Dream Big Sailing Academy just finished a training camp with professional Laser sailors where we focused on finding out the differences between the carbon and the aluminum masts (dynamically and statically).
Longevity, uniformity of quality, and no more bent upper masts!
– The average carbon mast weight is 2.4 kg- 2.42 kg.
– The aluminum mast weighs between 2.6 kg 3.2 kg.
– Lighter means less momentum and less power needed to flatten the boat.
Carbon fiber is used in industries where high strength and rigidity are required. Scientifically, for the same weight, the carbon offers about 28% more rigidity compared to the aluminum mast, but because of the lack of information about the right composition of the upper mast, the rigidity can be between 12% and 28%.
What we found out:
– The result of our two weeks training and comparing both masts, our sailors have agreed that the carbon masts make you accelerate faster (much less loss of energy when pumping to accelerate).
– The carbon mast gives a better shape to the sail, better trimming, and facilitates the air flow within the sail.
– Thanks to the carbon mast the sailors can feel that torquing the boat is more effective and helps you go faster.
Small problems with the masts:
A few problems have been noticed with the European carbon masts where the carbon around the bottom plug is breaking because of the existence of only one rivet instead of two, which makes the plug move and ends up damaging the carbon.
This is how the mast looks without the plug:
Calculating the static difference between both masts (same boat, same sail, same traveller settings, same outhaul settings, block to block…)
Youssef Akrout is a two-time Olympian, a physiotherapist, an athletic trainer, a sailing coach, and a founder of Dream Big Sailing, which provides multiple services for dinghy sailors as a sailing academy.
For more information: http://dreambigsailing.com/