PVC Sail Tubes

Thread starter #1
I’ve seen questions in a number of threads regarding spar transport tubes. I thought I’d pass on some info that might be useful.

Most people use the white SCH 40 PVC pipe. The 8” size has a wall thickness of .322 in and weighs about 5.5 #/ft. It’s good stuff, but, it’s heavy and expensive, costing about $150 per spar tube. You can buy a standard end cap plus an aluminum door and mounting hardware by Blaylock (model TCK-8) for about $100. This makes a really nice rig, but, it’s expensive and a bit heavy.

Not many people are aware of a less expensive option which is SDR 35 sewer pipe (SDR means standard diameter ratio). It’s also PVC and is usually lime green. The 8 in size has a wall thickness of .240” and weighs about 4 #/ft. It’s made either with two plain ends or with an internal gasket on one end. The gasketed type is more readily available however. The gasket end is enlarged a bit to allow a second tube to slide in and the gasket seals the joint. The tube more than strong enough and comes in 14 foot lengths, which is ideal for a spar tube. The price varies, but, it should be less than $40 for a 14-footer. You won’t find it at Home Depot or Lowe’s. You need to find a regular plumbing supply distributor.

If you put the plain end in front you can get a cap end fitting to close it for about $20. The caps come either plain (glue-on type) or with a gasket. It’s better to use the glue type as the gasket type is hard to install. For the gasketed end you can pry out the gasket and use a smooth plastic plug for the removable closure. You should cut the skirt off to about 1 or 1 ½ in. It also costs about $20. Attached are some pics showing a pipe and ends.

Alternately, you could plug the gasketed end and put it in the front. You would then obtain or make a removable or swinging closure for the plain end.
That's good info. I used 6" white pipe with the screw on end-cap. I spent about $50 for the whole setup at Home Depot. 8" would be more convenient, but if I wrap the sail tight around the booms it fits nicely.


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. . . if I wrap the sail tight around the booms it fits nicely.
Hmmm... not the best situation for the sail. Humping it over the gooseneck is going to make stretch points and eventually holes will develop. :(

For longevity it's best to roll the sail next to the spars. The looser you can roll and still fit your bag or tube the better, especially if the sail has a window.

How are people preventing mildew growth inside the tube... remove the end cap once they get home?
Actually the gooseneck is removed prior to putting them in so it's not an issue. Rolling it next to the booms is a good idea, thanks.
A note about 6" versus 8" tubes...

We can fit two or three sails and masts in a single 8" tube depending on how the sail is rolled. To fit the most equipment in the tube, we slide the gooseneck all the way forward and slide the sail off the upper spar. We leave the sail attached to the lower spar because the blocks complicate taking it off quickly. The sail is then rolled around the upper and lower spar together. It seems to do a good job of protecting and preserving the sail's shape.
I just finished making a sail/spar carrying tube using the green sewer pipe, it is 8 inches in diameter which easily accomodates the three spars, the sail (flaked on the spars) and the gooseneck fitting. I didn't notice any potential for the sail to chafe on the gooseneck fitting, as there is no contact with it as the sail is flaked not rolled around the spars and gooseneck. The only issue I had was with the length of the pipe, it comes in 3 meter lengths which means it is a few inches shy of the length of the spars. I happened to have an old nylon bag with a draw string that I secured over the flanged end of the pipe, It'll get road tested this weekend. The comments about weight are well founded, and as for mildew, the sail and spars are not going to be stored in the pipe.
We are "metric" and the only size for that pipe is 4 metres (13ft.). Who knows maybe a short section will show up somewhere that I can fit onto the main section.
Thread starter #11
Last fall I paid $83.78 for a 14’ tube, gasketed end cap (the glue cap is $5 cheaper), and plug. The 14’ tube was $38. I got the parts from Plumbers Supply Co. (www.plumberssupplyco.com) which is a distributor in southern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It’s hard to get prices on the internet because this type of product isn’t normally bought that way. You can roughly verify what prices should be at https://keithspecialty.com/dwv.gasketed_sewer_main.htm and http://www.stow.oh.us/Documents/Item6B-SewerMain.pdf. Keith Speciality shows a 13’ pipe, which was a common size in the past. Now 14’ is the norm in the U.S. and the price is about the same. Also, the prices shown are list and plumbing supply distributors often give a discount.

About three years ago I paid $29 for a 6” pipe that measures 14’. My newer 8” pipe is a 14’ laying length and the actual length is about 14’-4”.
The road test is over and the results are in. As Wayne had mentioned the goosneck did create a small hole in the sail, as did one of the cleats on the boom, fortunately both holes will be easy to repair with sail repair tape. The tight fitting gasketed end cap for the green sewer pipe also came off, this was caused by the spars essentially ramming it repeatedly. Generally the SF survived the 60 miles of incredibly rough logging road with nothing more than some minor chafing and lots of dust/mud. It was a good shake down for the re-rigged trailer.
The cap I have is not as deep and also has a rubber gasket which fits over the unflanged end of the pipe. I think the screws will still work, and I like your set up for the tie on cap. Thanks.