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post #1 of 4 Old 02-14-2010 Thread Starter
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Carbon Fiber mast

I am looking at Freedom 36 with carbon fiber mast and could see two cracks (in what appears to be paint or somethingh) around a doubler where gooseneck is attached to the mast. this doubler seems like some sort of reinforcement for the mast where gooseneck is attached and runs around the entire circumference of the mast some 8-10 inches in height. that was the only concern i could see with this mast. Are there any people with same or similar masts to tekll me if this is an issue or can be considered as normal.
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post #2 of 4 Old 02-15-2010
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Those could just be cracks in the gelcoat of the spar. However, without investigating it further, you can not be sure what is really going on. I'd point out that putting a collar like that around a spar without properly reinforcing the spar to spread the load is going to cause a hard edge which is likely to cause the laminate of the spar itself to flex and fatigue.


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post #3 of 4 Old 02-15-2010
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I have witnessed two carbon masts fail . They both went with a bang. One was a Freedom , which failed at the gooseneck as a result of an accidental gybe. I think that the crack in the photo is in the epoxy putty fairing the transition of the surfaces between the mast and the sleeve. The photos show cracking at both edges of the transition. A crack in the mast that long would result in a very dramatic failure. The only way to know for sure woud be to grind the putty back , being careful not to grind into the mast laminate , to see if the crack continues into the mast
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post #4 of 4 Old 02-15-2010
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I have a Freedom 33 and have looked quite extensively into the construction of their carbon fiber masts,. It is quite common for cracks to show going around the circumference of the mast. This is due to the way the masts are made, with the carbon fiber layed up and then a fiberglass wrap applied over this. The cracks show up in this outer wrap and are usually only cosmetic. On some masts, where they attach the boom/gooseneck, they built up a heavy doubler wrap of glass which they imbed a stainless plate into and then the gooseneck fitting is fastened into this. On others, like mine, Garhauer manufactured a heavy stainless band that is clamped arouned the mast and the boom hardware is attached to this. From what I have read, there have been instances , though rare, of this glass doubler seperating from the mast. I can,t be sure without seeing your mast but from the pictures I would bet that the crack you see is in the surfce paint or fairing betwwen the mast and doubler. Question, doe you know if the mast was recently painted? This happens alot in newly painted masts. For a great deal of information on this I suggest you go to the Freedom website. They have discussed this quite a lot. Rick
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