wooden mast

Discussion in 'Materials' started by wanaco, Jan 11, 2004.

  1. wanaco
    Joined: Jan 2004
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    wanaco New Member

    Hello, I be building a Roberts 370 e steel sailboat. I Want to built the rig too. In my plans main and mizzen mast are builded in two long timber hollowed and joined all along (squere section), main mast is 6"x8" section, 40 feet long. But is impossible to find so long timbers here in Spain. I was thinking in laminates epoxi technic but I can´t to find good and complete info about it.
    Can you help me? Thanks
  2. Robert Miller
    Joined: Dec 2003
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    Robert Miller Junior Member

    I would think not about laminating this section, but rather build this up from proper scarfed planks. For example, if you could find spruce stock in any length, as long as the stock is clear, just epoxy scarf till full length. (At least 8:1 scarfs, or preferably 10:1) Just don't let scarf joints fall at same position on the four faces.

  3. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    It is usually cheaper to buy an aluminum section than good sitka spruce or other spar quality lumber.
  4. botebum
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    botebum New Member

    Robert miller is correct- mostly. "Any length" is not the way to go- use the longest lengths you can find. Use equal lengths throughout. Land all joints at 1/4 staggers for a four sided spar. Not knowing how thick your stock will be precludes me from suggesting a scarf ratio but 1" stock can easily be "backyard" scarfed at 12:1. Hope this helps.
  5. botebum
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    botebum New Member

    I meant to add- Sitka is probably near impossible to find in Spain. Douglas fir can be substituted but inspect your stock VERY CAREFULLY for defects. Perfectly straight, tight grain is essential.
  6. MastSplit
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    MastSplit Junior Member

    The tightest grain trees will be found growing in mountain areas (high altitude) because they grow slower. Good luck, mate.
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  7. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The cost of an aluminum spar, considering the length would make you rigging tasks much easier and probably cheaper in the end, then wood. Most all hardware (spreader sockets, tangs, goosenecks, cranes, etc.) are all geared around aluminum spars, so your wooden mast will be at a disadvantage in this regard. The aluminum stick will be lighter and the resale value of the boat higher.
  8. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    A wood mast is cheapest if the rig is a gaffer, as shrouds and stays can be swaged loops on the ends and can be supported by wooden hooks rather than tangs. No track is needed if hoops are used. Often the wood is a solid piece.
    But a modern rig loses all of those advantages when compared to aluminum. As said, fittings for an aluminum extrusion are relatively inexpensive and common, since they are sold in far greater numbers everywhere.
    Herrshoff developed the hollow square mast and it was once the least expensive light mast you could make. They aren't bad either, but aluminum will be more aerodynamic and make for more drive vs drag. Add the problems of rot and wood just doesn't make sense in that size range (except it looks much better).
    And there are also steel masts, which are inexpensive and strong, though they must be painted well inside and out (as long as you already have steel to protect below, you are well set up to deal with a steel mast as well).


  9. Oyster
    Joined: Feb 2006
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    Oyster Senior Member

    While you are pondering these answers around, I would strongly consider looking about some of the boatyards and see if you can find a metal mast that may be close to your needs thats been used on some boat that has been scraped too. With a bit of luck if nothing else usuable hardware maybe also avaliable if the mast has served its purpose. But then again the mast be okay to get you going too as a backup. You are talking about a lot of work if you build a laminated mast and the additional wieght topside too.
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