Carbon mast life expectancy - Page 2 - SailNet Community

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  #11  
Old 12-01-2010
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Thanks everybody, for the information and for the English lesson

I would not buy a boat with a Carbon mast because it is just a very expensive option that makes a lot of sense for racers, but not much for a cruiser. However I had a very good offer on a boat with a Carbon mast and I wanted to know more about Carbon masts.

For the information on the posts we can take some interesting conclusions: The ones that have 20 year's old carbon masts say: No problem, no corrosion. The ones that don't have them say: Corrosion problems, problems with scratches and dings.

Now, there is someone that has or had a Carbon mast and had or has problems?

Regards

Paulo
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  #12  
Old 12-01-2010
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Around here mast stepping is a common occurrence in many of the yards as there is not enough storage on the water front without moving the boat past power-lines

In the yards that leave it up you have to sign a wind damage disclaimer as 60 MHP northeasters are common

And its the putting up and down were the issues start to occur as when there doing 300+ masts caution is NOT a strong point

I have friends with deeper pockets that will NOT store there boat here and go to Mystic and points north were the yards will exercise the proper caution

If you don't fell repairs happen go over to Fix It Anarchy as a carbon failure of some type is daily item
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If a dirty bottom slows you down what do you think it does to your boat
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Last edited by tommays; 12-01-2010 at 05:31 PM.
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  #13  
Old 12-01-2010
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Can you elaborate on the issues with lighting? What are these issues where carbon has far more than aluminum?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Also, carbon fiber masts can have serious issues with metal hardware attached to them. The graphite is more noble than any of the metals and leads to galvanic corrosion cells forming unless care is taken to isolate the metal from the carbon fiber.

A ding is a small dent or scratch caused when a mast bumps into something else. Scratches can be particularly bad for laminate masts.

Also, for a cruising boat, an aluminum mast makes more sense. It is easier to repair/replace an aluminum mast than it is a CF one, especially in more remote areas. Also, CF has issues with lightning?far more so than Aluminum.
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Old 12-01-2010
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On a 48' Hinckley yawl (1970). Mizzen is 38', main is 62' much taller then the standard Hinckley rig. Masts are Awlgrip white, spreaders are wood and there is a lightening rod at the masthead.
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  #15  
Old 12-01-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post
Are they painted, or just black, with a varnish over?
They are wrapped in fiberglass and coated with some sort of filler. No dings, no chips and no flaking paint, unlike my aluminum booms.
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Old 12-01-2010
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My friend Kim's boat was hit by lightning and the removal examination and fixing of the mast was HUGE money and a long time to repair. Carbon masts and lightning don't always mix well. I would prefer one painted to help with UV more so than a clear coat. Lots of benefits to Carbon but lots of pro's & con's to weigh such as lightning, UV etc...

You would be wise to track down a copy of this months Professional Boatbuilder Magazine. There is a great article on examination techniques for examining carbon spar damage from lightning strikes..

Issue Number 128 December/January - Carbon & Lightning, Damage Testing A Carbon Mast Page 50

They last until ...........

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  #17  
Old 12-01-2010
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IMHP you have to keep some cost perspective

Melges 24 complete carbon mast is 9000 dollars

Melges 32 carbon spreader is 1000 dollars and a complete carbon mast is 28000 dollars

And the prices just go up
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If a dirty bottom slows you down what do you think it does to your boat
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Last edited by tommays; 12-01-2010 at 05:56 PM.
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  #18  
Old 12-01-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickmerc View Post
Can you elaborate on the issues with lighting? What are these issues where carbon has far more than aluminum?
When a boat is hit by lightning, an aluminum mast often survives with little or no damage. The electronics are toast, but the spar is fine. When a boat with a CF mast gets hit, the mast is often damaged internally and the damage is often not visible without unstepping the mast and running tests on the spar to see if any internal delamination occurred.

CF masts are also far more expensive compared to their aluminum brethren. Also, any damage to a CF spar is going to be harder to repair if you're in remote cruising areas, where an aluminum spar is often going to be repairable with local resources.
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  #19  
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Info on carbonfiber masts/lightning :

Lightning Risk For Carbon Fibre Sailboat Masts

Personally,I'm on my second boat with a carbon mast. The first boat had her mast upgraded to carbon in 1993 and that mast is still going strong. My current boat had her mast replaced with carbon fiber three years ago. Both masts had lightening arresters installed.
I am sold on carbon fiber technology. I could list all of the benefits but I'd be on here all night.
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  #20  
Old 12-02-2010
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So why did you carbon guys not go with the carbon standing rigging for the full inprovement
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If a dirty bottom slows you down what do you think it does to your boat
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