carbon fiber mast

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mikelinmon
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carbon fiber mast

Post by mikelinmon » Fri Nov 07, 2014 11:49 am

I'm considering making carbon fiber masts for the MacGregors. Thinking about this for some time, ever since it was decided to add 300 lbs of fixed ballast to the design if the M. The righting moment of the 300 lbs in bottom of boat and 20 lb savings with carbon fiber mast at 20 ft above waterline is just about the same. So, a 320 lb lighter boat and a trailer made to carry a 320 lb lighter boat, now trailer is 100 lbs lighter for a total weight savings of 420 towing load! Sail and power faster. One thought is the new cost of aluminum masts being bought in small quanity and much increased shipping, we used to buy them 4,000 lbs at a time, now 5 masts at once. Triple price! Fair warning , don't hit a tree or powerline. You don't want to know how much a mast costs. Carbon fiber masts for boats our size are now available at around $4,000. But, we can do it for much less. The mast will weigh 22lbs, 40% of that is epoxy, 8 or 10 lbs of very good epoxy is about $40. Just how much does 13.2 lbs of carbon fiber cost? The rest is labor. Most carbon fiber construction is vaccume bagged and then cooked. Bagging a thin walled product is done to fully saturate the carbon and it will make it thinner. Carbon is much stronger than epoxy and will now be a higher percentage of the weight (stronger part). But. a thicker part is stiffer by the square of the thickness (stiffer part). Maybe bagging is not the best mast construction after all. As for cooking, I've read that 10 or 20% strength is gained by the epoxy. But, if the epoxy is such a small percentage of the carbon fiber?? The carbon is more than 10 times stronger than epoxy. So the cooking is done for 1 or 2 % gain? For an airplane, yes. And that is where all of our real carbon fiber information comes from, the aircraft industry. Yes,they know how to get the last 1% out of anything. We might just like the double cost savings to forget about the 1 or 2 percentage points weight savings.

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Ixneigh
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Re: carbon fiber mast

Post by Ixneigh » Fri Nov 07, 2014 6:48 pm

I'd be interested. I'd leave in the ballast though and just have a stiffer boat.
Ix

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Crikey
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Re: carbon fiber mast

Post by Crikey » Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:12 pm

MTE (my thoughts exactly).

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RussMT
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Re: carbon fiber mast

Post by RussMT » Fri Nov 07, 2014 11:35 pm

Very interesting. Matt has already replace his mast with CF I believe.

So how much dinero would a carbon mast cost with shipping?

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Re: carbon fiber mast

Post by Catigale » Sat Nov 08, 2014 5:53 am

RussMT wrote:Very interesting. Matt has already replace his mast with CF I believe.

So how much dinero would a carbon mast cost with shipping?

More than once, so he is an expert...

The magic number for automotive is 5 USd per pound in qty, but it's triple that in quantity right now. In small lots, perhaps 4 times that.

Thus it's 500-600 in materials and ergo the 2500-3000 price point.

The killer for a Mac would to make a sleeve and two piece mast in carbon fiber!

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Re: carbon fiber mast

Post by mikelinmon » Sat Nov 08, 2014 11:31 am

Yes, that is the key to production. Two part mast w sleeve. Shipping would b available for $100, not $500 or much more. The plan is foam core like aircraft wings, carbon fiber skin. The load bearing carbon will be uni-directional wrapped with diagonal with most of the fiber on sides of the mast. I can't get aluminum masts unless I order several year supply, or pay out the nose. I'm getting them now from Tattoo with boat shipments. But they are the new section and don't exactly match the 60,000 MacGregors and thousands of other small boats out there. Kind of a forced issue for me, must make them.
Mike at the MacGregor factory selling Tattoo's and the new MacGrgeor 70 and sometimes replacing masts on anyones small boat.

By the way, do you all out there want to be kept up to date on the 70? I can do that, just wondering,

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Obelix
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Re: carbon fiber mast

Post by Obelix » Sat Nov 08, 2014 12:56 pm

@Mike,
Yes, it would be interesting to get progress information on the MacGregor 70 :)

Obelix

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Ixneigh
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Re: carbon fiber mast

Post by Ixneigh » Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:26 am

How much babying are these masts going to require beyond a standard aluminum stick? Some high tech thing that will be compromised at any little oopsie would be less interesting to me, to the point of admiring it on someone else's boat.
Ix

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RussMT
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Re: carbon fiber mast

Post by RussMT » Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:01 pm

Catigale wrote:[Thus it's 500-600 in materials and ergo the 2500-3000 price point.

The killer for a Mac would to make a sleeve and two piece mast in carbon fiber!
Umm...so about 10% of the cost of the boat? And we'd get what, .5% performance gain? If it were a J boat, maybe, but for Mac that sails like a barge as is, I think not.

What's an aluminum mast cost by comparison?

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dlandersson
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Re: carbon fiber mast

Post by dlandersson » Sun Nov 09, 2014 6:15 pm

I tend to agree - putting lipstick on a pig. Note that I am very fond of my pig. 8)
RussMT wrote:
Catigale wrote:[Thus it's 500-600 in materials and ergo the 2500-3000 price point.

The killer for a Mac would to make a sleeve and two piece mast in carbon fiber!
Umm...so about 10% of the cost of the boat? And we'd get what, .5% performance gain? If it were a J boat, maybe, but for Mac that sails like a barge as is, I think not.

What's an aluminum mast cost by comparison?

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Re: carbon fiber mast

Post by Hamin' X » Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:55 pm

I think that Mike's point was that aluminum masts are becoming very expensive to obtain and ship and that if he were to start production of a CF replacement, it might fill the need at a competitive price point.

~Rich

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RussMT
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Re: carbon fiber mast

Post by RussMT » Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:26 pm

Hamin' X wrote:I think that Mike's point was that aluminum masts are becoming very expensive to obtain and ship and that if he were to start production of a CF replacement, it might fill the need at a competitive price point.

~Rich
Matt needs to chime in because he's done this route and knows the prices.

What is the cost of aluminum and CF? If the cost is close, and I just bent my mast, it might be worth upgrading. But if it's twice the price, I wouldn't bother.

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Re: carbon fiber mast

Post by walt » Mon Nov 10, 2014 9:49 am

How about UV over time?

Since this was posted in the older Mac/Venture forum, I would be more interested in a AL rotating mast kit conversion for a D/S than a CF mast.

Making the boat and trailer lighter for towing.. Notice the number of people who add so much weight to the boat that they need to go to double axle trailers.. Im not sure that very light towing weight would mean much to the market.

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RobertB
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Re: carbon fiber mast

Post by RobertB » Mon Nov 10, 2014 10:27 am

walt wrote:Making the boat and trailer lighter for towing.. Notice the number of people who add so much weight to the boat that they need to go to double axle trailers.. Im not sure that very light towing weight would mean much to the market.
Just adding a cooler chest and full fuel tanks made mine need a second axle :o :o

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Re: carbon fiber mast

Post by Seapup » Mon Nov 10, 2014 10:40 am

Yes, that is the key to production. Two part mast w sleeve. Shipping would b available for $100, not $500 or much more.
What would be the ballpark of the mast shipped? IMO under 2k would be worth considering if I needed one, probably not 3k+. How much will the new aluminum ones be? When I replaced my mast I was lucky to find something locally, but I guess if you have to have one shipped you are in a pickle and will pay whatever it costs.

Much smaller but I use 2 piece carbon windsurfer masts that are 16-20' and appreciate the convenience of them. They are quite durable and the tip section slides right inside the base section, easy to store and move around. In 2 pieces they go right inside the mac. I have a jammed (now 1 piece) 17' mast stored on the side of the :macx: It stores perfect alongside the cabin above the rubrail from the rear stern railing to just in front of the stays. A two piece mac mast would probably fit about the same along side the boat if you wanted to leave it on the boat and out of the way. Would be convenient for those who want both a mastless motorboat and then have it ready to use as a sailboat.

Convenience for raising and lowering often would be the main advantage I see. I am guessing carbon would be light enough to easily raise by hand with no fuss, especially with hank on sails. I am with Russ on the performance difference as an advantage worth the money until there is some data on it. Personally I didn't notice a difference when I went with a heavier mast section similar to the M vs the lightweight X section I had. I may be backwards on my thinking, but the ballast low and mast above seem to tame the roll of the mac. Mastless or without ballast it rolls worse. So without 300 lbs below or less mast mass above how would rocking change? For basic healing what percent is the mastweight vs wind force?

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