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Old 19th August 2008, 09:34 AM   #1
johnk
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Default Broken Fiberspar Mast

My Fiberspar Reflex 5000 QT 520 mast broke today while using a Retro 9.5 in fairly light conditions. The break occurred in the lower mast just below the ferrule. I've read previous postings and suspect that the mast joint separated in the sail before cranking the downhaul. I'll be extra careful rigging in the future and will tape the joint to help prevent separating.

My questions:

Is it possible to replace just the bottom section of this mast? Do the manufacturer's even sell just bottom sections or would I have to look on the used market?
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Old 19th August 2008, 03:33 PM   #2
crazychemical
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answer: by my knowledge: NO
BUUUUUUUUT a lot of people crash/crack and break their masts every day so if you go to a few windsurf forums, post a few adds asking for the bottom part of a FS RF 5000 QT you might just find a guy that broke the top part and already replace the mast and wants to sell it to you. Otherwise: get yourself a new one. Like tennis rackets, after a while, masts also simply wear out (and break).
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Old 19th August 2008, 07:10 PM   #3
Roger
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Hi Johnk,
CC has it pretty much right.
The mast manufacturers do not sell replacement halves.
Powerex was replacing halves under warranty for a while, but they have stopped
doing so.
Look on the used market and see what you can find,.
If you replace the mast I'd look for something besides a Fiberspar QT for your 9.5 m2
Retro. If I recall correctly, the Fiberspar QT bend characteristics were somewhat less than ideal for the Retro Sails.
I somewhat disagree with CC on the "masts get old and eventually break".
I have some really old carbon masts and I take good care of them.
I don't think they will be breaking anytime soon.
Abuse and direct sunlight generated hot spots are the main "mast breakers".
Used as they were designed, and only bent in sails, they will last a very long time.
Hope this helps
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Old 19th August 2008, 07:56 PM   #4
johnk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger View Post
If you replace the mast I'd look for something besides a Fiberspar QT for your 9.5 m2 Retro. If I recall correctly, the Fiberspar QT bend characteristics were somewhat less than ideal for the Retro Sails.
Hi Roger,

I was actually considering a new Fiberspar Reflex 4800 QT as a replacement. What would you reccomend as a better alternative?

Thanks,
JohnK
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Old 19th August 2008, 10:26 PM   #5
crazychemical
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger View Post
I somewhat disagree with CC on the "masts get old and eventually break".
I have some really old carbon masts and I take good care of them.
I don't think they will be breaking anytime soon.
Abuse and direct sunlight generated hot spots are the main "mast breakers".
Used as they were designed, and only bent in sails, they will last a very long time.
Hope this helps
granted, if you do'nt catapult every session your mast will last a lifetime. But carbonfibers wear through shock so even the slightest tremble damages your mast on a microscopic plane. Tennis players know that after 3-4 seasons they should replace their rackets because the fibers in the frame have lost their elasticety and this compromises the game. Sure, there are guys that still use 20 yr old stuff and do well, but you'll never see them at top level, they don't need to be. Mast fibers, i suspect work nearly the same (as it's mainly built from the same stuff) so if you hit water/ground often, you're damaging the mastfibers, increasing the risk of spontanious mast breakage which can and most likely will, damage your sail. Personally it's not my own intention to replace all masts i have every few years, i'd rather have them till they 'die', they're good masts. But i know, the longer i sail em, the more i risk getting mast breakage.
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Old 19th August 2008, 11:05 PM   #6
Roger
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Hi Crazy Chemical,
Point well taken!
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Old 19th August 2008, 11:24 PM   #7
Roger
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Hi John K.
OK, first a couple of questions, then some recommendations/suggestions.
1/ Why were you using a 520 CM IMCS 34 mast in your 9.5 m2 Retro?
All the 9.5 Retro's I've ever had used 490 cm masts and were really designed
to use the Sailworks Joystick 490 cm IMCS 30 as the "best mast".
It's possible that you were getting a softer top (Fibertspar's QT feature") and a slightly
softer (IMCS 28/29) in your 520 cm FS 5000QT 95% carbon mast so the Retro actually
worked OK with this mast.
2/ What year is your 9.5 m2 Retro?
You can probably save a little $$ if you buy a 490 cm mast this time.
I use both Powerex and Sailworks masts.
I find the specified Sailworks Joystick 75% mast to be a little heavy for this old body to
heft out of the water, so I use either the Sailworks Speedstick 490 or the Powerex
Z-Speed/Speed 100 490 cm masts in my 9.5 m2 Retro sails.
Here's the specs:
SW Joystick 490
Length (cm): 490
Carbon content (%): 75%
Weight (Kg.) 2.3 (5.07 lbs)
MCS Stiffness: 26.5
IMCS Stiffness: 30.0

Sailworks Speed Stick 490
Length (cm): 490
Carbon content (%): 100%
Weight (Kg.) 2.0 (4.409 lbs)
MCS Stiffness: 26.5
IMCS Stiffness: 30.0

Powerex Z-Speed/Speed 100 490 26 29 5.05 2.29
Length (cm): 490
Carbon content (%): 100%
Weight (Kg.) 2.0 (5.05lbs.)
MCS Stiffness: 26.0
IMCS Stiffness: 29.0
You can buy the Sailworks masts from your local shop or direct from
the Sailworks loft.
htp://www.sailworks.com
The Powerex mats are also available at your local shop.
Sorry, I could not find complete specs. on your old Fiberspar mast,
but I'd guess the 490 Powerex Z-Speed/Speed100 and SW Speedstick
would weigh about the same as your old Fiberspar 95% 5000 QT.
Hope this helps,
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Old 20th August 2008, 12:34 AM   #8
johnk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger View Post
Hi John K.
OK, first a couple of questions, then some recommendations/suggestions.

1/ Why were you using a 520 CM IMCS 34 mast in your 9.5 m2 Retro?

2/ What year is your 9.5 m2 Retro?

Here's the specs:
SW Joystick 490
Length (cm): 490
Carbon content (%): 75%
Weight (Kg.) 2.3 (5.07 lbs)
MCS Stiffness: 26.5
IMCS Stiffness: 30.0

Sailworks Speed Stick 490
Length (cm): 490
Carbon content (%): 100%
Weight (Kg.) 2.0 (4.409 lbs)
MCS Stiffness: 26.5
IMCS Stiffness: 30.0

Powerex Z-Speed/Speed 100 490 26 29 5.05 2.29
Length (cm): 490
Carbon content (%): 100%
Weight (Kg.) 2.0 (5.05lbs.)
MCS Stiffness: 26.0
IMCS Stiffness: 29.0

Thanks Roger for the detailed response! I purchased the 2000 9.5 Retro and Fiberspar 5000 QT used along with a Fiberspar boom as a complete rig. The prior owner advised that running the 520 made the sail more powerful for us heavy guys. I really didn't know enough to challenge this advice and the price at the time was too good to pass up.

Here are the specs from the Fiberspar Reflex 5000 QT:
Length (cm): 520
Carbon content (%): 90%
Weight (Kg.) 2.15 (4.73 lbs)
MCS Stiffness: 27
IMCS Stiffness: 34

For new (budget) masts, I was considering the Joystick 490 which looks slightly heavier than the 520 Fiberspar mast it replaces. I was also considering the Powerex Z-Free 490 which is slightly lighter than the Joystick. However, I suspect that the Joystick will be more compatible with the Retro sail.

I'm not sure how comfortable I am about buying another used mast... what are your thoughts around this?
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Old 20th August 2008, 09:59 AM   #9
Roger
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Hi John,
I agree, buying used masts may be abit risky, unless you know the person you are buying it from and that they take very good care of their masts.
So, perhaps a SW Joystick or the Powerex Z-Free (with at least a year of warranty)
would be the most cost effective/risk free way to go.
Where are you located?
If you are really a heavy sailor, the stiffer 520 cm IMCS 34 makes a little more sense, but I think you'll like your big Retro on the 490 cm a bit better.
Hope this helps,
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Old 20th August 2008, 07:30 PM   #10
johnk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger View Post
Where are you located?
If you are really a heavy sailor, the stiffer 520 cm IMCS 34 makes a little more sense, but I think you'll like your big Retro on the 490 cm a bit better.
Hope this helps,
Hi Roger,

Apparently the SW Joystick and Powerex Z-Free are the same according to the FAQ:

Q: Who makes the Sailworks masts?


A: Most of the Sailworks masts are manufactured by MacLean Quality Composites at their factory near Salt Lake City. MacLean is the manufacturer of the Powerex brand of masts. Several of the Sailworks masts are identical to the Powerex models: Lipstick = Z-Wave; Joystick = Z-Free; Speedstick = Z-Speed.

I'm located in Stamford, CT which unfortunately does not have a local windsurfing shop. As such, I will most likely order a mast on-line.

Although I'm 200 lbs, the 490 mast purchase is a little more appealing for the price and because it could support another sail in between my 7.0 and 9.5 inventory. It's a pretty big jump between these two sails and I hope to get an 8.0 - 8.5 in the future.

Thanks again for all of your help!

Last edited by johnk; 20th August 2008 at 07:52 PM.
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