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TOPIC: Carbon Mast Discussion

Carbon Mast Discussion 10 years 9 months ago #343

  • tylerwmoore
  • tylerwmoore's Avatar
Over the past 2 years, I have been attempting to prod the Executive Committee into taking action to ascertain the facts about carbon masts and inform us members about what the costs would be and what would be the best plan of action before we actually have to have another vote. Many other classes have already switched to carbon and I’ve found that they have plenty to say. What follows is what I have found out with my limited resources.

1.) Carbon masts can easily be cheaper than what we are currently paying for aluminum. There are several sections out there today that are cheaper and they are 2 section masts. What’s not to like about that? I’m sure everyone can see the benefit from 2 sections. The shipping would be easier and cheaper as we could use 20ft containers. The spare rig could probably consist of just a top section instead of having to have a complete mast with you all the time. A single source supplier would push the price even lower.

2.) There need to be strict restrictions. Many one-design classes had growing pains when they switched to carbon. This was due to having loose rules and multiple suppliers. An arms race ensued as people searched for the fastest section. However, once the fast section was found, the masts became effectively one-design again and generally ended up with one supplier. This is very similar to our own history when we switched to the long-luff spinnaker. Now the overwhelming majority of us are sailing with M2’s. So why not skip arms race and just choose a single supplier.

The most successful transitions with regard to fleet size, occur when the class chooses a single supplier and does not allow modifications to the rig like sanding or gluing stiffeners. Everyone has the same section. We could allow the same freedom with regard to rigging and be better off with a superior mast at a lower price.

Currently, there is a huge spread in the bend differences between M2’s. We could and should tighten this up with a carbon mast.

I would suggest the Executive Committee request bids from all carbon mast suppliers for a round, 2-piece section. The winner would become the sole supplier for a term of 3-5 years. Mast price should be locked in for the term of the contract. Class to have the power to cancel the contract if he doesn’t live up to providing supply, quality, or consistent bend measurements.

It would be beneficial to everyone if the Executive Committee would post all the bids on the website 2 weeks or a month before La Rochelle. We could all review them and then show up at the AGM ready to have a meaningful discussion about whether we want to adopt carbon masts and if so, then choose a supplier.
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Re:Carbon Mast Discussion 10 years 9 months ago #344

  • tom.janidlo
  • tom.janidlo's Avatar

Not sure I agree 100% with the sole source mast contracts...Using that logic we should do the same with sails and save money. That said I would certainly support a reasonable transition plan to prevent the arms race along the lines you are proposing ( bid for transiton volume and first few years of sales with single company). Once the transition has happened the class could then reopen the arm race with limited development within the new "specs" by any company ( with the hassle of another thing to meaure....) or full blown arms race.

Who can I email to help get this on the radar?

I am running out of places to put lead in the boat...
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Re:Carbon Mast Discussion 10 years 9 months ago #348

  • Holger Jess
  • Holger Jess's Avatar
I agree with Tyler that the only way to go carbon in near future and not to split the class is by going the way of OneDesign mast and make a deal with 1 supplier for say first 100 masts and a certain price an spec. and disallow alterations and modifications as only top teams with the right technical knowhow would use that to their advantage and it should be a round tube with glued on track as anything else would work out too expensive.
But off course different systems / details need to be allowed as some boats have fixed forestays and others have halyards, most have high trapezes and twinner system while a few have other systems.

But I disagree with what Tyler points out at pricing, as still a carbon mast even with a OneDesign spec. and a good number for 2 or 3 years will certainly be about twice the price of an alloy mast.
Another problem here in GER is that many insurance companies stop taking boats with carbon masts.
We see very few alloy masts damagages here over last years and 2009 Worlds in SF were very verty extreme conditions plus too shallow water so no wonder that many damages happened.
I see a tricky point technically that few teams are able to handle carbon mast properly when working on new mast and rigg it and make it suit their boat as putting systems and fittings on is not a easy and simple as done on alloy mast.
Less problem here in GER as we more or less act as service station for the whole class here, but most other nations dont have that and many still fiddle around on their boats themself.

So I suggest to stay with alloy mast maybe for another few years,
but better look into future and small upgrades and keep class busy by using the jib / foresail triangle to max size and all way up to jib box and adding a second full batten in mainsail and allow an extra approx. 150mm of roach on main at the top 2 battens
Sail plan upgrade will not split class as much as carbon mast as top teams buy new sails every year anyway and the other teams have option to get secondhand sails the next year
We had large spis introduced within 1 season in 2002 and with making the sailplan a bit more modern and more effeciant we would have smart move forward and it now already is 10 years ago with last change since large spi came.
And as class has always progressed carefully but steady to stay at top level it maybe is time now to think about that and progress/ stay modern enough and make sure that class remains in the position being the dinghy class with the highest level of the classes behind the olympic classes.

Look forward to good discussion at Worlds
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Re:Carbon Mast Discussion 10 years 9 months ago #351

  • crazy
  • crazy's Avatar
Interesting reading thanks guys. I'm all for the carbon mast as soon as possible and I'm at the back of the fleet. I race Contenders as well and much prefer the carbon mast over the alloy. We all realise we will be using carbon soon, so why not start sooner than later.It will be like Granny dying, we'll get over it! This is a big change and I thought there would be a lot more discussion on the matter. P.S. I'll still have an alloy boom at Hammo!!
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Re:Carbon Mast Discussion 10 years 8 months ago #353

  • 8855
  • 8855's Avatar
still not an issue.- not cheaper on any quotes Ive seen. only advantage is containers which is a good idea, however --!!!

time better spent getting rid of gybing boards, and lifting/movable pins, save boat work time and spend it on the water sailing.

just fair up all existing boards to parallel sides.

no difference as everyone has them, but will take out another silly complex system to install, manage, etc etc.
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