View Full Version : mast for a brick(hope it doesnt sink like one)

01-11-2010, 10:29 AM
hi all,have a completed brick hull,truly a thing of beauty,just the mast to go but have hit a snag,all these supposed boat builders in sydney refuse to believe that an 8ft boat can have a 16ft mast,indeed they say they have never heard of a mr phil bolger (r.i.p.)crazy talk!will bamboo do seems too easy

01-11-2010, 11:14 AM
Congrats on finishing your Brick!
Likely, bamboo is too easy, yes, as it'll probably be too flexible. But it's often free, so give it a try.

If your problem is finding lumber that's 16' long, then just scarf shorter pieces together - they'll be fine.
http://members.fortunecity.com/duckworks/2001/1001/Index.htm#Scarfing Scroll down a bit for the tutorial.

Good luck - and post pics!
Dave Gentry

01-11-2010, 12:37 PM
why thankyou,hehe,made furniture for years and only recently discovered boatbuilding is a lot more fulfilling so thought i d start with a brick followed by a micro then who knows,hehe any hoo what would be the best timber for the mast ive used cheapo materials for the "box"as this boat was more of an exercise but am thinking slightly better material for the mast?should the mast be hollow(birds nest),i figure solid timber unless a lighter species will just tip the boat over maybe i think too much thanks for any help,peace.

01-11-2010, 12:56 PM
If it's an exercise, here's my advice. The amount of material needed won't be much so get some decent mast material. Doug fir about tops most people's list. My brother tried to scarf and scrimp on mast material and it didn't work. You might luck out with some incredible lumberyard finds but odds are you'll be cutting around knots to such an extent that it's cheaper in the long run to go get the good material to begin with. Then make it bird's mouth style. (this is an exercise after all) It will reduce the weight and lessen the amount of material you need. Besides, no point in an "exercise" that's ready made now is there?

01-11-2010, 01:14 PM
too true,exercise does imply some hard work,however i do like the LOOK of bamboo but if its too flexible, cant imagine it would be too weak,what can u do.birds mouth ,yes not nest ,what a dolt i am.for the birds mouth mast are the pieces of timber tapered (lengthways)before assembly.cheers.

peter radclyffe
01-11-2010, 01:29 PM
i once made a 9ft land yacht with a 19 ft mast, so why not

01-11-2010, 01:33 PM
If I may ask, why do you want a 16 foot mast? Because the original plans call for it? Much easier to store and transport the shorter spars of a four sided lug or sprit rig.


01-11-2010, 01:40 PM
Plans call for a 16' mast - that length or slightly shorter is not uncommon on 8' racing prams like Bullships and Sabots.


Take two 16' 2x4's and epoxy together. Shape / plane down to approved size on the plans. Go sailing...

01-11-2010, 01:48 PM
yup because of the plans,first boat build so thought id try to stick to it, though been a fan of this forum for a while and noticed plans get altered on nearly every build.echoing my thoughts though on the 4 sided lug sail seems a lot more practical.Must say ive enjoyed many of your posts jimd and i agree with your choices of boats,love the amigo.So can i rule out bamboo,looks like a perfect mast delivered by nature,looks can be deceiving though.my issue is mostly nagging from others.after taking the brick for a "hull test",paddling around national park my two lackeys decided they were allergic to oars and demanded the mast and sail be up for next weekend.My brother managed to do 6 circles in succession,try and top that.i abandoned ship and swum to shore,it was quicker.

01-11-2010, 01:54 PM
swam,not swum methinks

01-11-2010, 02:11 PM
ayup, two 2x4s was the original plan and more than likely the simplest answer .The evil mistress from hell is due back on thursday so i guess time is even tighter now,thanks for your replies (what about bamboo surely someone has tried it before,would save me the hassle of getting a length or two sent from queensland ),ill post some pics and stuff on launch day in about a week .

01-11-2010, 02:27 PM
indeed why not a 16ft mast.the problem is that when i rang
MANY boating establishments perhaps looking for a second hand sailing rig or a mast they all tell me that no i want only a 12ft mast on such a small boat.people in sydney r just plain naiive.if they dont know something then it isnt possible.terrible attitude.anyhoo buying it would be cheating so its back to 2x4s and polytarp sail.one lovely gentleman told me he had a cheap 14ft mast and sail setup for the meagre sum of $800.i almost brought up my breakfast.adios amigos thanx for your time .until next week same bat time same bat channel.

Cuyahoga Chuck
01-11-2010, 04:42 PM
Bamboo will work but seeing that it belongs to the grass family and there are hundreds of varieties of bamboo and it comes in as many different sizes it is hard to make a blanket pronouncement that any and all bamboo will do the job. If you use a mast that flexes the sail should be made to account for the flex else it will be wrinkled all the time.
Sixteen feet of mast seems aweful lbig for an 8' boat. How many squares is your sail and what shape is it?
Most of the better known 8' prams fly less than 40 square feet of sail and have masts from about 8'6" to about 13'6". If you are a newby sailor a short mast and a smaller sail will make learning the ropes much easier.

Tom Robb
01-11-2010, 04:45 PM
They say that when all else fails, read the directions. You could try that. What's to lose? Lumber yard 2X4 timbers (pick the nicest ones in the pile) then glued up and tapered are probably what the design calls for. Lots of them have been built and presumeably work as advertized or there'd be lots of complaining.

01-12-2010, 01:40 AM
leg o mutton sprit sail ,59 sqft,funny coincidence our "hull test day"was performed ,and it was a performance,in leg o mutton bay on new years day and rueing the lack of our leg o mutton sail.thet sounded like dr seuss ,sorry.geez shoulda taken pics of the build i suppose,i myself couldnt find enough pics of previous builds.ill definitely fully document my micro build and post pics and video.the micro idea has pushed the cooper s and 88 zx1000 project further back in the garage.anyhoo like the look of that sail looks like you dont have to duck too much and doesnt block your vision too much,some boats i dont know how they see where they are going

01-12-2010, 01:57 AM
just adding ,i can get bamboo in about 5.5meter lengths at around 60 to 110 mm ,im making the 2x4 mast already but i want to try the bamboo anyway they are only 20 ;30 dollars a length.i was figuring around the65- 75mm mark at the base ,probably get 3 different sizes and see what happens.off to search for some more poly tarp sail info the 3"of curve at 30% back isnt clicking with me .damn brain.