tanton 43 cat ketch & old carbon unstayed mast - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 11-04-2007
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tanton 43 cat ketch & old carbon unstayed mast

hi guys,
i'm looking at an old tired tanton 43 cat ketch, my main concern is the 20 year old carbon fiber unstayed mast. truthfully i know little about carbon except its like black gold..... and not impact resistant. the replacement cost of a 50' carbon mast would break the bank, and this thing has two!!!!! i have heard about freedom 40's snapping their carbon masts and how bendy they are, could 20 yrs of ultra violet kill these sticks? thankful for any info.
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Old 11-04-2007
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I have been investigating Freedom cat ketches as well. The general consensus is that the carbon spars have held up well. There are issues with the different brands of boats, but very few have had a problem. Google cat ketch and you will find links to Tanton and Freedom that both discuss the carbon masts. The masts are laid up with layers of fiberglass surrounding the carbon fiber. Some cracking has been observed in the outer layers of fiberglass, but as long as the damage is limited to the outer layers, then it may only be cosmetic. Also search the threads on Sailnet, as this discussion has come up before. Finally, go to owners' groups for the Tanton and Freedom (Nonesuch too I guess) and ask the owners directly. Good luck.
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Old 11-04-2007
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You are right to worry, I have looked at several Freedoms and had the same concerns. If there will be a failure due to age it will be in the age of boat you are looking at simply because they are the oldest. Whoever buys the boat from you someday will worry about the same thing. They could last forever, but I doubt it. They get a lot of abuse, flexing, sun damage and temperature changes.

So, who knows?

The insurance companies don't particularly like them either. I have heard they really don't do well with lighting strikes. I would want a close inspection by an expert if I were buying one.

Having said all that I know there are lots of happy owners out there. Met some nice people on a Freedom 30 once that loved their boat. They told me they never jibe however, it scared them too much.
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