Rule change: carbon masts

Anyone fancy a 36? Well here's the place to find info and chat.

Moderator: Senior Admin

Val Provoost
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:17 pm

Re: Rule change: carbon masts

Post by Val Provoost » Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:13 pm

After looking at all the posts I came to the conclusion thbenefit ubs getting cheaper all the time and is widely available and the only tangible benefit .would be that you can have a tapered mast. Probably a bonus on the top rig, not so sure about the rest.So I would vote to scrap the rule and let the owners decide. In truth I have little I doubt that there is
any real benefit unless you are in the Brad Gibson/ Graham Bantock elite group. But what a boat. Just the job for a fiddler like me!

Brad Gibson
Posts: 149
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:53 am

Re: Rule change: carbon masts

Post by Brad Gibson » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:26 am

While not a boat owner, I can say that I was a competitor, (in a small way) at last years Vane Nationals for the class at Birkenhead which probably has me more involved than some here looking to cast influence.

The reality is that the class failed to reach 10 boats for either the Vane or Radio Nationals and needs to again generate interest within owners and skippers if it wishes to survive think this interest will come from changing a spar material to one more expensive, that will widen the gap between the have's and have not's and further discourage existing owners from dusting off their old usable and still competitive boats is delusional.
A class survival or resurrection is first built on getting existing owners back on the water, not adding expense to compete. Suggesting the advent of carbon spars would attract designers to the class is also incorrect. What will attract a designer to a class is the opportunity to test their thoughts and ideas against a large fleet of designs/designers and that equipment. We see this with the RG65 class and others where the same 'experiments' suggested are available on a cheaper and more modern rule platform in large fleets where lessons are transferable across other designs such as M''s and 10Rs.

The suggestion that cheap carbon tube costings are comparable to IOM trends in Aluminium spars is another misleading point. To use the same logic IOM sailors would source their spars from B&Q in heavy walled sections at a fraction of the cost, but we know this is not the case. The reality is that with unlimited rig heights and rig numbers, it will take little time for the super tall Bourneville light air rigs to go from soft aluminium, to 10/8/6mm high modulus carbon with a huge weight and windage saving and large performance gain. With a significant gain in righting moment across all rigs, hull designs can then be narrower and lighter and will obsolete the few left they compete against. This helps the class how exactly? Yes you can try with a cheaper carbon spar, but it wont be the choice of those looking to win. And in all this did we solve the problem of boats on the water??

Quite simply, good events, good venues and tailoring them to suit existing owners will get numbers up. From this others will again be inspired to join in. Create something special as the 36 is a great boat with an equally great history that deserves to survive and have many more kids introduced to the sport in the way many of the top names were in their day.

To finish there is one point that I find hard to comprehend. For the past 12 months we have a technical team that has fought tooth and nail against multiple certificates being allowed in our International classes, with the underlying theme based on restricting an arms race culture of competitors sporting a bulging number of carbon rigs adding expense to those classes.......
.....yet we now have the very same technical team suggesting addition of carbon to spars in a class that has zero restrictions on rig numbers or sizes is a good thing and will help the class grow with no added expense. Quite confusing and contradicting and I would ask why such a clear push for change from those without a vested interest within a class?

Dave Alston
Posts: 151
Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:04 pm
First Name: David
Last name: Alston

Re: Rule change: carbon masts

Post by Dave Alston » Sun Feb 05, 2017 2:00 am

Similarly as a NON registered R36 owner.

It is funny how the conversation always ends up revolving around Cost.

Not to put a too finer point on it..

Much of this debate emanates from people who are competing in 2 or 3 three classes and trying to keep all these boats in a competitive condition is in itself is expensive .

Some have bought an old Junkers that they are getting by with are desperately trying to make competitive. I am involved with one such project.

This is however not germane to the discussion at hand and neither is the benefit or other wise to boat performance. What ever is holding the sail up you still need to sail in the right place and set the sails.

But enough of this...

To me the sensible thing would be to simply restrict the mast dimension and not the material

Something like:-

The mast SHALL be of constant diameter between the Head and Tack of the Main Sail.

A length of Pultruded Carbon tube is relatively inexpensive £25.00 in 2m length Woven £22.00 in 2 m length. This compares favourably with an Aluminium tube - and I resent buying a 11.X mm aluminium mast from essentially a single source supplier.

And why specifically allow Carbon - allow any material

What one should not encourage is Oval and / or tapered masts since this is very expensive path and not widely available.

Please let us not get bogged down in a modulus or cost discussions. Let the owner decide what to use on their boats without undue restriction. I have a 10mm diameter woven tube waiting to get fitted so I can get the boat measure in time for the Nationals.

My other move will be to squash a 1/2" round tube into an oval tube in a press break. Done this with an Arrow shaft it work well... but you don't have access to a press break ...

You want to cut cost:–

1/ Cut the number of rigs to 3
2/ Specify the size of 3 rigs as with IOM

This is where the cost is in reality and keeps people away from competition

Now you MIGHT have a viable class. But it will still be an old fashioned tub with a big lump of lead on the bottom that you can sail in Foot of water.


Brad Gibson
Posts: 149
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:53 am

Re: Rule change: carbon masts

Post by Brad Gibson » Sun Feb 05, 2017 6:27 pm

Dave Alston wrote:
You want to cut cost:–

1/ Cut the number of rigs to 3
2/ Specify the size of 3 rigs as with IOM

This is where the cost is in reality and keeps people away from competition
I am reliably told this idea has been shot down previously Dave but it is a pretty obvious solution that has been called for in other classes by the TC.


Dave Alston
Posts: 151
Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:04 pm
First Name: David
Last name: Alston

Re: Rule change: carbon masts

Post by Dave Alston » Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:25 pm

Thank you Brad.

I will confess to expecting a far more adverse response to my post from the Puritans.

We tend to focus far too much upon what has passed and not enough on what lies ahead.

It was very early in the morning when I wrote that post and was on my way to Berlin at 30,000 feet. I have subsequently noticed a number of grammatical blunders in this post, missing words. I hope that you got through that enough to see the foolishness of the age old story of:-

a) It will make your boat un-completive over-night
b) It will cost you an arm an a leg to ...
c) I have just ...
d) It will not be of benefit to the Class

I will start a parallel thread so that this thread can focus upon the job in hand - the RULE CHANGE. For me this is a very exciting and long overdue Rule Change.

Chris Harris poses the following questions:-

To paraphrase and please forgive me if I have misinterpreted

a) How would this effect the average club member?

DA-> It provides a greater degree of freedom when considering your next upgrade/ re-fit

b) Does this mean that there would be a two tier class?

DA-> No and what on earth give you that idea?

c) An owner stated that he would continue using his existing mast?

DA-> An owner has that choice and is not compelled to use a different mast

d) Would the current fleet be prepared to change to a new rule?

DA-> This question will hopefully be answered at the end of this process

e) Question would be, would this kill the 36 class in the UK for both vane and radio?

DA-> The rule change does not compel any one to change anything. But given your observation regarding the National Entry Level is it not dead already

Clearly we seem, in this process, not to have sufficiently emphasised that the Boat Owner is not compelled to throw away his existing mast/s and re-rig his boat as some of the responses seem to imply. - A scare tactic employed since the beginning of time:-

Perhaps the Technical Committee will take this as A Learning Point when preparing further reports.

A Bridge Too Far
But let us not swing too far and too high as Icarus did some time ago and at least for the next few years:-

Restrict all mast to :-
Constant Outside Diameter between the Head and Tack of the main sail.


Chris Harris seems to suggest that:

To paraphrase and again please forgive me if I have misinterpreted

a) 10 competitors attended the 2016 - 36 Vane Nationals in out of potentially 20 registered boats and believes that the entry would drop to 5 should this amendment be adopted.

b) Building 12 fully Carbon rigs for two vane boats is going to cost in excess of £270 whilst £120 if use Aluminium masts.

Making the smaller rigs in Carbon seems a little foolish or even suggesting it don't you think?
Refer to my cost analysis – shop elsewhere – I have not paid £15 for an aluminium mast for years.. Perhaps I should shop elsewhere

c) Adopting a Swing / Wing Rig will make the boat unstable

Rig format is not restricted

I leave it to the reader to decide how this relates to the matter at hand; let me know when you do.
Let us focus upon the Rule Change and the benefits it could bring to you the owner.

I congratulate David Kemp for making this proposal and valiantly defending it in the face of Puritanical Adversity

Dave Alston

Post Reply