metal compatible with carbon fiber


Newport, RI
Just put a layer of glass down and then bond a piece of aluminum or stainless down.  This is how mast tracks on Hall rigs were built for years.  The glass isolates the carbon and then tefgel isolates the fastener.  I would recommend tapping only the plate and let the carbon be a thru hole as it doesn't hold threads well.  You also are less likely to break the tap as you transition from carbon to aluminum. 



Los Angeles
What I've done, for many years, is laminate carbon to most metals, for various reasons, including alloy.

I've laminated carbon Stiffeners/pads on alloy masts with no issues 

Once I have given the alloy a mechanical profile, I etch with a two pack chromate, then lay up a layer of non carbon light boat cloth as a isolating layer using epoxy resin then the carbon.

I have examples that are over 20yrs old with no issues.



It's only my experience speaking, but stainless and carbon in a saltwater environment is just a battery, and the stainless always loses.  Buzz Ballenger of Ballenger masts will agree with this statement.  On the periodic table of the elements it doesn't seem like they would interact, but it will eventually turn FD parts to dust, and make them rough and unusable in the meantime. Even having a layer of electrical tape between the two is a good start, but again, titanium is the way to go, and it's been my experience that it's a nightmare to work with, work hardening as you drill, making it slower and slower and slower..... NZL has a smart way of managing it... insulation. 


silent bob

Super Anarchist
New Jersey
IF the stainless parts were electropolished (like that stainless gooseneck fitting might have been) then yes you will have just minor rust staining and not much corrosion. OR if they properly isolated the faying surfaces with e-glass. I suspect slug doesn't know.

BUT if you machine/cut/drill or tap a piece of stainless steel without treating the cut edge, the stainless is "active" and is much lower on a galvanic scale. And that is the difference. 

Maybe listen to the guy who has been involved in building AC boats (Russell) or designing them (me) rather than the paid skipper. We both think Ti is the gold standard. If you use stainless steel KEEP AN EYE ON IT. When stainless steel corrodes it can hide for some time with a tiny crack - but be corroded half way through.
While you are correct, the AC boats have never worried about longevity!  While a lot of what they did has lasted well beyond it’s expiration date, they were just trying to get through the cup cycle!  

Last edited by a moderator:

Latest posts