Arrows ,carbon fiber rods, wood mast??????

Ok first things first.
If this topic should be else where ie new boat owners then I ask for forgivness.

Question lead up
sailboat -----US1M (then again any sailboat)
sails ---- your choice
boat usage — pleasure sailing and racing


I have seen mention of using different materials for the main mast on all sailboats.
Carbon fiber , arrows, and wood.
I realise that Carbon fiber would be lighter then the wood but are there other advantanges??

did a web search but I cannot find info on benifits of the use of high tech materials for rc sail masts



The main thing to consider when choosing a mast is stiffness. The job of the mast is to hold the sails and give them proper shape. It must do so when subjected to the loading from the sails as well as from the rigging. Most sails need the mast to remain fairly straight in order to have their best shape. In addition, you need to apply fairly substantial rigging loads in order to get the forestay sag that you need for proper windward performance and also to put proper tension into your jib boom topping lift if you have one.

Bottom line is you need a fairly stiff mast. Most carbon fiber tubes will provide this stiffness. Some are better than others. There are also aluminum masts though these tend to be less stiff. I would say that a wood dowel is not going to be stiff enough.

If you have a mast that is not stiff enough such as an aluminum mast or even a wood dowel, then you will need to add stiffness to the mast with rigging like diamond stays, jumpers, upper and lower sidestays, etc. Getting the right tensions in the rigging to hold the mast straight can be quite challenging, so it is better to just have a nice stiff mast and that will make the whole job a lot easier.

Regarding arrow shafts - I have never seen an arrow long enough to be used as a US1M mast. This would be a good option for the Footy class, I guess…

Bottom line, get a Carbon tube for your mast. Another option would be to buy an aluminum mast section from a company that makes them specifically for model yachts (such as SailsEtc). But my guess is that it will be far easier to get a carbon tube tht is the right length.

Will Gorgen

Just one thing to add to Will’s excellent post.

I think this is true:

Weight high in the air (like the mast) affects the boat’s righting moment. The less weight you have at the top the more able your boat will be to translate a puff into speed instead of heal.

The Other Matt

Matt You are 100% correct. [:D]


thanks one and all
The arrows were used by pop rivetting two together. Still onlt a short mast was for the Victoria and another sailboat (hmm cannot remember which one).

When I am ready to build the masts and booms I may go with carbon if the price is right



Check out Hang-em-high:

The tubes themselves are quite cheap. Shipping will get you, but if you can buddy up with some other guys in your area and “share” the shipping cost, you should be able to get carbon tubes for masts at quite a resonable price…

Will Gorgen

Climate Boat Works also has them and they’re Canadian!

Vancouver Island