Why Are These Mast Lower Sections Bent?

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by andyatos, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. andyatos

    andyatos Active Member

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    My brother bought a Laser a couple of years ago that he now wants to sell, having never sailed it. I'm here in Maine checking out his kit and discovered something.

    He's got a standard sized sail and standard sized lower mast (112 inches). He's also got a radial sail and radial sized lower mast (89 inches). But I discovered that not only does his standard sized lower mast section have a bend in it but so does the radial sized lower mast section. The radial lower mast section in produced as a straight spar, correct?

    Both of the bends in these lower mast sections are gradual, ie, not a kink and not like the sharper pre bend that is built into the 4.7 lower mast section. So, I can't help but wonder if the bend in both of these masts are intentional.

    Below is a photo with both lower sections together. The radial on the left and the standard on the right. What do you guys think? Does this happen from normal use? Or do you think these bends were created intentionally? Or... if both of these masts had been on the boat when it turtled and the mast got firmly stuck in the mud, could the bends have occurred then?

    Thanks,

    - Andy

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
  2. LaLi

    LaLi Active Member

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    Interesting. (First of all you're right, Radial bottom sections are not pre-bent.) Applying a ruler to the picture, it looks like those two masts have been bent very differently: there actually is a kink in the Radial spar roughly (but not exactly) where the inner sleeve ends, about halfway between the gooseneck and the top, elsewhere it's straight. The Standard has an even curve, with the top metre or so straight or nearly so.

    How they got to be that way is a mystery. Shouldn't happen by sheet/vang tension alone, and hitting the bottom is more likely to produce a sideways bend. And if it's intentional, the mystery switches from "how" to "why".

    Are the topmasts straight?
     
  3. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    The 4.7 bottom mast section has a bend to it, but this one doesn't look right for that. Standard bottom sections can get bent if you have your rig up while on land in super windy conditions. This happened to me once when getting ready to launch and a massive gust came through while the boat was on it's trailer. Needless to say that's hard on the sail as well!
     
  4. andyatos

    andyatos Active Member

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    There's just one and it has the more standard/common bend right where the top mast exits the lower mast. But it's a pretty significant bend... much like the sharp corner of the pre bent 4.7 lower mast.

    Weird how both the standard and the radial both have bends but also how those bends are in different places.

    - Andy
     
  5. LaLi

    LaLi Active Member

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    Well, they have different weak points after all. The deformation in the Radial mast is concentrated near the end of the reinforcement tube, while it's more spread out in the Standard. There's a very tiny kink just above the gooseneck in the latter, which also makes sense.

    If I were to sell these, I'd at least try to straighten them first. This is the classic how-to: Spar Straightening
    (He's quite pessimistic about bottom sections, but you might as well try if they get straighter, too, in the process. At least you'll get a straight topmast.)
     
  6. Just A Mom

    Just A Mom Member

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    Did you buy this Laser used? I ask because my son sails with a team and they train in a smaller lake and there are portions of it where, if they turtle, their masts will hit the bottom. It is not unusual for the sailors who are unfamiliar with the lake to find themselves with bent mast pieces.

    Yep! My son's team also always rigs on shore. We have seen the bending a lot.
     

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