Aluminum mast

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  • 30 Apr 2019 05:07
    Reply # 7310853 on 7309942

    Hi John,

    if you Google flag pole manufacturers and look at their hurricane rated poles these will serve well as a mast. Most of the manufacturers are in the east  and south of the USA so transport is the big cost. There are also manufacturers in China that can be accessed through Alibaba, they will build a custom section to your specs and their prices are very competitive, however transport effectively doubles the cost here in New Zealand, it may be less in Canada, possibly worth a bit of investigation. 

    My previous boat, Arcadian, had fiberglass masts that were not tapered and these performed well although they did not look as elegant as tapered masts. The layup thickness reduced from about an inch at the partners to about a quarter of an inch at the top, so there was a slight amount of taper on a ten inch internal diameter mast. The mast I have built for my present boat, Gypsy Rose, is a six inch diameter aluminium section with a tapered solid wood topmast. This was relatively easy to make and looks reasonably elegant, so is, I think, a good compromise.

    All the best, David.

  • 30 Apr 2019 03:55
    Reply # 7310649 on 7309942

    The top part doesn't need to be wood either, smaller diameter alloy tube gives a kind of taper. Here is a "tapered" mast made in three over-lapping parts, from scraps: part of a 5" flagpole, a 4" diameter yard off another rig, and ending with part of a dinghy mast about 2.5" - and a lump of pine with a turned (round) stub which fits up inside the base to make a heel - and a drain hole.


    The short transition taper between sections (the white bits) was just done with epoxy and glass fibre bandage. It was very quick and easy to do, and seems OK. 

    Last modified: 30 Apr 2019 04:09 | Anonymous member
  • 30 Apr 2019 01:59
    Reply # 7310486 on 7309942
    Anonymous wrote:

    what does everyone think of a mast without taper? I can get aluminium in the 7” x 3/8 6061 t-6 but I can’t get it in tapered (flagpole)


    I have a friend with a 25ft Top Hat (2.5 tons) that has an untapered mast.  He has no shrouds but has a forestay on which he sets a small jib.  The boat has sailed a lot of coastal miles.  Taper is obviously better if you can get it.  3/8th inch wall thickness is very heavy.  5-6mm is more than enough.  With an untapered mast I think you will put more load on the step and partners but it can be engineered strong enough.  Also looks less elegant, but I cannot see that it would be unacceptable.  You could consider a 6m lower alloy section and add an epoxy-sheathed, tapered, timber top section, and epoxy sheath it up to and over the joint.
  • 30 Apr 2019 01:00
    Reply # 7310373 on 7309942

    This is a good question.  I want to build an aerorig for my nine meter catamaran and the easiest way would be to build the twelve meter mast from six or seven inch diameter aluminium tube slotted into a larger tube around two meters long.  Is this a feasible idea or should I build a tapered mast in timber and epoxy, covered in carbon 'glass?  Any opinion will be most welcome, regards Ross C.

  • 29 Apr 2019 20:29
    Message # 7309942
    Deleted user

    what does everyone think of a mast without taper? I can get aluminium in the 7” x 3/8 6061 t-6 but I can’t get it in tapered (flagpole)

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