Flying Tiger Mast Frequently Asked Questions
Joining the Mast
- The bottom section of the mast will need to be epoxied together, as well as the fiberglass mast step insert.
- The halyards are run in the mast and care needs to be taken so they do not become glued to the interior of the mast during this operation. Wrapping the lines in a thin plastic sheet at the area of the joint is a good safeguard, also having them under tension while glue is setting up, should keep them from touching the inside wall of the mast.
- Looking through the T-Terminal holes will determine the attitude of the halyards. The mast should be lined up straight on some saw horses and dry fitted to make sure the alignment is perfect, and will remain so for the duration of the epoxy cure period. A string tensioned, and running, just above the boltrope track is a good way to check alignment.
- The epoxy will have to be thickened with silica or similar filler material, so as not to run out of the joint. The surfaces should be sanded and clean. The interior wall of the mast should be very lightly coated with un-thickened epoxy resin. The sleeve should have excessive thickened glue to ensure that all gaps are filled as it slides together. There should be extra glue all around the insertion point, and if there is not, stop and add more glue. Once the sleeve is fully home, wipe off the excess and double check the alignment, insert a spacer at the point where the two boltrope extrusions meet to ensure that alignment; let cure overnight.
Properly Securing the Mast at the Deck Partners
Although the carbon mast is designed as a keel stepped configuration, it is vital that the section is adequately supported at the deck partners. Failure to do this can result in the mast coming in contact with the deck molding, which can in turn fracture the carbon section. There are two stages to correctly support the mast:
- Firstly, an external support collar must be bonded to the outside of the mast base section, directly below the vang fitting. The collar should be around 8″ long, so that when the mast is stepped, it protrudes both above and below the deck partners. This collar should be supplied with the mast kit, if you don’t have a collar, please contact Hiptrader, before stepping the mast.
- Secondly, once the mast has been stepped and correctly set up with the desired rake, it is vital to cast a polymer support compound (for example ‘Spartite‘) to fill the gap between the mast and the deck partners; other materials such as rubber strips, foam or wood chocks are not suitable and must not be used.
Protecting the Mast from UV
- The carbon mast section comes supplied with the ‘raw’ epoxy manufacturers finish. Although the surface is glossy, with continuous exposure to UV light the surface layer of the epoxy resin will begin to degrade, turning slightly yellow and reducing in gloss. Whilst this is not a structural problem it is advisable, in the long term, to protect the mast by coating it in a two-part polyurethane. This can be carried out, either before the mast is stepped for the first time, or you can incorporate it as part of the winter maintenance program at the end of the first, or second, season of sailing.
- The epoxy mast surface should be adequately sanded and then wiped with solvent, the coating can then be brushed or spray applied – follow the paint manufacturers instructions as directed.