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    Location: California

    Flumixt Junior Member

    I just went out and performed a rigorous investigation of one of my rail masts. :)

    Fir. Doug Fir. It was 1 5/8 dia. with a circular cross section except it was flattened. The flat was 15/16 wide. The short dia at the flat was 1 1/2 inch. They nicked off 1/8 inch making the flat. It was 9'1" long. It weighed 2.75 pounds. So a 15 foot mast would weigh 4.6 pounds. Adding a 6 foot boom brings the total to 6.4 pounds - hardly XSive. Not only that they would float in case of an upset. Not only that; for fabrication merely cut it off to desired length and you got it.

    To accurately weigh this light object I layed it on one end of a balance beam and balanced it up with a known weight, measured the distances etc.
     
  11. lewisboats
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: Iowa

    lewisboats Obsessed Member

    I just came back from a weekend of sailing in relatively light winds (8-15 mph)...I hung 60 sq ft on a 10 ft untapered DF stair rail. It was a fairly high peaked Sprit sail with a sprit boom. The mast was simply too bendy, tho it didn't crack I thought it might a few times when wind and waves made it whip and bend like a piece of grass. You probably want something stiffer. I'll add a picture of it sailing when I get them (from Bob (in the picture)...who won't be home to send them for a few days).

    Steve
     

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  12. Halcyon
    Joined: Feb 2007
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    Location: UAE

    Halcyon Junior Member

    One option may be to look on Army surplus and use the Camo-net support tubes. They are usualy going cheap.
     
  13. LP
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    Location: 26 36.9 N, 82 07.3 W

    LP Flying Boatman

  14. eponodyne
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Upper Midwest

    eponodyne Senior Member

    That just gave me a flashback to Korea, 1988 Operation Team Spirit, moving the blessed Tactical Ops Center vehicles every three hours. I hated those camo nets. But the tubes are indeed quite light, quite stiff and quite strong.
     

  15. Raggi_Thor
    Joined: Jan 2004
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    Location: Trondheim, NORWAY

    Raggi_Thor Nav.arch/Designer/Builder

    10 feet llong boat?
    Wood is probably light enough, and cheap.
    Hollow wood is more work, but lighter.
    And of curse an aluminium tube, maybe half a kg per meter?

    An old mast is of course the easiest solution :)
     
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