Alum highway pole for mast - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 25 Old 01-27-2013 Thread Starter
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Alum highway pole for mast

Mast is 12" tapering to 8 and is 5/16" thick. Is this a good idea for a mast. Boat is 50' and steel so I don't know if its too heavy for the boat. Do they generally use good alloys in these poles? Just curious no plans to use. Couldn't find anything on search but I can't string words together properly I guess.
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post #2 of 25 Old 01-27-2013
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Re: Alum highway pole for mast

I sure like the idea Be carefull not to get electrocuted when cutting down that pole
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post #3 of 25 Old 01-27-2013
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Re: Alum highway pole for mast

how do you plan to run the mainsail up the mast? hoops?
what do you plan to do with the cantilevered mercury light at the top and/or any attached signage?

How do you plan to cut it down and haul it away from the off-ramp without anyone noticing?

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post #4 of 25 Old 01-27-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Alum highway pole for mast

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how do you plan to run the mainsail up the mast? hoops?
what do you plan to do with the cantilevered mercury light at the top and/or any attached signage?

How do you plan to cut it down and haul it away from the off-ramp without anyone noticing?
Now tell me why I should take this post seriously when I said I was just curious and had no plans to use one?
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post #5 of 25 Old 01-27-2013
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Re: Alum highway pole for mast

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what do you plan to do with the cantilevered mercury light at the top
mast head light included !
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post #6 of 25 Old 01-27-2013
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Re: Alum highway pole for mast

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Now tell me why I should take this post seriously when I said I was just curious and had no plans to use one?
Why should I take your question seriously when you say you are just curious and have no plans to use one?

The first part of my reply to your question is the part you should take seriously. How would you plan to attach the main to your highway dept. supplied mast?
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post #7 of 25 Old 01-27-2013
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Re: Alum highway pole for mast

I don't know much about how masts are constructed, and even less about highway poles. But I would suspect that there's a reason why masts are generally more rectangular in cross section, as opposed to round like a highway pole. Would the round pole be more susceptible to bending or breaking when the forestay or backstay tension is adjusted?
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post #8 of 25 Old 01-27-2013
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Re: Alum highway pole for mast

PLENTY OF CATBOATS have freestanding aluminum masts that are in fact just fancy light poles

You would just need to see how close it to one of the catboats in current USE

Its really no different that screwing on a sail track on any other mast

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post #9 of 25 Old 01-27-2013
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Re: Alum highway pole for mast

A local boatbuilder, with much the same type of philosophy as our own Brent Swain, used to write a column on economy boatbuilding in Pacific Yachting back in the heyday of home building. He advocated this very thing - the light poles were MUCH cheaper than mast extrusions since they were produced in such huge volumes.

He simply screwed or riveted an external track on them and used sail slugs.

Personally I'd go for a round one, not one of the faceted ones.

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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post #10 of 25 Old 01-27-2013
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Re: Alum highway pole for mast

Being the traditional sailor that I am, I much prefer a old
wooden telephone pole as a mast as they come with spike
steps to climb up and set the sails and have already in place
yards, and if lucky they may still have some old telephone wires to be used as braces.
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