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Additional Ref of Free standing Carbon Fiber Masts
For viewers who may come across this thread as a matter of interest regarding carbon fiber masts, Eric Sponberg, Naval Architect, has detailed information on carbon fiber masts. Sponberg Yacht Design Inc. Mr. Sponberg makes a strong case regarding the safety and efficiency of the free standing carbon fiber masts.
I sail a cat ketch rig that has free standing carbon fiber masts designed by Mr. Sponberg. At the time I bought the boat, I had no idea who designed the masts.
I find the cat ketch does less healing, and gives an overall smoother rider. I had sailed a Catalina prior to the ketch, and at the time I had the Catalina, the aluminum mast was perfect.
Regarding the cat ketch, I particularly enjoy having only tend to two sheets, not having to rig all the stays and shrouds, and the clean looking simplicity. Unstepping the masts is very simple, each mast is held by two ss bolt rods that slide through the mast and the column base -- that the mast slides over. Of course electrical wires must be disconnected as well when unstepping the masts.
Reading and researching about the attributes and behavior of the mast in terms of material, construction, and integration with a particular boat, helps one to determine if a carbon fiber mast is right for oneself.