Mast & Boom
“Sailors look up.” It’s a simple phrase, but captures the essence of our obsession. While all boaters can appreciate the fine lines of a well-designed boat, almost immediately a sailor’s eyes will drift up to the rig, visualizing the power and pointing ability of a vessel that may at that moment be snug at the dock. The loads that masts and booms must handle safely can boggle the mind. You need an expert to help you raise, lower, modify or service your spars. We’re here to help.
Aluminum alloys—especially #6061-T6—have proven successful on pleasure boats, requiring a minimum of maintenance and being comparatively light and long-lived. For these reasons, aluminum largely replaced wood in the masts of boats built after 1960. Relatively new on the scene are the masts and booms built to handle mainsail furling systems, and the complications that come with them. We’ve serviced and installed spars from all of the major manufacturers, including Selden, Z-Spar, Hall Spars, etc.
Carbon Fiber and other Composites
In the 1990s, carbon fiber became increasingly popular for masts, to the point that it is now the material of choice for new large yacht masts. Carbon fiber is light, tremendously strong, and more supple even than wood. It is also expensive, more difficult to ground, and can set up galvanic corrosion with the metal fittings that are commonly used. For these reasons, many sailors still prefer aluminum. Thick-sectioned carbon-fiber masts are used without stays in large cat-rigged cruisers and even the mighty Maltese Falcon, whereas racing yachts use highly stayed, thin-sectioned carbon masts. Strong as it is, a carbon-fiber mast can still break, and requires careful handling.
Commissioning and Decommissioning
Whether straight out of the mold and stepping your spar for the first time, assembling after transport, or packing her up for a long haul, knowledge of the subtleties of the mast stepping process is key. Specializing in big boat components and how they interact, we make sure your spar goes up and comes down safely, smoothly and professionally.