Great Red Shark

When do you just fucking Give Up ?

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Years back I wanted to get back into dinghy sailing,  and bought a used boat at a fair price - discounted because it needed a new mast.

Bought the new mast and it failed.  Simply broke about 3 feet down from the tip,  while sailing in from a day on the water.  No capsizes,  no mast strikes,  just another old-guy roll-tack and CRACK!

Musta been shipping damage,  you say to yourself and you repair it,  because it was an expensive carbon mast.

Next sail,  same drill - an hour or two of good sailing and then on the trip uphill to the club...CRACK - out of a tack,  there goes the top 5 feet.

Limp home, feeling pretty embarrassed.  Order new top mast.  Wait - can't do that,  need to order a whole new spar...so a grand+ later new mast is received. 

You gotta know at this point the mast - top section especially - gets tender-loving care and close attention when handling, storing and transporting.

And just the same,  you know where it's going.  Yep - after a nice 3 hour sail with one of our talented junior sailors to chase around offshore (thanks Max)  we head up the old channel and a handful of tacks later the top 5 feet has again snapped off - this time the luff track unzips and I'm lucky to get a tow back to the club.

Would YOU bother buying a third mast ?   I just can't bring myself to make that bet again.  I've spent like 3 grand in masts and haven't sailed the boat 15 hours - I just can't afford this thing.

I can't even look at it anymore without feeling like a complete Rube.

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Quit before you fall further behind

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What dinghy is that from? Looks a like a black alu anodised surface on part of it, the track section?

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Kinda what I'm thinking. 

Just sending good money after bad at this point,  which really seems too bad because the rest of the boat seems to work well.

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2 minutes ago, Great Red Shark said:

Kinda what I'm thinking. 

Just sending good money after bad at this point,  which really seems too bad because the rest of the boat seems to work well.

Without you saying what boat and mast, you’re not going to get much help. 

Edit,

i see you did. 

Surely the class association and the mast supplier will want to fix this? What do they say?

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7 minutes ago, Great Red Shark said:

Megabyte.   Nothing anodized or aluminum.  Carbon spar, black plastic luff track.

20180903_142508.jpg

20140119_122828.jpg

Edit,

just had a look at the Class pictures, are you the only one with the issues. I wonder if the plastic track is causing an issue? 

Any other owners?

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That is break number 2,  I think  ( by looking at the dates on the photos)

No,  that is NOT how a carbon mast is supposed to look.  

In the 25 years I windsurfed I bought and sailed a lot of carbon masts - never had one anything like this fragile.  I know stiff & light = brittle.  This mast got the care a newborn would be jealous of.

Class vendor can't be bothered - no warranty, it's been too long since purchase anyway. 

Basically:  "Buy another top mast for a grand or Go Away."   and I'm leaning heavy toward the Going Away part.

Anybody want a Megabyte ?   Eight spar sections included,  some assembly required.

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7 minutes ago, Great Red Shark said:

Megabyte

Sounds like junk, don't give them another penny.  They owe you now.  Shame on them.

http://www.zimsailing.com/megabyte.html

Quote

The Megabtye is a fast, yet stable boat that can be sailed with two crew or raced singlehanded. The boat was designed to carry some “serious weight” with a proper cockpit laid out for two people, but with the simplicity of a single sail. The Megabyte’s lightweight, tapered, carbon fiber mast and fully battened Mylar sail provide plenty of power when needed, and are easy to depower with well led controls. Sailors well over 200 lbs can singlehand the Megabyte competitively and comfortably thanks to its powerful sail plan, deep cockpit, and high boom. The two piece carbon fiber mast and 130 lb hull make Megabytes  easy to car top and transport. The Megabyte was designed by Farr Yacht Design and selected as Boat of the Year by Sailing World in 2000.

 

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4 minutes ago, Great Red Shark said:

That is break number 2,  I think  ( by looking at the dates on the photos)

No,  that is NOT how a carbon mast is supposed to look.  

In the 25 years I windsurfed I bought and sailed a lot of carbon masts - never had one anything like this fragile.  I know stiff & light = brittle.  This mast got the care a newborn would be jealous of.

Class vendor can't be bothered - no warranty, it's been too long since purchase anyway. 

Basically:  "Buy another top mast for a grand or Go Away."   and I'm leaning heavy toward the Going Away part.

Anybody want a Megabyte ?   Eight spar sections included,  some assembly required.

Any chance of using another mast section. Or just if you borrow or buy the mould and make them yourself? 

Seems slightly odd service unless there’s something else going on. 

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The breaks are not only in nearly the same place, they seem to be on the "trip back to the club".... 

Have you checked for snipers? 

 

 

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Boat is still being built and sold,  that's not the issue.  They will gladly sell me another one - I'm just not feeling any bit of confidence in the product at this point.

"Buy or Borrow the mold" ?   Plastic track causing ???    -  what the actual fuck ?

At this stage it's try to repair it, AGAIN - and, since this last one un-zipped the track it'll be a really FUN repair job,   or simple say, "Balls" and throw mess in a dumpster.

If I do the repair it's only to make it complete to sell to someone else. At this point I just don't trust it.

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They are most assuredly not the result of my epic roll-tacks,  that is safe to say.  Hadn't considered assassins.

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23 minutes ago, Great Red Shark said:

Boat is still being built and sold,  that's not the issue.  They will gladly sell me another one - I'm just not feeling any bit of confidence in the product at this point.

"Buy or Borrow the mold" ?   Plastic track causing ???    -  what the actual fuck ?

At this stage it's try to repair it, AGAIN - and, since this last one un-zipped the track it'll be a really FUN repair job,   or simple say, "Balls" and throw mess in a dumpster.

If I do the repair it's only to make it complete to sell to someone else. At this point I just don't trust it.

Don’t buy a thing until somebody understands the mast problems and answers those questions. Doesn’t sound fit for purpose, or you’re doing something very strange with it. Either way, don’t spend any more cash. 

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No further advice or insight is forthcoming from factory,  just "we've never heard of this before".

If I'd taken a big digger with the boat off Diamond Head or rolled it in the surf, or clipped spars with someone - or, heck, even fumbled the thing while loading it on the car,  I'd be blaming myself - even if that'd be a fragile tube - but in complete honesty I didn't DO anything to it that'd account for a break - certainly not in the exact location of the prior break.

But in the opinion of the builder,  it's just fine.  THEY have no problems.  So I guess it's just me, then.

Too bad,  I liked the boat.

When someone asks why I don't sail small boats anymore,  I can only say:  " I tried. "

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Spars stored on a wooden rack where I used to keep my windsurfing masts, out of the sun & weather, with my carbon spin pole.

 

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I have sleeved the same kind of break on my friends IC stick. It has stayed together for years now. You have pieces to play with. Worth a try. Just my .02

 

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looks like the standard mast isn’t designed correctly. There aren’t many Megabytes out there, so it may not have been discovered.

I would repair the mast and then  add  unidirectional to reinforce the laminate.

Probably more of a science project than you wanted, but what the hell.

SHC

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Buy a laser next time 

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I suppose you are right (Both Steve AND VWAP)

I just liked the idea of a bigger, better boat - but in reality the Laser is as fast for most sailors and the new rigging makes a big improvement.  I just wanted a bit more room and comfort.  I taught sailing in Lasers in Maryland in 1985 - we had like 40 boats in the program,  and I raced them in college (Univ of Hawaii Sailing team 1987,88)   I know the boat.  The Mega is much more comfortable for me, a lot drier too.

As for the repair - I know the drill,  I've spliced carbon spars before.  It's just getting tedious,  and frankly I'm leery of it now.

the boat was already on its third rig for God's Sake and it hasn't been used very much - I've got other boats to sail,  and out here it often blows pretty hard in the summer and I haven't gone out in it because of my doubts.

The Mark 2 masts I got were meant for Indoor use only,  I guess.  

But no,  the factory isn't interested.  I offered to send the lot of it back,  for whatever that'd help,  but they really couldn't be bothered. 

I was REALLY hoping the Mark 2 masts solved the problems they had with the original masts,  which were terrible, heavy carbon/aluminum combinations (just add an electrolyte and you've got a battery!) that had a reputation for failure - as the broken one I got with mine seemed to bear out.     

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1 hour ago, Lifesave said:

I have sleeved the same kind of break on my friends IC stick. It has stayed together for years now. You have pieces to play with. Worth a try. Just my .02

 

Yeah, LOTS of pieces to play with.  Would rather be sailing, that's why I bought the last two masts.

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6 hours ago, mad said:

Doesn’t sound fit for purpose, or you’re doing something very strange with it.

But here is the weird part:  With I'd say, 6-8 successful, if uneventful missions,  on the 2nd "New" design mast  (sailed in moderate to light winds and no incidents,  just working fine, 0 capsizes)-  I finally had good a medium-to-fresh Tradewind day,  off Diamond Head in small clean waves and an honest 17+ knots...and it was AWESOME!  It took the Hotshot Kid like 5 minutes to catch my fat ass.  Thing was booking,  doing exactly what it was built for - Just. freakin'. SENDING.  It.  Was great fun - we went back up for another run but it wasn't near as good and then we headed home..  Clearly it's a lot of boat and in heavy air would be a serious handful - I was thinking,  good test for everything...

I mean,  you'd THINK it would go while flexing in breeze & seas - but nope,  flat water boat handling, and POP.   "What The ?  Not Again. Come on."

 

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Dude you already know the answer, think about it they snaped in the same section of the same spot, the design is clearly flawed and must be replaced with a stronger material for the mast, same goes for the mount it sits on and the guide rails all gotta be stronger. 

If i swing a sword at a tree and the sword breaks dont buy the same sword from the same swordsmith

"That sword was only designed for indoor trees"  (-_-)

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The Mythical Front Page ?  

Oh, Fuck me.  Now I've done it.

Like my best friend once said, "We'll burn that bridge when we get to it."        i suppose it's here.

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Is that the stock sail? A few years ago, I was sailing some little french dinghy with my kid in Tahiti, we lit the thing up and <snap> - same outcome, factory mast gave up the ghost. To be fair, it was a single hander, and our all up weight was around 240lbs, but still. The paddle back (upwind) to Vaira'o was not that fun. We ended up replacing it with a windsurf RDM, which as far as I know, is still going - think it might've been reinforced at the deck connection. How long is that mast?

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Mast and sail are the redesigned, Mark 2 kit.  Skiffy-style main and very tapered mast.  I've sailed with the stock main some, which is fine, but the roachy full batten one seemed better to me.  New style sail was on for all 3 breaks.

The second new mast I got was different from the first Mark 2 mast - so it seems they were still working on the revised design.

Did I pay retail to be a beta tester ?     Dunno.   Strange,  to be sure - and I've been at this stuff for a while now.  

 

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Ok, got it. One other possibility - maybe (with a background windsurfing) you downhauled the sail into a range that the 'designers' never imagined, and put it right at the limit? My gut was that might've been one of the issues with the one I broke - but the sail looked great trimmed like that. 

Either way, sounds like you're beta testing!

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Difficulty getting the sail to "inflate" after a transition ( ie, getting the battens to pop) often arises from too MUCH draft,  as a result of too LITTLE luff tension - at least in windsurfers and full batten catamaran sails.  I down-hauled the sail to the appropriate draft setting for light and medium winds, and the sail transitioned properly (a bit of technique required for clean tacks and gybes in the light)  No,  I do not feel excessive downhaul led to the top mast failing.

But who knows ?   When you have 2 mystery breaks,  do you go back for more ? 

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4 hours ago, Great Red Shark said:

Difficulty getting the sail to "inflate" after a transition ( ie, getting the battens to pop) often arises from too MUCH draft,  as a result of too LITTLE luff tension - at least in windsurfers and full batten catamaran sails.  I down-hauled the sail to the appropriate draft setting for light and medium winds, and the sail transitioned properly (a bit of technique required for clean tacks and gybes in the light)  No,  I do not feel excessive downhaul led to the top mast failing.

But who knows ?   When you have 2 mystery breaks,  do you go back for more ? 

I would just give up too

You have my sympathy. I really liked the Megabyte but you'r making me glad I haven't bought one

FB- Doug

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Just a guess, but maybe you need to ease the vang a bit before a tack or a jibe?

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Unfortunately it seems that having consumers for some specialized outdoor gear become beta testers for manufacturers is (has become) common AND the consumer is paying for the gear. I see this in backcountry skiing. Last season I had the tightening cable on a lightweight pair of backcountry ski boots from a top supplier break twice. After the first break the supplier replaced the boot free of charge. After the second identical break, I told the supplier that I was finished and they refunded the money which I used to purchase a competing boot that has worked flawlessly. I've heard that the failure mode was known and the manufacturer will probably make a redesign.

With the Megabyte carbon mast, seems like the same thing is happening.

In both cases (backcountry ski boots or Megabyte), the "known" flaw can put the consumer (us) at significant risk depending on when the failure occurs.

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I might be wrong, but I don’t think there is much Megabyte class activity, so conforming to the class rules is kind of irrelevant. You want a little boat that is fun to sail which doesn’t have a mast that breaks and leaves you drifting into the middle of the Pacific.

The Megabyte isn’t really a product. Zim has made a few, but it is a pimple on their ass.  They got the Megabyte when they bought the assets from PS2000 and have maybe sold 3 in the last 5 years. The spars are made by Forte, and aren’t core business for them either. So you may have had the impression that the Megbyte was something like the Laser of you past, supported by sales volume in the millions of dollars with all the R&D, QC and other associated letters, it really is nothing of the sort. 

These Bethwaite inspired masts that require very bendy tips to achieve appropriate leech response are hard to get right and often are operating at the limit of fiberstrain.  Julian is so particular in achieving just the right bend, that it is hard to manufacture spars so close to the limits. I lost lots of skin in the 49er game on this very issue. The Forte/Van Dusen braiding technique also has its particular limitations. The braided doesn’t necessarily permit the blend of axial and off axis fiber to achieve both the flex characteristics and durability. As suggested above, this isn’t something someone is going to spend the time on to get fully dialed in, more like” that otta work-shoot from the hip-because we are pricing this like a production product not a custom project-even though it isn’t -having to set up the machines to run one mast is a full on pain in my ass-is costing me money.”

I think you ought to talk to Forte about a new tube, tell them where  the last two have broken and have them modify the laminate to make it stronger. Rig it yourself using hardware from the two broken rigs. You may need to put stiffer battens in the sail to flatten things up top. This should make getting the sail to pop easier as well

Or talk to CST or Killwell about making you tube based on their OK dinghy or other freestanding dinghy mast designs.

In summery, keep the boat you like. Give up on buying “class approved” masts from the class suppliers.

SHC

 

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Damn good thread. Geez I love the knowledge base here on SA. Thanks for contributing everyone.

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2 hours ago, Blitz said:

Have you seen it break? If so what was the failure mode?

Well,  it's like 15 up from the deck you are sitting on,  so no - I wasn't looking right at it when it broke.  I was tacking.  Do you watch your upper mast tube while tacking ?

"failure mode"   ?     It went 'Crack'   and snapped the tube straight across.  No crushing, twisting or running break.

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2 hours ago, Remodel said:

Just a guess, but maybe you need to ease the vang a bit before a tack or a jibe?

 

Do you ease your vang on every tack ?   Why do you think that would contribute to upper mast failure ?   Should the mast in a sailboat intended for one-design competition require that ?  

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1 hour ago, JoRoesler said:

If you can get your mast fragments to CT I will happily direct them towards recycling. JoR

 

Now we are back to wasting my goddam money.  No thanks,  I seem to be doing well enough on my own.   I see the first mast I bought was $ 2,250.00.    ugh.

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3 hours ago, Steve Clark said:

I might be wrong, but I don’t think there is much Megabyte class activity, so conforming to the class rules is kind of irrelevant. You want a little boat that is fun to sail which doesn’t have a mast that breaks and leaves you drifting into the middle of the Pacific.

The Megabyte isn’t really a product. Zim has made a few, but it is a pimple on their ass.  They got the Megabyte when they bought the assets from PS2000 and have maybe sold 3 in the last 5 years.

In summery, keep the boat you like. Give up on buying “class approved” masts from the class suppliers.

SHC

 

You're not wrong - I am no longer concerned about One Design class compliance,  I just hoped to have a nice small boat to sail after I bought a new 'improved' mast.  Twice.  It being a rather power-up design,  I even took it VERY easy on the boat because I didn't want to break anything - I just wanted to play sail it.

Yes,  I suppose that I can,  - and will have to - get my mad epoxy scientist hat on and go fix it, again - but - should I really have to do that ?  The phrase "more trouble that it's worth' comes to mind.  

My enthusiasm for the boat has understandably declined.  As fun as it was when functioning,  every tack is now followed by a worried look aloft.

It's the kind of experience that gets one into riding bikes more.   "Gee,  I wonder where all the dinghy sailors went ?"

Yes, I suppose could contact other spar builders and design my very own super-mast - what's another couple of grand?   heck I don't have any other expenses in life...I'd love to waste the money.  I just haven't got it.

As far as Forte goes - supposedly Zim checked with them and "they say nope -  the masts are fine" - there you go.

So,  Good Luck Megabyte sailors.  Remember to always sail with a rescue plan in place.

 I suppose now I know why the boat's original owner donated it to a charitable organization.

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Steve,

    So are you saying that the VanDuesen masts could have the same issues? DIdn't Forte and VD go their separate ways a long time ago? 

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1 hour ago, Great Red Shark said:

Well,  it's like 15 up from the deck you are sitting on,  so no - I wasn't looking right at it when it broke.  I was tacking.  Do you watch your upper mast tube while tacking ?

"failure mode"   ?     It went 'Crack'   and snapped the tube straight across.  No crushing, twisting or running break.

Just trying to help, good luck dickhead.

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Seriously,  I was trying to understand what you were asking.    "have you seen it break ? "   Well yeah - I was THERE - all three times - the boat is only 14 feel long and single-handed.

What were you TRYING to get at ?  How were you trying to help ?   What do you mean by "failure mode" ?

It did not burst into flames, or shatter like a window pane.  It snapped in two - as shown in the photos,  which makes sailing difficult.

Don't get snippy with me because you asked inane questions.  

Way to insult someone you don't know for trying to figure out what you were trying to say.

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I would fix it. I've fixed a half dozen broken carbon fiber bike frames. This after working with a former Specialized Bicycles engineer who fixed their broken prototype frames. There's a process. And of course the repair would be beefier than the original, and yeah, the tuned mast flex may or may not become an issue. I broke my first carbon windsurfing mast, breaking masts really sucks. It really does. :)

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I've been in the industry for over 30 years now, including in the dinghy segment.  When I was involved in a specific one design dinghy and we

had a similar problem, it was all hands on deck, we identified the problem with the supplier, went to a different mast, and offered replacements

to all class members for a very nominal price with no delivery charge.  Further, Clint Rand, last time I looked owns Forte,  was also involved

in that class, but before he purchased Forte.  I'd call Forte directly.  860-464-5221.  www.fortecarbon.com

 

I have no reason to suspect from your description that you have been abusing the masts.

 

Hence, if we really are serious about growing this sport we need to know that the suppliers/manufacturers can be held accountable.  The MegaByte is not

an extreme boat.  It answers a lot of questions for people looking for a specific product.  Questions and situations that are not answered by say the Laser,

or Sunfish, or Byte, or whatever.  We shouldn't be tolerating companies that in effect say, hey, thanks for your money, chump.  Another horror story that

gives people a good reason not to get involved in sailing.

 

 

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It is very rare for freestanding masts to break anywhere but near the deck. The loads really reduce quickly.  Laser masts break at the joint because there is such a big difference between the stiffness of the lower and the stiffness of the upper. A constantly tapered mast shouldn’t have the stress risers that result in mid span failures. 

I worked with Ted from about 1981-1985.  He developed the core technology that FiberSpar used and Forte is still using. Both Forte and Fiberspar developed their own techniques to build their products, but they are using the same fundamental tool to place fiber around a mandrel. Forte has a more production like mindset. They use the same braided set up for all their jobs, modifying only the number and length of layers to make their parts. Van Dusen has an autoclave, which Forte does not, and Ted is willing to use higher modulous fibers than Forte and is more willing to do custom work.  Forte typically has shorter lead times. 

Like any tool, there are thing they do well and things they don’t do well.  You build the laminate by making multiple passes through the machine. You can braid in both directions if you are set up to do it, so you can build thickness very efficiently with very little waste. Branders deliver the same number of fibers around the circumference of the mandrel regardless of its diameter.   So at the bottom of a constantly tapered spar, a single pass through the braider will build less structure than the same pass will build at the tip. As a result you have to tailor the ply drops in concert with the taper to maintain the wall thickness you desire.  The nature of the ply drops tend to happen two at a time because of the way the machine is operated to achieve the ply drops.  This can result in stress concentrations.

The way a mast bends is a function of its cross section and the strength/stiffness/ thickness of the walls.  I suspect there is a fundamental mis match between the taper of the Forte mandrel and the desired bend characteristics prescribed by the rig designer which causes Forte’ designers to taper the laminate too aggressively, causing the top mast to be too fragile.

SHC

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I wonder.  If the sail was cut wrong wouldn't that potentially cause the mast to bend more? 

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I'd fix it and go sailing. If you saved your old masts, you've got all the sleeving material that you need. The flex characteristics will change and you've got to pay attention to stress risers at the ends of the sleeve but I'd think you could be back on the water quickly.

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1 hour ago, Great Red Shark said:

Seriously,  I was trying to understand what you were asking.    "have you seen it break ? "   Well yeah - I was THERE - all three times - the boat is only 14 feel long and single-handed.

What were you TRYING to get at ?  How were you trying to help ?   What do you mean by "failure mode" ?

It did not burst into flames, or shatter like a window pane.  It snapped in two - as shown in the photos,  which makes sailing difficult.

Don't get snippy with me because you asked inane questions.  

Way to insult someone you don't know for trying to figure out what you were trying to say.

Generally failure mode means a more detailed description of the way the material broke. In composites this specifically would include whether there are signs of de lamination,  fiber disbonds, resin cracking, how the failure surface relates to any local ply drops, it there are any apparent defects in the layup, etc. It is frequently useful to understand if the failure started on the compression side of the mast or the tension side.

IF you were invested in getting a new mast made, this information is extremely useful to the designer and manufacturer to help understand how to eliminate the cause of the failure.

 

Your description of the section simply cracking is interesting, pictures would add to the story. Emile Greenhalghs book on the subject of composite fractography is outstanding.

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33 minutes ago, JohnMB said:

pictures would add to the story.

You looked at post #2?  The break appears to be between battens. Some tensile failure on the front of the mast, some compression failure on the sailtrack side.

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2 hours ago, garyedelman said:

Further, Clint Rand, last time I looked owns Forte,  was also involved

in that class, but before he purchased Forte.  I'd call Forte directly.  860-464-5221.  www.fortecarbon.com

...could be a hero if he is open to solving this problem openly in a way that makes it to this forum. It isn't the

Megabyte market opportunity per se, but the concept that normal folks can can go sailing on fun boats without

stepping into the black hole of $$ and unobtanium. Perhaps Forte is the go-to shop for reliable products!

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Is the break near a batten/mast track intersection point?

Gut feeling. Full batten main. Top battens in tight. Difficult to get the battens to tack without loads of downhaul (Cunningham). To keep the leach from opening up completely with a bunch of cunningham add vang.  The combination of these forced creates a compression point near or at the batten/mast track intersection point. Bang.

Sound right GRS?  Hope you are well. Sorry for the mast issues.

 

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6 hours ago, Great Red Shark said:

Do you ease your vang on every tack ?   Why do you think that would contribute to upper mast failure ?   Should the mast in a sailboat intended for one-design competition require that ?  

On some boats, if you're vang-sheeting upwind, with a significant amount of mast bend, when you turn downwind and the mast straightens out, the leech can become extremely tight to the point of breaking a spar. I have heard of masts breaking at the gooseneck and booms breaking at the vang attachment. If there is a stress riser where two different layups transition on the mast, that could possibly be the weak point that gives in the tight-leech scenario. But from your earlier post, this doesn't appear to be the case.

In answer to your question "Should the mast in a sailboat intended for one-design competition require that ?" the answer is basically, "No, it should not," but... many many classes evolve specialized trim techniques over years of optimization. Some of these techniques go beyond anything the designers or builders intended.

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2 hours ago, DryArmour said:

Is the break near a batten/mast track intersection point?

That was my first thought but from the pics is looks like the break is between battens. Maybe the track is held on with fasteners?

[edit] Not that it should matter. This shouldn't be an issue the user has to deal with on a boat of this type.

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3 hours ago, hawaiianlegend said:

Karma

what the fuck ?   I shag your girlfriend or something ?    That's what I get for buying modern sailing equipment ?  You care to explain that anonymous cheap shot ?   

 

Mast track not attached with fasteners,  is bonded onto the tube with something. Something sticky.  Not sticky enough on the last occasion,  and it peeled off the tube down to the junction,  and thankfully stopped there - still made sailing upwind impossible.

As photos in posts 2 and 6 show,  break is between battens 2 & 3.  Well away from the tube section juncture.  

Breaks have been clean.  No evidence of dry laminate, or prior delamination in the tube.  No visible damage evident,  aside from the break.

 

 

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Look,  I'm not saying I'm the most meticulous boat preparatuer or anything,  but this is the seventh small sailboat that I've owned - in addition to at least a dozen windsurfers (and several sweet FiberSpar QuickTip masts),  nevermind the other dozen or so types that I've instructed on - I've crewed on OD-14s, I-14s and 505s.    Heck,  I crewed on Megles 24 boat  # 2.    I understand most of how this stuff works.

It's just that despite my level-best efforts I can't seem to keep a spar in this boat for more than about a dozen hours - and that just doesn't seem right to me.   The type might get some more positive exposure if like 25% of the time I didn't return to base in pieces.

I'm well aware of bearing away with the vang boned and the loads that generates - that's not what's happened here -and breaking the mast with a 4:1 downhaul ?  Either I'm a damn monster (I'm not) or that's a wimpy stick.

Oh well,  I had a good day on my motorcycle.

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3 hours ago, DryArmour said:

Is the break near a batten/mast track intersection point?

Gut feeling. Full batten main. Top battens in tight. Difficult to get the battens to tack without loads of downhaul (Cunningham). To keep the leach from opening up completely with a bunch of cunningham add vang.  The combination of these forced creates a compression point near or at the batten/mast track intersection point. Bang.

Sound right GRS?  Hope you are well. Sorry for the mast issues.

 

Not sure I follow you.  Batten are in, and snug - like they'd be on a windsurfing sail.   Rotation of the full batten sail has never been an issue - proper timing on the roll and they all follow the boom, and pop,  again,  not unlike an RAF sail.  I agree there is more load than with the short batten sail,  but I trusted the designers to have accommodated that.  Breaks have not occurred at batten ends. 

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8 hours ago, Grrr... said:

I wonder.  If the sail was cut wrong wouldn't that potentially cause the mast to bend more? 

Sail seems to set just fine.  Luff curve appears fair.  Sails well.

When you hoist it you DO put some bend into the mast,  (with 0 downhaul)  - not unlike putting a windsurfing sail onto a mast, or hoisting the main of a modern  beachcat.

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7 hours ago, IStream said:

I'd fix it and go sailing. If you saved your old masts, you've got all the sleeving material that you need. The flex characteristics will change and you've got to pay attention to stress risers at the ends of the sleeve but I'd think you could be back on the water quickly.

Yeah,  I've got broken spar segments alright.  If the design hadn't changed so much I might be able to use the old upper section,  but none of the 3 variations I have is compatible.

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5 minutes ago, Great Red Shark said:

Yeah,  I've got broken spar segments alright.  If the design hadn't changed so much I might be able to use the old upper section,  but none of the 3 variations I have is compatible.

photo-755729.JPG

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Now we're getting somewhere.   I had planned on having Jimmy's boys do a spray job to protect the mast from UV but that's like the least of my worries anymore.

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GRS, I'm with Steve Clark. Reach out to Forte and explain the story to them.  I ordered some 505 masts from Superspar and when a customer went to rig their mast, they found out the mast was built wrong; internal sleeves were fitted poorly and too long....etc.  Superspar stepped up immediately and it replaced free of charge for the customer in our next order.  That was huge.  Maybe Forte would step up to help you since you dropped some serious coin on those masts.

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On 10/26/2018 at 12:20 PM, mad said:

Surely the class association and the mast supplier will want to fix this? What do they say?

Class assoc not really existent anymore, Mast seller not interested,  and quit calling me Shirley.

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Have put a note in to Forte'  ,  will report response.  I know if was building something and it seemed to be falling apart under intended use,  I'd want to know.

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4 hours ago, Somebody Else said:

In answer to your question "Should the mast in a sailboat intended for one-design competition require that ?" the answer is basically, "No, it should not," but... many many classes evolve specialized trim techniques over years of optimization. Some of these techniques go beyond anything the designers or builders intended.

Here's the thing, SE - I haven't been racing it.  Haven't really pushed it nearly as hard as I have other  boats while racing.  I just got this one to knock around in a bit when nothing else much was going on.  Specialized trim ?  Heck,  I run the dagger board up a couple inches so I don't have to hike as hard...

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Yeah, I was just throwing stuff out there. Stating the obvious. But you never know when one of those things might trigger an "Aha!" moment.

 

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It seems the equivalent of a track bike overheating while on a nice street ride - Dude,  if you can't handle this you're REALLY not gonna like racin'...

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As opposed to the Laser, it sounds like this boat is specifically designed for heavier weight crews - people 20 or even 40  pounds (10 to 20 kg)  heavier than the optimal Laser skipper.  So why the big push to save weight in the rig with a super light carbon mast, when crew weight is going to negate any benefit anyway? Carbon spars DON'T bend well. They crack and break.  If weight isn't super-critical anyway, why not use a fiberglass mast instead?  It should hold up much better to bending and, though heavier, won't add appreciable weight compared to the crew driving it.  Putting a carbon fiber mast on this boat sounds like the owner of a Swan 54 making his crew cut their toothbrush handles off short because it will make the boat lighter and faster.  What it actually does is give the crew cavities and bad breath.  

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12 minutes ago, PaulK said:

As opposed to the Laser, it sounds like this boat is specifically designed for heavier weight crews - people 20 or even 40  pounds (10 to 20 kg)  heavier than the optimal Laser skipper.  So why the big push to save weight in the rig with a super light carbon mast, when crew weight is going to negate any benefit anyway? Carbon spars DON'T bend well. They crack and break.  If weight isn't super-critical anyway, why not use a fiberglass mast instead?  It should hold up much better to bending and, though heavier, won't add appreciable weight compared to the crew driving it.  Putting a carbon fiber mast on this boat sounds like the owner of a Swan 54 making his crew cut their toothbrush handles off short because it will make the boat lighter and faster.  What it actually does is give the crew cavities and bad breath.  

DN iceboats have been using carbon spars for many years...

Screen Shot 2018-10-28 at 9.10.19 AM.png

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46 minutes ago, Alan Crawford said:

DN iceboats have been using carbon spars for many years...

Screen Shot 2018-10-28 at 9.10.19 AM.png

Stayed...  and what are the layup schedule AND breakage like?

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1 hour ago, PaulK said:

As opposed to the Laser, it sounds like this boat is specifically designed for heavier weight crews - people 20 or even 40  pounds (10 to 20 kg)  heavier than the optimal Laser skipper.  So why the big push to save weight in the rig with a super light carbon mast, when crew weight is going to negate any benefit anyway? Carbon spars DON'T bend well. They crack and break.  If weight isn't super-critical anyway, why not use a fiberglass mast instead?  It should hold up much better to bending and, though heavier, won't add appreciable weight compared to the crew driving it.  Putting a carbon fiber mast on this boat sounds like the owner of a Swan 54 making his crew cut their toothbrush handles off short because it will make the boat lighter and faster.  What it actually does is give the crew cavities and bad breath.  

Unstayed carbon spar on a Finn. Lay-up schedule - I have no idea. Many, many Finns sailing with carbon masts. If they broke at the frequency of GRS's Megabyte spar something would change in the Finn class.

Screen Shot 2018-10-28 at 10.49.22 AM.png

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12 hours ago, Great Red Shark said:

Class assoc not really existent anymore, Mast seller not interested,  and quit calling me Shirley.

wait.....what?   I've never called you.  I don"t even have your number.

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3 hours ago, PaulK said:

 Carbon spars DON'T bend well. They crack and break. 

I'm not sure I'm following you here.  Are you saying all of those high-carbon percentage windsurfing masts I sailed for years DIDN'T work ?  

Because...they sure did,  and they flex  considerably,  rigging them properly would put over a foot of bend into a 15 foot mast and sailing in waves and puffs would see the tips moving considerably.  Perhaps I should have kept some of them to graft onto the debris I have piled up after sailing my Mega,  but I figured the guys had figured out what the boat needed by now - I mean,  that's NOT unreasonable,  is it ?

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So did those 787 wings I was sitting over last week. It's not that a carbon structure can't bend without breaking, it just needs to be designed and fabricated properly to do so.

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Which is not to say that high modulus materials are magical - I DO understand the brittle nature of them.  Once I had a rigged windsurf sail flip over on the beach and clip a parking lot sign - to no effect at the time.

Next time I sailed I rigged that mast (with the 8:1 downhaul system common at the time) and about 15-20 minutes later,  while sitting on the beach attached to a board the sail went "BANG !"  and there was a big ol' kink in my sail (not unlike image in post # 6,  but worse) - yep,  I had damaged the tube and it didn't like that one bit.

Lesson learned.   Ever since then (and,  I'm guessing this was mid-90s) I have been very careful not to scuff, nick, scratch, ding or abuse carbon articles, because it seems they don't tolerate abuse like heavier glass constructs.  

I would not,    for instance,  ever recommend a carbon mast for a beginner boat,  even though the handling is much more forgiving - just for that reason.  

I think that I own up to my mistakes.  Cowards like HawaiianLegend notwithstanding.

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Steve has covered the technical details. May I suggest the obvious alternative (only if you get no joy putting pressure on mast maker): buy a Finn mast!

Regardimy carbon. It bends. Some of my flyrods are. They bend. So does my canoe mast. Works like a charm.

BT way Keith Burgess engineered successful freestanding carbon spars about 40 years ago . Not a new problem. See post from Steve again.

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19 hours ago, hawaiianlegend said:

Karma

GSR is perfectly capable of defending himself, especially with the use of prose.  However, if anyone deserves good sailing karma it's him.  First to show up, first to crawl into an otherwise inaccessible space with a wrench,  first on the starting line, first to advocate NOT doing something stupid on the course, and first place results calling tactics and trimming the main. Now, back to the mast on the Megabyte...

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1 hour ago, Hawaiidart said:
21 hours ago, hawaiianlegend said:

Karma

GSR is perfectly capable of defending himself, especially with the use of prose.  However, if anyone deserves good sailing karma it's him.  First to show up, first to crawl into an otherwise inaccessible space with a wrench,  first on the starting line, first to advocate NOT doing something stupid on the course, and first place results calling tactics and trimming the main. Now, back to the mast on the Megabyte...

That's quite the opposite of what was implied by your mysterious use of the word "Karma", commonly expressed as "Karma is a bitch", meaning "You deserved that bad shit".  Nice of you to clarify with such high praise, though it makes your word choice even more mysterious?

As for anyone who sells an inferior product that "seemed to be falling apart under intended use" and won't make it right, on the other hand...

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