Maintenance question: Masts

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zzholt
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Maintenance question: Masts

Hi Folks - figured I'd seek any thoughts/experience here on a question.

So I've got this older carbon mast (%content not fully known) that I'm perfectly happy with and is one of my two most-used masts. But as you can see in the photo (I hope), the resin is pretty worn around the boom area from years of use leaving the underlying fibers appearing exposed and 'dry'. Is there any sense or hope in re-applying some fresh epoxy to this area to extend it's life? Or would I just be risking more troubles than its worth?

thanks in advance for any simple thoughts (any complex ones might go beyond me Lol ... but I'll try to follow if anyone really wants to expound on some things Yes 3 )

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Re: Maintenance question: Masts

That's layers of glass added to strengthen the boom section. Back in the day, the design of clamp on booms wasn't very elegant and it was not uncommon for people to crush their mast. As well, the clamps were somewhat minimal so it was easier to exert undue stresses through the boom (twisting, etc). That's why, in the old days, there were "mast protectors", plastic and metal sleeves to prevent the clamps from point loading the mast.

Is that an old Fiberspar or NP? Seemed to remember a number of Fiberspars looking like that and the Prydes that I think were rebadged Fiberspars. Old Powerex had the interlocking weave and just tended to break. Biggrin

That re-enforcement is still there on modern masts. Modern masts usually have a protective clear coat (I speculate polyurethane) to reduce scratching and camber wear. Older masts were pretty bear. You can recoat the mast with clear coat or epoxy. It's harder to get a nice even epoxy coat and it will yellow without some UV stabilizer.

Or, you could just get a newer mast since it's likely to be much higher in carbon content or even look at a skinny (RDM) if you are cam less. Most older masts were rarely over 40-50% carbon and some were as low as 20% carbon - just black enough to charge extra but not be that much different that an epoxy mast. If you have a high content older mast - there were some - yeah, clearcoat is the way to go if it's still working for you. If it's 40% or less, clearcoat but maybe think about a 60-80% on sale or high quality used.

Edit: it seemed everyone used to have a few of these in their tool box. I think I just chucked one away the other day. I haven't used one in twenty years.

Edit edit: below the mast protector is the original style Chinook boom head. All that went around the mast were just two 4mm lines which were great for point loading last century carbon fiber layups.

Edit edit edit: I tried doing a coat of epoxy one time which is why I'd suggest clearcoat. It sort of worked but looked like crap. I think Ed or Clayton are burdened with that otherwise nice mast.

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moredownhaul
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Re: Maintenance question: Masts

“Hope for the best but prepare for the worst”

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Re: Maintenance question: Masts

I seem to recall masts usually break at or a little bit above the boom connection. Is that what others recall? If so, you don't have to worry about the below the boom area that much, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.

What happens in a black hole stays in a black hole.

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Marek
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Re: Maintenance question: Masts

I did a variation of the broken mast self rescue a long time ago...90’s. Not quite self rescue as I had a buddy in the water helping me do the re-rig and a second friend hanging on to the other rigs. With the chop and wind this would have been impossible by myself. From what I recall I was on a 5.7 sail, so not even a super windy day.
My advice is to do everything you can to prevent a possible breakdown....buy a new mast and replace universals and ropes every few years, and make sure your boom is in good shape. When you break down 1/2 mile off shore you will wish you did that.

Marek

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Re: Maintenance question: Masts

Quick update from the Gorge.
Winds less frequent now but still good number of fun days on the water. Yesterday supper windy at Arlington (70 miles east of Hood River)
Sophie on 2.5, me on 3.4 both on the overpowered side. Fun day.
I’ve had around 80 days on the water this season with 4.7 the largest sail used. Some days just a quick 1-2 hours after work and other longer days of 3-5 hours.

Marek

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Re: Maintenance question: Masts
Marek wrote:

...My advice is to do everything you can to prevent a possible breakdown....buy a new mast and replace universals and ropes every few years, and make sure your boom is in good shape. When you break down 1/2 mile off shore you will wish you did that.

This isn't intended for zzholt - it's a really good question he's asking. Most of us (myself included) have ventured out with dodgy gear at least once. When crap goes bad in the water, it's amazing how much you'd be willing to pay not be there. $20? Sure, $50? Easily. $100? Beats swimming in cold water for the next hour and a half as the sun is setting and the temps are in the 50s.Then you get to the real bargaining where making it in means having to abandoning your $1000-1500 rig because something stupid like your broke your tendon and forgot to see if the safety rope was tied properly. And, no, those cute videos of you rolling up all your gear and paddling home don't work that well when it's 25 and two foot chop.

There's saving money and there's not spending what it takes to keep you safe.

Marek, sounds like a great summer. My (other) Portland friend was in town the other day and said, other than the smoke, the summer has been pretty nice. Thanks for checking in and sharing the update!

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Re: Maintenance question: Masts

Thanks, all. Good things to consider. I might try some sort of clear coat.... and keep this one for warm weather use... with company (whose car keys I hold) Yes 3

As for what kind it is, webguy.... I have no idea. Just dug it out of the shed to re-check the little bit of info still printed on it...and it’s even less than I realized. (You see any clues in this decal?).

Hope you all faired well through all the rain ~

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Re: Maintenance question: Masts
webguy wrote:
Marek wrote:

...My advice is to do everything you can to prevent a possible breakdown....buy a new mast and replace universals and ropes every few years, and make sure your boom is in good shape. When you break down 1/2 mile off shore you will wish you did that.

This isn't intended for zzholt - it's a really good question he's asking. Most of us (myself included) have ventured out with dodgy gear at least once. When crap goes bad in the water, it's amazing how much you'd be willing to pay not be there. $20? Sure, $50? Easily. $100? Beats swimming in cold water for the next hour and a half as the sun is setting and the temps are in the 50s.Then you get to the real bargaining where making it in means having to abandoning your $1000-1500 rig because something stupid like your broke your tendon and forgot to see if the safety rope was tied properly. And, no, those cute videos of you rolling up all your gear and paddling home don't work that well when it's 25 and two foot chop.

There's saving money and there's not spending what it takes to keep you safe.

Marek, sounds like a great summer. My (other) Portland friend was in town the other day and said, other than the smoke, the summer has been pretty nice. Thanks for checking in and sharing the update!

One point worth considering - the best masts I've owned were the ones that broke - the 75%, 90% and 100% carbon ones. I don't think i ever broke one of the cheap 30 or 40% masts. Now, with skinny masts it may not be as much of an issue, but I wouldn't know because I bought the ones on the low end of the food chain.

What happens in a black hole stays in a black hole.

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webguy
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Re: Maintenance question: Masts

Randy, you are correct that in SDM world, high content (80-100%) carbon masts are more fragile. In RDM world, the thicker walls mean you can use high content carbon in pretty brutal conditions without worry - as long as you aren't abusing them on shore. With current manufacturing techniques, 50-70% SDMs are reasonably robust without weighing or costing a lot.

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Re: Maintenance question: Masts
zzholt wrote:

As for what kind it is, webguy.... I have no idea. Just dug it out of the shed to re-check the little bit of info still printed on it...and it’s even less than I realized. (You see any clues in this decal?).

Hope you all faired well through all the rain ~

Is it as blue as the photo looks? That suspiciously looks like epoxy/glass.

We got about three inches of the wet stuff which found its way into the basement. Looked pretty nasty up country too.

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Re: Maintenance question: Masts
webguy wrote:

Is it as blue as the photo looks? That suspiciously looks like epoxy/glass.

The camera accentuates the color slightly, but essentially, yes - it is that blue.

Mast came (cheaply) from an older gentleman a few years ago unloading all his older gear (90s stuff, to my novice eye), so don’t think I should be surprised if strictly epoxy/glass construction. (For durability/longevity’s sake, perhaps I should be glad?). I had thought he told me it had carbon content, and it does strike me as reasonably light.... but I’m sure it’s becoming clearer all the time how little I really know. Dash 1

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Re: Maintenance question: Masts

I think I've gotten a few things off of him. Nice dude. Wink

IMAGE(<a href="https://windsportatlanta.com/sites/default/files/used-car-salesman-560x407_0.jpg" rel="nofollow">https://windsportatlanta.com/sites/default/files/used-car-salesman-560x407_0.jpg</a>)

--- The Arrogant Jerk: Crabby and irritable since 1998.

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Re: Maintena cc nce question: Masts

Breakdowns with mast breakage can be more expensive than just the mast. Both times my experiences caused the sleaves to tear
Thanks, to those who helped me get back to shore

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Re: Maintenance question: Masts
zzholt wrote:
webguy wrote:

Is it as blue as the photo looks? That suspiciously looks like epoxy/glass.

The camera accentuates the color slightly, but essentially, yes - it is that blue.

Mast came (cheaply) from an older gentleman a few years ago unloading all his older gear (90s stuff, to my novice eye), so don’t think I should be surprised if strictly epoxy/glass construction. (For durability/longevity’s sake, perhaps I should be glad?). I had thought he told me it had carbon content, and it does strike me as reasonably light.... but I’m sure it’s becoming clearer all the time how little I really know. Dash 1

Eh, ignore the wiseguys. Biggrin Well, it's served you well. Maybe time to save a few nickels and upgrade. Something at least 40% will liven up your sails and set up your quiver as you move forward. Shoot for 60% if you can - that's where it starts to get good. You are certainly a capable enough windsurfer to benefit from a lighter and more responsive rig. There could be a bit of carbon in there but, generally, they will color anything with a smidge of carbon black at least to make you feel better - including those 20% carbon masts I owned. Chinook's all glass masts are colored black for pretty much the same reason- so you look like everyone else.

Also, think going forward if you want to go RDM or SDM. SDM is better, imho, 6.5 and up and with cams. Below 6, RDM all the way. My 7.0 Cheetah (no cam) is great on an RDM.

IMAGE(<a href="https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/2130/4753/products/m400-2019_300x.jpg?v=1551290786" rel="nofollow">https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/2130/4753/products/m400-2019_300x.jpg?v=1551290786</a>)

Isthmus has a house brand that's usually pretty cheap. Made in Italy like a lot of other masts.

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Re: Maintenance question: Masts

ROFL
funny. But just in fairness to him.....my memory IS fuzzy Blush (and it WAS cheap Biggrin )

(BTW....can I submit this thread as my entry for free registration in the Fall Classic!!!?? Mail 1 or am I blackballed now Lol )

(But seriously...still not sure if I can make it, so spend those free entries on sure bets.) Thanks, all!!!!

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webguy
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Re: Maintenance question: Masts

460 55% masts on sail at Maui Sails (about the only thing they have in stock right now) $261 with supposed free shipping.
https://www.mauisails.com/shop#masts

Curtis Sport Connection (the Curtis of Curtis Fins) has a 60% 460 rdm on the Flea for just over 300 with shipping

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Chinook-Windsurfing-460-RDM-Mast-60-Carbon-New/143622965056

Chinook has 460 40% for 293 shipped. https://chinooksailing.com/collections/masts-carbon/products/40-carbon-sdm?variant=46951990410
and 460 rdms for about the same price as Curtis

The shops in the Gorge will start putting rental gear up for sale shortly.

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Re: Maintenance question: Masts

Wow! Thanks, William! (I may browse, but will likely punt on this need ‘til next spring)

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Marek
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Re: Maintenance question: Masts

William, you expressed my thoughts better than I did. In short, how much would you have been willing to spend for that new mast after the old one breaks and you are in a bad situation. That’s why I wouldn’t attempt to patch up an old mast, unless it’s just for messing around on nice day near the shore...like if you are teaching your dog Rex to uphaul a sail. .
BTW, the mast break that I was talking about was on a North 460 Heavy Duty fiberglass mast, marketed as “unbreakable”.
In any case, those are good deals on new masts that you found.

BTW, there were no rentals in the Gorge this summer due to Covid, so used equipment sales will be limited. Windance picked up a lot of used gear from Baja in early summer and they have sold off most of it. Prices on used equipment have actually gone up this year, probably due to lack of rental options. Some people travelled to the Gorge not realizing that rentals are not available, so a lot of them just bought From consignment.

PS. another 3.4 day yesterday evening. Hardly anyone on the water!

Marek

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