Can one really DO that? Yes indeed, it's been done and successfully too!
Naval architect Mike Waters is presently collecting ideas and photos on this subject and once he has 4 or 5, will present them in as much detail as possible on this page. Moderate wing masts have been successfully built of plywood, strip cedar and resin/fiber and each has its promoter.
So if you have designed and/or built one for yourself, PLEASE share your concept with us and let's help get more people trying this, with better and more interesting designs. Tell us what worked and also, what didn't! Email your mast story to Mike Waters.
We can well understand that designers with potentially interesting mast designs might be hesitant to post info on their mast concept, as they feel too exposed to risk and claims, should the concept be built by someone and then fail.
So to encourage all mast builders and designers to freely share their concepts via this site, we plan to attach a 'Responsibility Disclaimer' to their idea that will absolve them of ANY responsibility should that occur. As engineers and inventors we KNOW that new things NEED to be tried and particularly for highly stressed parts like masts that can be pushed to operate at their limit, there will inevitably be some failures while we learn from each other what can work and what does not.
Adventurous mast builders need to know the risks and proceed only after accepting these risks entirely for themselves. All the engineers can do is assess and lower them.
Noted below is the proposed disclaimer and we hope this will permit more ideas to be shared without risk of incrimination. For each design submitted however, it is important for the builder/designer to state:
Because designers have little or no control over the quality of materials used, their integration or the workmanship applied, they can offer NO guarantee on the success of the final product even if nominally built as per plans for a similar application.
The designer cannot be held responsible for any failure or accident caused thereby and the builder/owner must accept that in working to these plans.
We can only state that this concept has been successfully used for one/few/several (delete as applicable) masts of the length and scantlings indicated but in practice, no two masts are identically loaded so it is highly recommended that a proper analysis is conducted before proceeding. Even then, for reasons already noted, the full responsibility for the mast and rig must rest totally with the owner/builder.
Now, please email your mast story to Mike Waters.
"New articles, comments and references will be added periodically as new questions are answered and other info comes in relative to this subject, so you're invited to revisit and participate." —webmaster
Footnote: While still waiting for others to share their mast designs, I
should mention that there are now numerous examples of the Waters
Wing masts in service ... both in wood and in carbon fiber, and you
can see a pix of some at these links:
"See the Copyright Information & Legal Disclaimer page for copyright info and use of ANY part of this text or article"