Author Topic: A New Lightweight Mast for Skylark  (Read 2151 times)

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A New Lightweight Mast for Skylark
« on: April 07, 2014, 02:32:49 PM »

Tim Willey
Username: Tim_willey

Registered: 03-2012
   
Posted on Friday, June 08, 2012 - 01:15 pm:      
Ever since I saw David Cawson's video clip on raising and lowering the mast using a running forestay I knew that was the way to go. After a number of experiments I concluded that David was either super-human, I'm a weakling, or my mast is just unusually heavy. After meeting up with David and trying the system for myself I realised that it was a bit of all three! Well at least I could do something about the mast. I weighed mine in, and at 23kg it does seem heavier than most. It's made of a particularly dense timber probably a slow grown douglas fir or similar. To cut a long story short, for about 50 I sourced a 5-metre section of aluminium tube with just about the correct sectional spec. and sleeved it over a masthead and hinge turned in douglas fir. I've kept the original mast as I would be the first to admit, that aesthetically, a nice bit of wood looks so much better, but at just over 10kg it certainly makes that first lift a lot more bearable and to be honest with the varnished wood 'top and tail' it doesn't look too bad. I tried it out in a decent blow on the Broads and it seemed to hold up well. Certainly easier (and cheaper) than joining a gym.

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Re: A New Lightweight Mast for Skylark
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2014, 02:33:05 PM »
David Cawston
Username: David_cawston

Registered: 03-2007
   
Posted on Friday, June 08, 2012 - 06:48 pm:      
Very innovative Tim and if you are concerned about the appearance, you could have a go at scumbing (a term used for narrowboat painting to make metal look like grained wood). What is the wall thickness of the aluminium?

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Re: A New Lightweight Mast for Skylark
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2014, 02:33:19 PM »

Tim Willey
Username: Tim_willey

Registered: 03-2012
   
Posted on Friday, June 08, 2012 - 10:24 pm:      
I like the idea of scumbling David, I might try it out on an off cut of tube. The wall thickness is 3mm; I think this is about right from what I gleaned from a couple of manufacturers, but I must admit, it was a concern of mine. Next task is to sort out the lacing using the 3 section system you described elsewhere on the forum as I was having a bit of trouble freeing the jaws before dropping the mast.

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Re: A New Lightweight Mast for Skylark
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2014, 02:33:34 PM »

David Cawston
Username: David_cawston

Registered: 03-2007
   
Posted on Saturday, June 09, 2012 - 07:20 pm:      
Regarding the lacing etc., I have done away with my parrell beads, the lacing tended to catch on them. So now I just have cord hoops (took the beads off). I have the hoops at the two reefing cringles and the first small cringle up from the boom (with the lacing stopping at the lowest hoop and not continuing down to the boom). This means you can pull the boom and gaff jaws away from the mast (without touching any lacing or hoops) and move them to the side of the mast so you can lower the mast without breaking the jaws. The ends of each length of lacing have an eye formed by doubling back a short length and whipping, which can then be attached to the quick release D shackles which hold the cord hoops to the sail. A bit of trial and error is needed in determining the lengths of the lacing to make sure the sail sets nicely.

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Re: A New Lightweight Mast for Skylark
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2014, 02:33:49 PM »
Tim Willey
Username: Tim_willey

Registered: 03-2012
   
Posted on Sunday, June 10, 2012 - 07:44 pm:      
Thanks for that David. I'll certainly give it a go - it's even simpler. To be sure I've got it right: do you just release the lowest cord hoop (using its QR shackle) to remove the boom jaws? Also do the gaff jaws release easily even though there is no hoop to release in the upper section?

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Re: A New Lightweight Mast for Skylark
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2014, 02:34:04 PM »

David Cawston
Username: David_cawston

Registered: 03-2007
   
Posted on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - 03:41 pm:      
There is no need to disconnect the lowest cord hoop, on my sails and boom anyway, although I have shorter jaws than original due to the breakage). The first lacing cringle is far enough above the boom to allow enough slack to pull the boom back and then move the jaws to the side whilst twisting 90 degrees (try both sides of the mast to find which side gives the most play).

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Re: A New Lightweight Mast for Skylark
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2014, 02:34:18 PM »
David_bone
Username: David_bone

Registered: 07-2012
   
Posted on Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 07:30 pm:      
Following Roger Parish's lead, I recently took delivery of a hollow Douglas Fir mast from Wesley Massam at Noble Masts, Bristol. The bare mast weighs in at 10kg and was supplied very well finished, ready for varnishing, at what I considered a reasonable price. I am hoping that the reduction in weight aloft will both ease raising/lowering and be beneficial to stability.