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Where do "A" cat carbon masts typically fail? #215233
07/03/10 02:31 PM
07/03/10 02:31 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 695
Ft. Pierce, Fl. USA
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If anyone knowes the answer to this question, you guys would...I may be looking for a 26' or longer undamaged Section of carbon "A" Cass mast in the not too distant future, curious at what point along the mast they typically fail (not at all insinuating inherent weakness, any mast can fail)...also the price and availability of 26'+ undamaged section from a broken mast? Is this something that would be easy to track down? Thanks in advance for your response.

Regards,
Bob

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Re: Where do "A" cat carbon masts typically fail? [Re: Seeker] #215259
07/05/10 02:40 AM
07/05/10 02:40 AM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 170
Brisvegas
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Brisvegas
Bob

I've never seen one "fail" since the very early days (early 90's) when some people tried to hand layup their own. With modern baking and prepregs breakages are usually operator error. The most common way is the bearaway after the top mark in big breeze, and not having eased the luff before. When the cartwheel happens and the mast is already under big tension a belt on the water will sometimes give a break a bit below the hounds. Diamond wire/fittings failure will also cause breakage in that mid area. Both of these would not suit the length you want. Also the masts are easily repaired if you know how, so most end up back on the boat. The only breakage that would give you 26 feet is if the hound or stay broke and the pin had been left in the base hinge. They sometimes then break by hitting the gunwhale which is about 4 feet from the base. Usually would happen in big waves if you can't then get the pin out quickly. Pretty rare though as we've worked out to remove the hinge pin and use it in the gooseneck.
The other thing to be carefull about is that the masts are built with a thicker layup around the hound and diamond tang area. You'd have to take that in to account if using bits and pieces.
Another way to approach it is to buy a second hand mast and cut some from top and bottom to get the proportions right. A good second hand Saarberg or Fibrefoam in this country would typically be $3k - $3.5k. Assume similar in US after currency conversion.

Cheers
AUS9

Re: Where do "A" cat carbon masts typically fail? [Re: ACE11] #215280
07/05/10 08:33 AM
07/05/10 08:33 AM
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Ft. Pierce, Fl. USA
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Thank you for your reply...you never know the feasability of an idea until you ask. You have given me a very good overview of the possibilities, and the reasoning behind it.

Regards,
Bob

Re: Where do "A" cat carbon masts typically fail? [Re: Seeker] #215294
07/05/10 11:09 AM
07/05/10 11:09 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 805
Gainesville, FL 32607 USA
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On the other hand, like for an experimental boat...
I have repaired 7 A-cat carbon masts (3 were mine): none has broken again where I repaired them. One 2-times-broken one split at the top when hammered in a pitchpole at high speed.
Of the others, 2 were crushed 1 meter from the bottom by being sat upon in slow capsizes. The rest were broken up high in blow-overs in windstorma (tie your boat down when not in use!), or violent pitchpoles in windstorms or thunderstorms.
Now, Lars Guck said to me, "I would never use a repaired mast" because of changed bend character.....but 99.5% of sailors would never know the difference.


Dacarls:
A-class USA 196, USA 21, H18, H16
"Nothing that's any good works by itself. You got to make the damn thing work"- Thomas Edison

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