freight on the 10 ft aluminum tube is the killer...
A metal supplier gets truckloads of long material every week. Stuffing a length of tube on the truck won't add significantly (if at all) to the shipping for that week's load.
what kind of aluminum should I order. I found on one of the forums that I need to use 6063 anodized aluminum 2.25" OD, 0.065 thickness, gauge 16. I have not been able to find any aluminum supplier in FL that sells it and when I go online the cost is prohibitive ($150 shipping for a $30 piece of tubing)
Two years ago, a friend bought two 20-footers in Rhode Island—or maybe it was Massachusetts—had them cut into four masts, and drove up on another mission to deliver them to me. I still have the three new ones, and have since sleeved the old one, which had "folded" on me in a storm.
I list them on a New Hampshire forum for the best price the prospective buyer can gather from the Internet, and don't charge for freight. (They are to drive here, and pick them up). No sales as yet, but aluminum prices aren't going down.
This PVC pipe is a rigid container that will protect your fragile extrusions while in transit. We have found that long thin items have a very high rate of damage in transit when shipped in cardboard tubes or boxes via UPS, FedEx or USPS. If shipped by motor freight, the same items usually arrive safely but require a shipping charge of approximately $100. To avoid both excessive damage and extremely high shipping charges, we are requiring all 6-foot and 8-foot extrusions be shipped in long PVC tubes.
I'm in central New Hampshire. If you can wait until October, I can personally drive a ten-footer down through Florida's Route 27, in Central Florida. In the meantime, check on 1700 miles of "freight". This may be too much money for you; surely, there are local Florida metal suppliers with this in stock. You may have to buy two—or pay a surcharge for one 10-footer.
Come to think of it, my "sleeved" mast repair-job can come apart for shipping—not "freight". (Unless I cut a few inches off the longer piece, it'd still be a little over 8-feet long).
Now that I know that a broken mast can be satisfactorily repaired, I'm curious—was this Sunfish mast lost through theft, damage, a "sailing misadventure" or something else?