• Announcements

    • Zapata

      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

      Underdawg did an excellent job of explaining the rules.  Here's the simplified version: Don't insinuate Pedo.  Warning and or timeout for a first offense.  PermaFlick for any subsequent offenses Don't out members.  See above for penalties.  Caveat:  if you have ever used your own real name or personal information here on the forums since, like, ever - it doesn't count and you are fair game. If you see spam posts, report it to the mods.  We do not hang out in every thread 24/7 If you see any of the above, report it to the mods by hitting the Report button in the offending post.   We do not take action for foul language, off-subject content, or abusive behavior unless it escalates to persistent stalking.  There may be times that we might warn someone or flick someone for something particularly egregious.  There is no standard, we will know it when we see it.  If you continually report things that do not fall into rules #1 or 2 above, you may very well get a timeout yourself for annoying the Mods with repeated whining.  Use your best judgement. Warnings, timeouts, suspensions and flicks are arbitrary and capricious.  Deal with it.  Welcome to anarchy.   If you are a newbie, there are unwritten rules to adhere to.  They will be explained to you soon enough.  
UNCIVILIZED

Wing Mast Experiences, Especially On Cruising Boats - Help!

14 posts in this topic

I'm quite curious as to what wing masts are like, particularly in the cruising context.  And they've always intrigued me.  Thus I'm curious to hear about folks experiences with them, both at sea, as well as when anchored. Including during less than pleasant weather in both circumstances.  Plus any real world experiences with living with one when shorthanded or singlehanded.  Given that they can make some boats a bit more high strung.

What are you guys experiences with such spars in a storm?  Is the sail area of the spar something which makes dealing with the boat a lot more difficut in high winds, in that it can't be reefed nor taken down.  But perhaps only over rotated so that it's windage or lift effects are minimized.  And is this too the case when at anchor, especially in winds of 40-50kts or more?  Have you tried locking them in place, so as to try & mimic a standard spar?  Straight ahead, at 90 degrees, or???  Or perhaps you use some other technique entirely, & if so, what?

Also, if you're kind enough to respond to this thread, please include as much information about the boat & mast as you can.  Especially what the boat had/has in terms of foils, her displacement, the sail area of the mast, mast aspect ratio (thickness vs. chord depth), etc.  And how much attention/TLC the mast required trimming wise, underway, & when on the hook.  Plus any pointers towards sources of information on other people's experiences with them would be helpful.  Whether it's towards designers who advocate them, or the logs of boats which have written about their time living with such a spar.

Thanks!

PS: When it comes to how they affect boats at anchor, please state what kind of rode was being used, scope, & whether or not the boat was using a bridle.

And any thoughts on whether I'll get more responses if I ask this question in the Cruising Anarchy section?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In high winds with all sail down you must not lock the wing mast fore and aft, that is dangerous, just imo, and if the wind is screeching, there will be enough area to put you in a potentially vicious defecating moment ... but also the mast must not be allowed to flap, that is also dangerous - so if beating it is cleated off at say, around 30 degrees, same for reaching or running off with the mast rotated around 45-60 degrees. You can spill power of the wing mast by feathering or easing the spanner. .But in high winds you need powerful control on both spanner lines ... which means multiple purchases and good cleats. We once got caught off Moehau in very savage catabatic winds and ran for shelter under mast averaging 17 knots for half an hour. A wing mast plus is that there is no sail flogging noise or distortion.

If moored, the mast must be locked fore and aft and all daggers/foils/rudders lifted, especially so in high winds - so the platform skids and weathercocks. If any of these are down you will sail like a banshee, hit the end of your mooring or anchor warps, halt savagely and capsize.

Steinlager had a very large 1.5 metre chord wing mast but the stays went to the mast sides and not to leading edge with the forestay ... therefore they couldn't spill power, mast would only rotate 30 odd degrees (see photograph) before the rigging locked up.

steinlager1 copy.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, that tip on anchoring/mooring is quite helpful!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mooring wise I'm the opposite (30' cat 1300kg's).

My boards still have about a foot out the bottom when fully raised so the boat did have a tendency to sail around. I fixed it by locking off the mast over rotated (about 70 - 80 degrees) so there is wind drag pushing the boat back in it's mooring tackle and the boat can't rotate enough for the mast to power up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good thinking Jethrow and that is another solution to sailing at anchor problems - but in high winds that is quite a lot of windage and drag. My masts have 500mm chord - a fairly large area to turn sideways to wind. If the main dagger and rudder are lifted, the boats are docile moored.

Untitled-1.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Groucho Marx said:

Good thinking Jethrow and that is another solution to sailing at anchor problems - but in high winds that is quite a lot of windage and drag. My masts have 500mm chord - a fairly large area to turn sideways to wind. If the main dagger and rudder are lifted, the boats are docile moored.

Untitled-1.jpg

Is your rudder a rotating drum configuration with a slot for the rudder in the center? I'm trying to figure out how you can lift it so much given that it's not transom hung.  Also, what's the line with the yellow tackle which leads from quite far aft, to up high on the mast?  And can you cant your rig?  Kinda' looks like it given those tackles on your shrouds.  If so, how advantageous is the feature?  And what sort of boats would or wouldn't you recommend it for?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I trust you've seen the thread on Randy Smyth's wing mast with 360 deg rotation capability.  Sure seems like a reasonable approach.  Although it sounds like raising the mainsail / second wing element is a little complicated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

    A very important issue with a wing spar is the ability to over rotate to stall the mast in a storm mooring situation. Probably more so offshore but as the course sailed changes there will most likely be times when the mast unstalls and then the boat quickly accelerates. It is thought that this was the problem with the ROYAL II on its fateful Rhoute Du Rhum. I read an article which described the shore team being able to see (via data telemetry from sat) the wild variations in boat speeds in the storm as the mast would de-power when stalled but then airflow would re-establish and the boat would accelerate until it ran into the back of a wave. The apparent wind can be all over the place in situations like that. It can be similar on a storm moored wing masted multihull as the boat swings back and forth with the wind which has wide variations and eddys in the gusts. There was a cat in Salt River that was well secured in the mouth of the creek to the marina spider webbed so as to not swing with the wind and when the winds built the mast was tugging against the most rotator and was able to flutter. When the winds reversed as the eye passed the trailing edge of the mast was into the wind and it stalled the mast in a more consistent manner allowing the boat to ride smoother despite the increase wind strength. I think these charter cats in Great Cruz Bay during Irma may have experienced something similar but they were free to swing and wild fluttering of the mast when (and if) the rotators loosened or chafed through led to dismasting. The one dark hulled boat looks like another vessel dragged down and broke the forward beam and the integrity of the forestay which caused the loss of the rig. All three boats were on the beach within a 75 yard stretch apparently so much have broken free of moorings in a similar time frame. I'm trying to get more info on these three, especially if they used any water ballast to increase righting moment and stability. That was a lesson learned from Hugo but just how much to use is anyones guess as the extra mass just adds more loads on the mooring system. My thought is the amount of swell and surge anticipated in a particular anchorage is a big factor in the use of water ballast. 

jkLzYfA.jpg

NFMy7Ic.jpg

 

QV8rJtE.png

 

OyVU1Rn.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From what I understand, the lower aspect ratio spars tend to fare better when conditions are unruly, like say 2:1. I'm not sure if Gold Coast still builds theirs this way, but way back, like a couple of decades ago I recall reading about their masts doing pretty well. But I no longer have those issues of Multihull magazine around, sadly. Perhaps i should get in contact with Gold Coast & ask.

The catch to some of this is that generally the mast comes with the boat, so you've little choice in how much sail area it has, or it's aspect ratio. Well, unless you want to build a new one. Which, depending on the mast's design, could be quite the project.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fujin has a rotating mast with a chord of about 17" so not really a wing mast, but still a fair bit of windage. When anchored we usually just let it rotate. In moderate winds, the boat will sometimes sail back and forth a bit. A bit more than monohulls anchored nearby, but not a big issue. When we're anchored with boats nearby, we've kept it rotated so it stays off to one side and this reduces the swing a bit. We've tried it fixed in the middle but that seemed to be about the same or a little bit more swing.  If we were to leave the boat, we would let it rotate so if the wind came up, it wouldn't get crazy. We've anchored with gusts up to 25 or so, nothing substantial.

The mast rotates about 50 degrees to either side with the main up. A bit more with no main on. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Uncivilized, you can see the rudder setup in this shot. It is old time lift concept like Uffa Fox's Flying 15 the only difference being that there is a T foil at blade tip ... so you can't remove it unless you go for a swim and pull it down underwater. The other transom slot aft is for a shallow water blade rudder, no T foil - since removed and filled in. The upper main rudder case and tiller fittings are same width as case, so you can push rudder down through case for removal.

The yellow and red lines are mast runners. Yes, mast can be canted with block and tackle shroud set ups.

grouchomastlift.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Graucho Marx, in the immortal words of Spinal Tap (the film) "This one goes to 11" - meanng that purdy lil' boat of yours. Must be a FUN ride!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now