Author Topic: Replacement Aluminum mast vs. going carbon  (Read 289 times)

Mike Myers (RWS)

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Replacement Aluminum mast vs. going carbon
« on: September 22, 2018, 10:19:42 PM »
My aluminum rig snapped (right where they all do) at bayfield race week in July. It was a bummer, but weíve got a great video of it, and I took it as a silver lining opportunity to get a carbon rig. Worked with Forteí carbon to get the new rig and they were pleasant and polite, but slow, and extremely non-communicative. I ordered the mast in mid July and it just arrived in late September...sans all standing rigging and spreaders (which are currently nowhere to be found, but I am told they are in the mail).
This would be extremely frustrating since Iím supposed to be leaving for North Americans tomorrow, but the missing parts are unfortunately the least of my worries. I unboxed the new mast to find it massively (irreparably) damaged by the shipping company. Itís probably going to be another two months to get a new mast, and itís already been a rough process. Iím considering having forte get their insurance payment from the shipping company, refunding my money, and going in search of a replacement aluminum mast.
Whatís the general feeling on this?
Are there aluminum rigs to be found?
Is the carbon mast worth the hassle?
Iím borrowing a mast for NAs, but I need to decide on a solution for the spring.
All the best,
Mike


Link to the mast break video:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1d6fLd95CU5h3k2X_MrORgsYeR9PqWcVJ/view

Bob Abelin

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Re: Replacement Aluminum mast vs. going carbon
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2018, 11:08:15 AM »
When I purchased my boat last year it came with a fairly new Forte carbon.  The mast is great, light, stiff, and beautiful.  Iím really pleased with it so far.  The only downside with it was that none of the four mainsails that came with the boat fit the mast.  The carbon is simply stiffer and requires a flatter cut mainsail.  It also requires different rig tuning. So if you can get a new main or recut your old main to fit the new mast you should be ok.  For the added strength and stiffness Iíd wait for the replacement carbon. 
« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 11:17:01 AM by Bob Abelin »

Mike Myers (RWS)

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Re: Replacement Aluminum mast vs. going carbon
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2018, 10:53:35 PM »
Thanks, a new main is on the horizon for next season anyway so that shouldnít be a problem. Glad to hear itís probably worth the wait.

Travis Gregory

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Re: Replacement Aluminum mast vs. going carbon
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2018, 07:37:16 PM »
I thought Forte had one on the shelf on behalf of the class.  Maybe Keith or someone with knowledge of this could chime in on your experience waiting.  I am not sure what the arrangement is.

I like the Aluminum rig and would probably look for another if I broke mine (knock on wood).  I don't want to deal with having to tune a carbon mast differently, change sails or worry about UV damage.

I would probably call Ballinger and ask if they would make you one.  I was in San Francisco this weekend and noticed that a couple of Olson 25's are sporting new Ballinger rigs.  Ballinger seems to be doing some  one-off type work.

With regard to keeping the aluminum rig up.  It looks like the high wind kit would of helped keep the lower mast in column.
I watched the video a few times.  It looks like you may need more main sheet tension, but I can't tell for sure.  In similar conditions, I try to put on more main sheet tension to act as a backstay.
 
Some additional questions I would love to hear your answers to if you are willing to share Mike:

1) Upper Tension
2) Wind Speed
3) Boat speed (planing continuously or off and on)
4) Did you hit a wave?
5) The mast wobbled big time right before it steadied out and then you broke it. What happened on the first wobble?

Thanks for helping us learn what not to do!


Mark Allen

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Re: Replacement Aluminum mast vs. going carbon
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2018, 04:59:14 PM »
Biggest cause of the masts breaking is a rig tension that is too soft for the conditions with the vang pulled on hard. The vang does a great job of flattening out the main upwind but puts way too much side force on the rig with all the pressure form the spin at the top trying to shove the middle of the mast out of column. Always release the vang before turning downwind.

Forte should be keeping a spare on the shelf for the class. We need to try and find out why it's not there. We have already paid for it and the new order should generate a new mast being built.

Mark
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Duck or Die!

Travis Gregory

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Re: Replacement Aluminum mast vs. going carbon
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2018, 08:52:26 PM »
In case anyone reads this in the future.  Mark and I were sailing with the SF bay boats last weekend.  It sounds like other owners have tried to get new aluminum rigs without success. They all have Forte's now!

There is one owner with an aluminum rig who is willing to sell for 4k.