View Full Version : Fir vs. Spruce for spars
03-18-2009, 10:33 AM
I need to build an 18' mast for my sailing skiff. I can get Spruce up to 16' or Fir up to 24'. Is Fir suitable for a mast or should I try to scarf the Spruce to get the length I need?
03-18-2009, 10:41 AM
DF would be suitable, in that it would have good strength, but it would be heavy. The benefit of Sitka Spruce is light weight and good strength.
03-18-2009, 10:48 AM
Just an opinion, but at that size, the quality of the wood available probably means more than the species, particularly if the spar is hollow.
03-18-2009, 10:51 AM
Do you plan on a solid mast or birdsmouth/box construction?
At that size, don't think it will make a whole lot of difference in weight, but the cost for spruce will be quite a bit higher -- plus all the scarfing work. But if your back or arms are less than 100%, the weight difference might be worth it.
I built a 16' solid DF mast for my dory skiff, just glued two semi-clear 16' DF 2x4's together and shaped the resulting stick. I recommend using epoxy for critical joints like this -- "don't ask me how I know this..."
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