Way Back, when I was young and building my first steel boat, I chose to also fabricated the steel mast. I thought that the money spent purchasing a commercially built mast could be better spent on products that I could not fabricate myself.
I was a skilled metal fabricator, but at time my engineering knowledge was limited, consequently I did a little research. In one well-known book on Yacht Design, I read where Nathanael Herreshoff experimented with steel masts.
In another I learned how ‘Euler’s Slender Column’ formula was used to size sailboat masts. The interesting part was that Euler’s included an option to design in steel, pivoting around the ‘Module of Elasticity’ and ‘Moment of Inertia’.
I therefore, decided that I would fabricate a steel mast for my first steel build using the overall section dimensions given by the Designer, with a twist. The mast would be eight sided.
That mast, shown in the below pictures, stood on the ‘Notion’ for the twenty some years that I sailed her. At over twenty years old her new owner successfully crossed the Atlantic, with that eight-sided steel mast that I built so many years ago.
If you are a ‘One of’ builder, look at the time that it takes to build a steel over the time that you have to work a job to purchase a manufacture mast and all the hardware.
· Either you are going to work a job to earn money to buy a commercially fabricated mast system.
· Or, you could spend that time building a Steel Mast.
· In either event you are going to spend time. It is just a matter of where you chose to spend your time.
If you are a steel ‘Commercial Boat Builder’ think back to the time when sailboat masts were made of wood, and were just another part of the build. I am thinking, Steel boats – Steel masts, just another part of the build.
Introduction: Page 6
Steel Mast Design: Page 11
Steel Mast Components: Page 16
Mast Column: Page 18
Mast Head: Page 22
Spreaders: Page 29
Mast-Boom Gooseneck: Page 35
Thru-Deck: Page 38 Mast Base: Page 43
Standing Rigging: Page 48
Fabrication of the Mast Column: Page 51