Carbon Fibre Masts

Does anyone have any experience of these in a Bristol Channel Cutter.

Hi Stewart,
I have experience with CF masts, but not in a BCC. The yacht I operated as a paid captain was an 84’ custom ketch. She had Hood roller furling masts that were heavy. 2000 lbs. for the main. The carbon fiber mast weighed 500 lbs. It made a huge difference in the way she sailed and her behavior at anchor.

Some points to consider that I learned along the way:

  1. To make a noticeable difference and justify the cost the difference in weight has to be fairly substantial. Between a CF mast and a roller furling mast it is. Between and standard mast and CF I don’t think there would be enough difference. Particularly in a smaller vessel.
  2. Some of the mast manufacturers make some thin wall aluminum masts that are almost as light when you take in to account the weight of the heavy stainless hardware that has to be added to the CF mast, i.e. masthead, spreader fittings etc.
  3. CF attracts lightning really well compared to aluminum. Carbon is one of the best conductors known to man.

After sailing the custom ketch with the CF masts I was all hot and bothered to have CF masts on my next boat. But after carefully analyzing the pros and cons for a BCC I decided against it.

Hope this helps.

Thanks Gary there seems to be a lot of hype out there for composites in general, I am a bit nervous about their durability over the long haul especially for a boat like a BCC which should be a long lasting boat!