Can I use a differently shaped mast? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 07-10-2013
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Question Can I use a differently shaped mast?

I'm trying to find a new aluminum mast for my small sailboat (13' trimaran of unknown manufacturer believed to be part of a limited number made in Florida in the 1960s).

The old mast is broken. It was 18'8" and 2 3/4" x 1 5/8".

In particular I'm looking at a mast I found on CraigsList that is 19'2" and 2 3/8" x 2 5/8".

I'm hoping I can cut 6" off it and use it. It has spreaders, shrouds, cleats that I will either use or replace (either from my old mast or new).

I had planned on replacing the step anyway (I want to use a hinged step).

Is there any reason I should not use the CraigsList mast? Anything I should find out before I buy it? (It is 250 miles away.)
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Re: Can I use a differently shaped mast?

Don't see a problem with your plan.
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Re: Can I use a differently shaped mast?

Mike:
That should work fine. The new mast is a bit bigger athwartships but that just means it will be heavier and a bit stiffer. Can't imagine you could tell the difference. I thoink the small difference in the fore and aft dims will be offset by the extra material that comes with the bigger athwarstships dim.
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Re: Can I use a differently shaped mast?

Mike,

The strength of a section lies in the location of material, not (necessarily) the weight. Case in point, my company supplies, among other things, two sizes of aluminum rafters. A 6" capable of spanning 18 feet and a 9" with a 24' span rating. Both with the same amount of aluminum per foot. That said, I'd bet these section are virtually identical, weight wise. Long story to say, "You're fine. You wouldn't notice the difference even if there was one."
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Re: Can I use a differently shaped mast?

I would not cut the mast at all. It will give you more flexibility with the sails - now and in the future (you can carry more sail, or carry the current sails higher for better visibility. It does change the balance of your rig a little but not enough to make a difference IMO.
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Re: Can I use a differently shaped mast?

Ummmm... A legend just gave you advice, If it were me, I just might print that out and frame it

(I also like krisscross' suggestion, unless you are using the original rigging.)
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Re: Can I use a differently shaped mast?

No, you can't use that other mast.
Your boat will explode!
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Re: Can I use a differently shaped mast?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobperry View Post
No, you can't use that other mast.
Your boat will explode!
I might just frame that one myself.
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Re: Can I use a differently shaped mast?

why do you need a mast with spreaders on a 18' tri mast. hobie 16 mast is 26 ' and no spreaders. find a hobie 14 mast or the whole rig and sails
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Question Re: Can I use a differently shaped mast?

OK, so I can use this new mast. Now how do I connect it to the boat?

The old mast was open at the bottom and fit onto a step (like Dwyer DH2111) mounted to the boat.

The new mast seems to have step fastened in the bottom with 3 tenons (kind of like Dwyer DH213 except the tenon split into 3 squares).

Also the old mast had a slight bevel/taper on the bottom. So it stood maybe 5 degrees off vertical. Is that standard for all masts or do I need to recreate it or should I not worry about it?

I was thinking I would cut off the bottom few inches of the new mast (including the step that's mounted in it) and buy a new step that comes closer to the new shape. The closest I find seems to be the right shape but designed for an eighth inch smaller mast in both dimensions. Would that work OK?

Alternatively (and especially if I don't want to cut the mast at all -- as krisscross suggests), what do I mount to my boat to receive the tenon?

Finally, any problem with using a hinged step? I'm hoping this will make it safer to put the mast up (I dropped it once -- luckily my kids weren't around) and easier to bring it down (meaning I won't be as tempted to trailer it for short distances with the mast up -- what got the mast broken in the first place).

Last edited by MikeTri; 07-11-2013 at 03:00 PM.
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