Mast reinforcement sleeve

Thread starter #1
Any suggestions for an alternate easy and cheaper way to reinforce an older mast? I've used the reinforcement supplied by LaserPerformance in the past, but I believe it's $43 plus $9 shipping. Also, I'm not crazy about putting dissimilar metals (like a 2" cast iron pipe) epoxied in the mast due to potential galvanic (?) corrosion and weight. Thanks in advance, and Happy New Year!
 

Alan Glos

Active Member
#2
Unless you (a) sail regularly in very heavy wind (b) weigh well over 200 lbs and stress the rig with agressive hiking or (c) have an old mast with heavy wear and oxidation/pin holes, I don't think the mast reinforcement is necessary. That said, you are correct that using dissimilar metals is an invitation to disaster especially if you sail in salt water. You can often get a used mast for about $50 - $60 (I have several for sale) so shop around for a spare mast, sail the old one until it dies or looks about to die and then replace the first mast with the back-up.

Another thought. Can you find a thick walled PVC pipe that will fit snugly inside the Sunfish mast? If so, insert about two feet of same inside the bottom of the Sunfish mast and see if that will work for you. If the outside diameter is a little too large for the inside diameter of the mast, see if you can find somebody with a lathe where you can pare the PVC tube down to the proper size. It won't be as good as the factory retrofit, but it should help without adding much weight or the aforementioned galvanic corrosion problems.

Happy New Year - think May.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#3
Any suggestions for an alternate easy and cheaper way to reinforce an older mast? I've used the reinforcement supplied by LaserPerformance in the past, but I believe it's $43 plus $9 shipping. Also, I'm not crazy about putting dissimilar metals (like a 2" cast iron pipe) epoxied in the mast due to potential galvanic corrosion and weight.
Galvanism would be a problem if your mast were to be repeatedly immersed. My mast, which snapped off, was to be repaired with a new and perfect-fitting exhaust pipe "discard". (At no cost). This week, however, I was donated a Walker 8 sailing dinghy with no sailing equipment, so I could use my kayak sailing rig—with only 45-sq' of sail. The longer part of my broken mast might just provide that mast!

One major expense with the full-length mast is the cost of "freight". :confused:
 
#4
Unless you (a) sail regularly in very heavy wind (b) weigh well over 200 lbs and stress the rig with agressive hiking or (c) have an old mast with heavy wear and oxidation/pin holes, I don't think the mast reinforcement is necessary. That said, you are correct that using dissimilar metals is an invitation to disaster especially if you sail in salt water. You can often get a used mast for about $50 - $60 (I have several for sale) so shop around for a spare mast, sail the old one until it dies or looks about to die and then replace the first mast with the back-up.

Another thought. Can you find a thick walled PVC pipe that will fit snugly inside the Sunfish mast? If so, insert about two feet of same inside the bottom of the Sunfish mast and see if that will work for you. If the outside diameter is a little too large for the inside diameter of the mast, see if you can find somebody with a lathe where you can pare the PVC tube down to the proper size. It won't be as good as the factory retrofit, but it should help without adding much weight or the aforementioned galvanic corrosion problems.

Happy New Year - think May.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY

i know this thred is old and you might not even see it, but i was wondering if you knew a way of strengthing a mast to withstand Laser sail abuse
-thanks if you see this
 

Ghost Rider

Planing into eternity...
#8
Well, old thread or not, I once repaired the snapped lower mast section on a Laser by inserting an aluminum tube inside, then sliding an aluminum tube over the break on the outside. Was gonna have it welded, but the boatyard welder was too honest, he told me the aluminum would be annealed and the weld wouldn't be worth the money. He's actually the one who suggested the insert/wrap using aluminum tubing. I took the broken foot or base of the mast to Handy Metal Mart in National City, where I used the broken section to size aluminum tubing... found the perfect fit for the insert (used 2-part epoxy to glue it into place), but the outer "sleeve" was just a tiny bit too large in diameter, so I wound up slipping some trimmed sheet aluminum between the mast and sleeve, epoxying the whole shebang as I proceeded. Had to tap the sheet aluminum into place with a hammer, but the repair was bulletproof, though a few pounds of weight were added to the spar. :confused:

Now, considering your question and the means of using preventive measures to KEEP the spar from snapping, well, I'm not sure whether an insert would be such a good idea, since it might actually force your mast to snap. I only used an insert AFTER THE FACT to provide maximum strength for the break, and I used the insert in conjunction with an outer sleeve, aye? Worked like gangbusters, we sailed that boat for years afterward in heller breeze exceeding 20 knots, no worries. If you have more money than God, I might suggest a cylindrical carbon fiber insert for the mast, and an outer sleeve of aluminum to bolster strength even further... all this would be in or around the base of the mast (above the deck for the outer sleeve), as that lower section of the mast is the most likely to snap. The break in my Laser mast occurred roughly one foot above the deck: too much power from the rig above, and the mast step gripping the spar like a suitcase full o' money, LOL. :eek:

Due to the leverage in such situations, I reckon that lower section of the mast is the most likely to give way, it's pure physics and nothing more... same way other items can be snapped or torn apart using leverage. But we DID repair that sort of break in a way that provided years of use afterward. Maybe a PVC pipe or sleeve could be used to bolster the strength of your mast, something with a little give to it, ya know? The "bendymast" of a Laser is meant to do just that, BEND, but the Laser mast sections are not the same as what YOU have, or what I had aboard my Minifish. That truncated mast aboard the Minifish never gave me any problems, I'll say that much. Wavedancer mentioned a sleeve, perhaps you could size up some PVC pipe and make a "nautical ghetto sleeve" which would add the strength you want while sailing with a Laser main, AYE??? Just a thought, a yard or less of PVC sleeve above the deck might be all you need to prevent snapping of the spar. :rolleyes:

P.S. Might have been "Handi-MetalMart" in that bayside ghetto known as National City, been so long I can't remember, and it's no great secret anymore that I suffer from an advanced case of CRS, LOL. ;)
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#9
i mean reinforcing the mast so it won't snap when sailing with a laser sail
Well your first issue is your will need to install a Laser gooseneck on the Sunfish mast. How hard will that be? I am not familiar with how Laser goosenecks are installed in the first place.

Then where do you think the Sunfish mast will snap??? You might be better off putting your rig together, sailing it, then see what needs to be done to make it work better.

A Sunfish mast is a smaller diameter, so it’s going to bend more. Also, you should look at the center of effort of a Laser sail and see how it’ll line up with the Sunfish daggerboard. If it isn’t directly above it your setup isn’t going to work too well.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#10
BTW, I think this is a fun project - I am just suggesting you do some checking with the center of effort to be sure that it should work before you do all the work to make it happen!
 
#12
to make sure this whole thing could work i was going to uses those bands that you scew to make tighter to faster the vang and gooseneck.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#14
Former use appeared lower on the mast from the previous owner—a racer. (Lower than my usage by a couple of inches).

The extreme wind had likely lifted the gooseneck many inches higher—I wasn't taking notes! :eek:

.
 
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