Mast and Boom Sections

Superspars

Superspars are no stranger to the Solo class and have been developing mast and boom sections since the mid eighties. The company are prolific in some other classes with the 470 being the most popular. Indeed much of the business is built on this Olympic double hander, such is the success of the rig. When I visited the workshop, a modest building in Fareham, Simon welcomed me and was more than happy to show me around and explain the mast making process. I will not go into those details as they are widely available on the Superspars website but in essence and what I found most significant, was the ability to produce mast sections time and time again with the exact bend characteristics of the section required. This is only possible as all sections go through stringent testing and coding in all stages of the build process.

how many times have you either bought a new / second hand boat with a specified rig only to find it doesn’t quite feel the same? Or maybe bent a mast and the replacement was stiffer or bendier than your original?
Each Superspars section is batched according to it’s tensile strength and thickness so you can request the exact section and bend character that you need. You may like the flexability at the top of the rig which is not dictated by the rigging but want the lower section stiffer without having to limit the movement sideways and fore and aft by having tight rigging.
Fortunately the Superspar rig can have it all by supplying, for instance and as in my case, an M7+ which is stiff (rather than medium of soft bend) with the added bonus of a choice of sleeve. This provides a huge choice of achievable flex settings to match not just your weight but where you sail and how you sail the Solo.

I have to say, Superspars really do undersell themselves, the quality of materials and the knowledge that goes into the mystical art of mast manufacturing is a pretty tricky balancing act and Superspars, going by their sales of winning 470 rigs have mastered it.
So why have they not cracked the market with the National Solo. Too be truthful, Simon tells me, they just have not had the time! they do though, see the class for what it is, a huge market in the UK and with average new boat sales far and away the largest for this type of dinghy, a thriving class.
Superspars are now once again focusing their attention on the Solo market and the M7+ and matching B+ boom with variable mast sleeve as an option could prove to be the way back in.

A new range of variable stiffness Solo rigs help you to match your sailing weight with wind and weather conditions. For the new 2016 sailing season Super Spars are launched a new range of Solo rigs using the proven Olympic medal winning M7+ mast section. With three different weights of mast tube and easily interchangeable multi length sleeves that can be easily changed to suit sailing, wind and sailing conditions this is the ultimate Solo mast. The mast sections are available in standard tube weight ranges from light, medium and heavy. Sleeves can be easily fitted and interchanged by removing ten screws sliding the sleeve out and sliding in your chosen sleeve. Three sets of sleeves can be purchased – any combination can be provided:

 

Selden

At Seldén, we work closely with the world’s top dinghy sailors, carefully analysing their input and feedback to enable us to produce the ultimate dingy rig for every boat. Our innovative design, attention to detail, advanced testing and manufacturing have won Seldén the trust of dinghy sailors all over the world and brought us numerous championship medals.

Our philosophy is to strive for excellence. Techniques such as auto-weld tapering and bead peening of every mast, give Seldén dinghy spars the edge in quality, performance and consistency.

"One of the driving reasons for investing in this machine was that we needed to reduce the amount of time that it was taking for sawing, drilling and cutting aluminium tubes. One of the new requirements at Selden is making beams for catamarans, like the Dart 16 and RS Cat 16 and also monohulls such as the RS Quest and the Laser Bahia. Typically with a Laser Bahia cross-beam we could make about four in a day, by hand. With this machine we can make one in 2 minutes and 30 seconds."

Even with the best machinist in the world there are always tolerance issues, but the CNC cutter makes repeatability extremely accurate as Steve explains:

"The tolerance is much better on the machine. While the advantage for our OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) customers is the output we get, for the racing sailor it's the accuracy in the position of fittings. A typical problem for a dinghy sailor might be that they put their mast in the boat and the mast for some reason doesn't quite sit straight side-to-side. One reason for that can be that the T-terminal positions for the cap shroud, when put in with a hand router, are accurate to within around +/- 0.5mm. With our CNC machine we're accurate to within 0.01mm, so for the racing sailor there is a benefit that their cap shrouds, forestay position and spreader brackets will be far more accurate than was previously achievable by hand."

Improved mass-production is now possible for the OEM market, and Selden are now putting through large batches for the major manufacturers:

"With the OEM work it has completely changed the way that the factory operates. Previously the cutting of the tube to length, the drilling of the holes, the routering of the T-terminal positions and the fittings placement was all one operation. In order to keep batch sizes manageable we would look at a sales order that might be for 25 masts and we would make 25 complete tubes in one operation with the assembly. With this machine it's much more efficient to do all of the cutting, drilling and routering in one hit. We'll take a batch of tubes, maybe 100, 150 or 200 tubes, and we'll run those through in a day and then put the fittings on at a later date as the sales orders require."

Steve Norbury

All Seldén dinghy mast sections have been designed to give the best stiffness to weight ratio available in an alloy extrusion. Material, section shape and size, and wall thickness all have a major effect on both the static and dynamic bend characteristics of a tube. These details are studied in the design of every section and are carefully checked on every piece of spar tube we use.

Selecting the correct section to suit your class and your specific crew weight and sail cut is vital. Please don’t hesitate to refer to your class data sheet on www.seldenmast.com for further details, or contact your local dealer for advice.

 

Mast section

Section weight kg/m

Dimension fore/aft mm

Dimension athwart mm

Stiffness fore/aft cm4

Stiffness athwart cm4

Suitable for

 

2420

C060

0.78

61

50

10.7

7.5

Cadet, Feva, Snipe, Vaurien, Mirror

 

Electron

C061

1

59.5

66

12.2

17.9

Splash, Flash

 

Lambda

C063

0.88

63

51

13.6

9.8

Mirror, Vaurien, Teeny

 

C

C065

0.9

65

54

14.1

9.8

Lark, Solo, Firefly

 

Kappa

C067

0.92

67

55

16

12

420, Flying Junior

 

Zeta

C068

0.97

69

57

18.6

12.9

420, 470

 

E

C070

1.15

69.9

53.9

18.9

13.7

Flying Dutchman, Wanderer, Wayfarer

 

Cumulus

C069

1.04

70.5

58.7

20.41

14.4

420, 470, 505, Albacore, Hornet, Fireball, Scorpion, Solo, RS200, RS400, GP14, Laser Vago

 

Alto

C071

1.073

70.5

59.5

21.49

14.96

470, 505, Fireball,

 

D Plus

C074

1.07

72.9

57.2

20

13.8

Enterprise, Solo

 

Epsilon

C072

1.09

72

57

21.8

15.6

Flying 15, 470, Osprey, Pirat, RS Vision

 

Gamma

C075

1.25

75

57.4

27.1

16.9

Flying Dutchman, Nomad, Topper Omega



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