A very detailed (80+ page) illustrated manual is now available for building a very efficient and good looking CF wing mast of 8m, 9m, and 10m lengths, that sells for US$179 via Paypal, with rights to build ONE mast. Design data to extend mast design validity to 11m is also now available for a small extra.
The manual contains over 100 photos and sketches and shows all details, as well as defining all the procedures and cloth layup required for each mast size. See reviews added below.
.This enables one to build a CF wing mast at 10-12% of the cost of a pro-built mast, so the savings are very significant. The trade-off is that, without vacuum-bagging** and/or resin infusion, the weight is a little greater, but still measurably less than an alum mast of the same section, as well as being stiffer and less expensive. The 8m mast, c/w all fittings and the diamond stays, weighs around 45 lbs - but keep in mind that this design covers a wing section of close to 3:1 (depth to width) and not the more typical section of about 1.5:1 that of course uses much less material and is less efficient aerodynamically. The advantage of the deeper 3:1 rotating wing is in its performance efficiency upwind, and this more than offsets the slightly extra weight.
**NOTE: For those who have the equipment and extra manpower to get the resin and bags on quickly, there is now a suggested way to add vacuum-bagging to this build method. Details available for anyone who first purchases the manual
To date, four masts to this design have been built, three are sailing and one has been extensively tested over 5 seasons. Many others are now under construction. See below for Comments.
The completed mast is proving strong and durable and even has a structural advantage over most other masts, by having a built-in transverse web for its full height, rather like the spar within a plane's wing. This not only adds considerably to buckling resistance but also creates 2 compartments; one for the internal halyards, and a larger one that can remain sealed as an air chamber. Also note that this mast has an attractive built-in taper above the hounds, in both width and depth. If built and finished well, this mast can look totally professional.
The purchase process is to sign and return the waiver attached and then transfer funds via PayPal to this email address, after which the applicable PDF files are sent out.
The build method is described through 3 sheets of detailed plans and a 15+6 page Manual full of illustrations. Material cost (using high quality) was about US$200 (in 2019) and the plans sell for US$95 via PayPal. This design has now been used for numerous wingmasts of this format and works fine for its intended use. The CF design is however inevitably more efficient as the material enables it to be stiffer and slightly slimmer. Again, please accept, sign and return a copy of the Mast Waiver below before ordering or I will not be able to send out the plans.
One point that I will add that I’ve not seen mentioned elsewhere, is this.
Because a rotating wing mast assures a better entry to the flow around the soft sail that sets behind it, the smaller the sail hoisted, the more proportionally efficient the rig becomes. I became very aware of this when setting a small but high aspect storm mainsail behind my own wingmast a few years back, and was very impressed how efficiently this small rig performed. Most boats, certainly all cruising dinghies, just struggle in high wind and waves to get anywhere upwind. For them, my boat is a total revelation. Despite the increased waves due to higher winds, I have been able to make 9 kts (!) to windward and even hit 14.4kt with my W17 on one wild reach … and this storm mainsail is only about 4m2 !
As a performance-loving octogenarian, I can tell you it’s a really fun way to sail. Fast but Safer, so I enthusiastically recommend such a stormsail with a wing mast to all builders, for all high wind use.
"My CF-wingmast is finally done, and bringing it out of the basement yesterday was like a birth to me! It is a truly a spectacular piece of complex design and fabrication inventiveness. I am both proud of the final product and impressed with the build, all the way through. The build-manual was key to my success. It is extremely complete in design and structural detail and also very helpful with build techniques. In summary, building the carbon fiber wing mast was a three month project which I will never forget. I have a mast that rivals or equals professionally built ones. I learned a raft of new skills, saved quite a chunk of money, but beyond all of that I have the tremendous reward and pride that comes from this special DIY project. It is actually quite amazing to work through this unique design with a process that enables one to start with a bunch of carbon fiber cloth and a couple of gallons of epoxy, and end up successfully constructing a state of the art rotating carbon fiber wing mast. Thank you Mike!" Jim van N, USA, 2020 JIM'S MAST .... first time builder too ! ---- >>
"I am having so much fun making this mast! Just to see each piece come together from a piece of cloth and resin to form a rigid, strong yet lightweight structure, is quite amazing. The design is clever and intriguing and your detailed manual takes most of the stress out of this build so giving me, the builder, every confidence that I will end up with a good result. Thanks a million!" Joe-V: USA, 2019
"I have read through the CF mast manual and am very impressed with your techniques and also how comprehensive the manual is. The depth at which you cover the subject makes this a real bargain for anyone who has thought about building their own wing mast in carbon. It's really a gem of a publication".
Alan-J, WA-USA, 2019.
"Hi Mike; thanks for the CF-mast building instructions. It's a great piece of work and I thank you very much that you share your techniques and knowledge in this way".
Günter-K, Germany, 2017
"I really enjoyed building my carbon fiber wing mast and … would even enjoy doing it all over again. I am very happy with my results and the skills I developed during the building, and now use carbon fiber far more than I used to. Even the cosmetics of my mast came out acceptably well as I've received many compliments from friends ... "You BUILT that !!". My mainsail also fits the sail groove perfectly so I am really looking forward to getting it out on the water".
Ron-E, USA, 2015
"I received the manual and it looks great! It is indeed an ingenious construction method and the incorporation of a central web further adds to my confidence in the end result. The amount of detail is stunning and everything makes a lot of sense (I skimmed it twice and then gave it a more thorough read-through). I find it well-written and the detail gives a potential builder a lot of confidence that this can indeed be done. There is nothing about this method [from my perspective], that is any more difficult than typical boat building, and most of it even seems a lot simpler than that. So, great work, and I see many more masts being built using this method. I also completely understand your need for a waiver and would do the same in your position, as after all, you have no control over the end product materials, construction or use."
Todd-B: USA, 2015 (builder/sailor, experienced with composite construction)
By requesting these wing-mast plans, I confirm having read and agreed to these Terms and Conditions:
Licence: As purchaser of these mast plans and on behalf of a potential builder / operator, I acknowledge that I am granted a licence for the building of ONE mast only. I agree to request an expanded licence if planning to build more than one.
Copyright: I further acknowledge that these plans, drawings, and building manual are copyright material and that any distribution of their content or part of, requires prior written permission from the designer (or his assigns). Any disregard of this will be deemed a violation of copyright.
Acknowledgement of Indemnity: I acknowledge that while the designer may be fully qualified to design this mast with adequate strength for its intended pleasure use, he has no control over the final selection of materials, quality of workmanship, or weather conditions to which the mast may be subjected. As potential builder / owner, I therefore agree to accept the following:
Waiver: That, neither the builder, owner or any skipper, nor their heirs or assigns, will take legal action against the designer, his heirs or associates, for any damage of property, loss of use, injury or even death arising out of construction and use of this design, whether considered as caused by any deemed negligence of the designer or otherwise, and agree to indemnify and hold harmless, the designer, his heirs, successors, and associates, from any loss, liability, damage or cost that may arise relating to the building and use of this design.
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