Carbon Spars

SFBayLaser said:
Hi Everyone,
Just like now, all upper sections will have the same characteristics, they will just be more flexible than their aluminum counterparts.
Tracy Usher
.....tracy--I can't BELEIVE you're saying that!--do you REALLY beleive that all laser spars are equal???You've sailed enough to know that there's quite a stiffness variable between batches and locations of build,,let alone variables of alloy quality!!

Price--you cannot compare the 'off the shelf' cost between an alloy pole,and composite.--You need to factor in the 'cost' of buying an aluminum 'dud' which is too stiff/soft,,,ar the 'cost' of an alloy topsection breaking and destroying your new sail!!,,,or the 'cost' of this happening in an important race.

Stiffness variables already exist....I'd suggest that the class and especially lightweight sailors would benefit from adopting a policy of accepting that wether it's alloy or composite,,,stiffness variables exist,and will persist!--If sailors acknowledge this FACT,,we could use technology to make a durable spar for once,,,and have the producers actually make various stiffness of spars available to sailors ,so that a lighter sailor can compete in a bit more windrange-this coming from a fat-guy!.....cheers!
well, the carbon top sections are being tested down here at the moment.

all reports say that the boat feels easier to sail and it certainly helps the lightweights to keep up in a breeze upwind.

one was broken in shipping to australia, 3 survived and none have broken since.

looks very promising
Murphs, where are they and who has them?

PS Is Adam French in Gosford and sailing Radials now? Didn't he go to the UK as the class director? Is he still there?


New Member
Just a quick update
ive arrived home from the NSW & ACT state titles where (adam french was) and they where loaning out 3 carbon top sections. One was give to a friend of mine (david Schmid) and from his reports the rig is amazing he loves the feeling (and this is coming from a heavy weight of the radial 75kgs!) the report was that it was mainly slow to excellorate but once it got going it was great, the rig atomatically bends when your full hiked and you start to heel more (acting like a atomatic sheeting device) it had great downwind speed as when the rig loaded up it bent forward and acted like pumping. Also once the rig got going upwind it had alot more height then normal radials. The weight difference between carbon and alluminium was minimal, you could barely notice it (personially i found no difference) the cost for one of these sections (from hear say around the boat park was) AUD 400-600. Well thats it pretty much any questions just ask.

PS sorry about the spelling im tired :p


New Member
just a quick addition this friend was also given the 1st cabon bottom section made to try! when he told me i was like WTF*(&Y^%*#@)(&#^ so ill get back to you with news about this asap!
Thanks for that Tom.

Jeez, I'm a bit worried if the carbon stick is that much faster. It gives us two choices; either get one and have an "unfair" advantage over the other 30 or so boats at my club ('cause lots of them won't upgrade) or don't get one and get an "unfair" disadvantage in regattas....actually we have three choices, we can have two top sections.

None of those choices really seems like the Laser way to me. Why can't they slow the topmast's reaction down to keep it all fair?

I'm a rarity, I don't like automatic rigs. My auto rigs sit in the shed 'cause they are BORING as far as I'm concerned. Where's the fun when you have less to do?


New Member
they arent that much faster, infact the people using them didnt finish in the top 10 i believe. Its mainly up to how the sailor uses it but it did seem faster
the only real time that the carbon tops are faster is in heavy breeze, where a lightweight can keep up better with a heavier sailor.

dont know where you got the carbon bottom section from unless someone made one, Adam was saying that carbon bottom sections are a long way off yet.

Chris - Yes, Adam is back at gosford every week, occaisionally beating us standard rigs when it blows as usual
so are they also planning a carbon lower section. If they are really that fast i fink ill have to invest in both cus i am a bit on the light side for the radial. does anyone kno when the top sections are going to become leggal.
Hi there on the otherside of the globe,
I have a question. How are the fittings (mast-connector for upper mastsection, vang-tang and gooseneck-fitting for under mastsection and Tube-End-Plugs for both mastsections) made to the c-mast-tubes (rivetted, screwed, glued)?

There is no carbon bottom sections!!!

terran - i think the carbon top sections will be in before the next olympics (just opinion)

Ludwig- the collar on the carbon top section is glued on
Hi Chris,
I belive in what you say with this c-bottom-section. SFBayLaser also wrote above somewhere, that a bottom c-section is not in design-process or so...
But why does "Tom" wrote that there is one in test in his reply: ???

Good winds Chris, Germany is catched by the winter in the moment... For going sailing we need to carry away all the much snow from the hulls first ;)
Fittings were glued onto the section so not to hinder its bend characteristics. They are done this way to the mast can flex in all directions without risking braking.
The section took a lot of getting used to however once i had got used to the section i found that....
1. In light air- Lots of pace and height
- Sailing in dirty air was made easier

2. In Moderate air- Height gains were most noticeable in choppy conditions in which the rig could start flicking and pumping the leech naturally. The rig in moderate conditions took a lot more getting used to as the vang and cunno are used very little due to the bend characteristics of the mast so most depowering or powering was done with the foot.

3. I found that i was spending far too much time trying to set up the mast rather than sailing the boat fast. However, once the boat was setup, it was noticeably faster.

I firmly believe these sections should not be allowed due to the fact there is a distinct advantage gained from these masts. Even for a heavier sailor...Myself being 76 kilos at the time of use.... The breeze ranged from 5-15kts

I hope this helped you all.
Thanks for that Schmidty. And thanks VERY much for supporting the OD concept.

The other thing that worries me is that there is an inference that the carbon masts are more uniform in stiffness.....yet there is also a perception in some areas that Mistral carbon masts vary a lot.

I think it's BS from what I can see (I haven't really gone into detail, but I do buy secondhand gear off the Olympians) but the interesting thing is that the perception that there are fast spars and slow spars has not gone away in the move to carbon.
After speaking to Adam French, he insured me that the tollerance in weight would be significantly smaller than the alloy.
I cant be sure wether this will be true or not as i used the one section for the whole regatta however he was keen to make sure the tollerance was closer.
Has this product been tested on people of the advertised weight range (55-70 kilos)? I thought the idea for the mast was to allow lighter weights the ability to compete over 15 knots. If it levels up the playing field in all conditions whether you be heavy or light and and as such can bring more competitors to our sport (and is an indestructable as decribed and therfore more cost effective in the long term) I would have to say that a carbon mast sounds like a good thing.

In a ten month span I had 3 top sections break. That was three top sections and three sails down the drain (in the above link is a thread about the "one design" laser class). A carbon top section could not possibbly cost that much, so I supported the idea; however, my oppion has recently changed. While at the 04 radial worlds I brought back 2 sets of spars. Unlike my experiences with the north American spars, the Aus spars don't bend. All of mine are straight, and I use them, not only in regattas but also in practice, in up to 22 knots. As opposed to three top section in ten months, I am still on one. These spars are not made the same as the North American spars. I have asked people pull the cunningham on in my boat, and everyone has said it is harder. So with the differences in spar stiffness the laser is not showing its "one design" qualities. If all mast sections were made like the ones I brought back from Aus, I would not support carbon top sections. But since that is not the case as the laser does not appear to be a one design class, I would support the carbon if they had the same bend characteristics in every mast. If I was in charge and had the authority to make decisions, I would have the Aus builder make all the spars for all regions and allow carbon tops for radial sailors because it should allow a wider wieght range.

note: NA laser sailors have brought back spars from Aus and sailcoach (based in Europe) has Aus top sections for sale. There is no denying that the Aus top sections (if not all spars) are stiffer.