Sunfish Spars - Dimensions & treating

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by flasuns, Aug 6, 2006.

  1. flasuns

    flasuns New Member

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    I had the unfortunate experience of breaking upper (gaff) & lower (boom) spars and bending the mast in a "sunfish in the surf" expedition... I believe that I can buy stock aluminum tubing but wanted to confirm the dimensions.

    My measurements suggest both the sail spars are 1 1/2" outer diameter by 13'4" aluminum tubing with .065 wall width.

    My measurements for the mast are 2 1/4" diameter by 10' with the same .065 wall width.

    All seem to be clear annodized...

    ===> Can anyone confirm these dimensions?
    ===> Has anyone gone without annodized Aluminum or used a different coating"
    ===> What does the annodizing do?
     
  2. DanB

    DanB Crabber

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    Anodizing is an acid treatment that seals the outer surface of aluminum. Clear anodizing is common place on the aircraft grade aluminum you will need. Untreated aluminum rubs off black on everything like your hands and sails. The black stains like marking pen ink.

    Anodizing can be done in colors. It’s a custom process to special order. The cost of adding color can be steep unless the processor is running a batch and can add your job to defray cost. Powder coating might be an option. It’s a polymer like a tough paint that is melted on the metal. Less cost than colored anodizing more than clear stock.
     
  3. flasuns

    flasuns New Member

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    Thanks for the reply and the info!

    The problem with annodizing is that no one has tanks long enough for the spars...
     
  4. DanB

    DanB Crabber

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    Depends on where you are. Small shops do not stock variety. They can order colors in from the bulk supplier. You pay the cut length small order charges. Any aluminum supplier that handles real aircraft tubing will have clear as a standard shelf item. Find a local aircraft maintenance shop at your nearest small craft airport. They should be able to point you to a supplier.
     
  5. Kevin Pierce

    Kevin Pierce New Member

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    I'd be curious to see how the building/fabricating solution compared financially to scouting out a beaten boat and tattered sail that had a good set of spars attached...

    Kevin
     
  6. DanB

    DanB Crabber

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    It has come up before in this group and elsewhere. Conversations like this nearly always end concluding new or used OEM spars cost less in money and effort. Sounds simple until you figure in the transport of oversize items easily damaged in transit and the cloud of mystery surrounding the exact aluminum grade and temper.
     
  7. DanB

    DanB Crabber

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    On Ebay right now (8-8-06) Item number: 180015475070
     
  8. flasuns

    flasuns New Member

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    Quite possibly true - if 7075 grade aluminum (aircraft) is truly needed over 6061 grade - and finding a finisher with vats to handle the boom and gaff lengths is an issue - it certainly is conceivable that the OEM route is the safest AND the easiest - thanks for your thoughts and replies...:)
     
  9. flasuns

    flasuns New Member

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    Agreed- this is why I was wondering if anyone could confirm the aluminum grade, specifications, etc... :confused:
     
  10. Al Court

    Al Court Al Court

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    Why not find some scrap boom/spar tubing and fabricate an internal sleeve as I have done. Cost is minimal / effort is great. Results in a spar that will probably never break / bend!
     

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