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cb32863 09-29-2011 11:44 AM

Free Standing Mast
Are they a good thing, bad thing, or don't really matter?

LandLocked66c 09-29-2011 12:11 PM


jackdale 09-29-2011 12:16 PM

Like most boat innovations, it depends on how well they are constructed. The Nonsuch has a pretty good reputation.

BTW - I assume that you are talking about cruising boats, not sailing dinghies.

SHNOOL 09-29-2011 12:16 PM

So you ditch the shrouds, and have to increase diameter of the mast, to keep it standing upright in a blow... Now the foil (that'd be the sail), has a huge(r) bulb at the foreward end, screwing up the aerodynamics (more than the smaller mast).

The plus side is you don't have all that standing rigging to trip over/replace. Generally this "ease of use" coincides with a lack of a headsail (or at least a very small self tending headsail). This is because of the first part would require an even BIGGER diameter mast to hold up to the forces. Plus those halyards are like shrouds only softer (to trip over).

I dunno. For simplicity, they get my vote. For speed... I think I'd move on. But then I am a tweaker, and love a challenge (and apparently changing standing rigging every 5 years).

PCP 09-29-2011 12:27 PM

I can see advantages in what concerns no backstay (uncluttered transom and fuller main sail). I can also see some disadvantages regarding performance sailing in what regards control of the sail shape and probably a lesser resistance to breaking.

regarding a free mast, it has the advantage of simplicity, to put in and out but not to break such a mast has to be flexible and that means that the sails would change shape without any control of the skipper.

That would be a no no in what regards any kind of performance sailing.

To be able to stand alone, a mast would also have to be stronger than a stayed mast and that means more expensive and that matters a lot.

Regarding resistance to breaking, I don't believe that a free mast has the same resistance to breaking as a stayed mast. I mean the same mast with and without stays.

There are others that think otherwise (not many because we don't have a lot of free standing masts on cruising boats). The big defender of free mast is Eric Sponberg .

Here you can read what he thinks about the subject:

State of the Art



LandLocked66c 09-29-2011 12:37 PM

You also have to consider the structure that will support the unstayed mast. Reading about the Maltese Falcon, that was a considerable feat!

CrazyRu 09-29-2011 12:42 PM

Just sail the boat with freestanding mast for a day or two. Singlehandedly.
You will never understand rest of the crowd afterwards.
P.S. Modern freestanding masts tend to be much smaller diameter than ones on Nonsuch and Freedom

PCP 09-29-2011 12:53 PM


Originally Posted by LandLocked66c (Post 780958)
You also have to consider the structure that will support the unstayed mast. Reading about the Maltese Falcon, that was a considerable feat!

you can build almost anything these days....but that has a cost, a big cost. If you have almost unlimited funds that is not a problem but if you are like the rest of us, well, we want the best solution for a price...and when the vastly more expensive is probably not the most efficient solution in what regards sailing, well, that does not make much sense to me.

I can't wait to see how this one will perform comparing with the Maltese Falcon.

This one has a conventional rig and I believe it will be way faster. Of course I can be wrong;)



LandLocked66c 09-29-2011 12:59 PM

Man! That's an eye full!!! Is that his next?

mitiempo 09-29-2011 01:06 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Lack of performance? Not really. And a jibe isn't a problem - in any wind strength!

Project Amazon is the first pic.

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