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14 Forums • Carbon Mast Track. a false economy?
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Carbon Mast Track. a false economy?

Posted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:49 pm
by EdS
So i have been thinking about carbon mast tracks and whether or not there is any point.

- More carbon on the trailing edge of the mast should make it stiffer
- a circular or moulded section with a slit down the middle is highly unstable in buckling
- significantly less carbon in the form of unis vacumed onto the mast would be more efficient in stability and stiffnes, but maybe heavier when you add a traditional track.
- carbon tracks are not bolt rope friendly in the medium term

So given that masts are generally custom builds why dont we spec a stiffer tube and then use a standard track?

Re: Carbon Mast Track. a false economy?

Posted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 5:41 am
by Shu
In my limited experience carbon tracks have the following benefits:
1. They are stiffer than the plastic tracks, and therefore hold the bolt rope better.
2. They don't get brittle in the sun like many plastics
3. They bond very well to the carbon mast.
So I guess my conclusion is the converse of yours: Using a carbon track is ok, just design the mast reinforcement schedule accordingly.

As for wear and tear on the bolt rope, careful use of sandpaper on all the joints and corners helps.

Re: Carbon Mast Track. a false economy?

Posted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:57 pm
by EdS
Interesting thoughts there Steve. I hasnt thought of it that way round.

The reason i bring it up is that my carbon Track which is Selden is actually putruded tube with a woven cloth wrap.
At POW last week the top split at the head and the crack has propogated a significant distance. Requiring too much boatwork between sailing days.

So given the frustrating time i have had, i am looking at ways to increase reliability and also avoid the cost of replacing the whole track with the new carbon track offering.

Ed