Weather Talk For BC no matter what you ride

Mast Lifetime

Windsurfing shop talk

by LeopardSkin » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:53 am

Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2011 09:44:01 -0700
To: LeopardSkin
Subject: Re: Mast Lifetime

Hey LeopardSkin,

If you keep caring for your masts there is no reason why they shouldn't last another 5 years or more. Short of out right abuse or mis-use there a couple things to be aware of that will shorten the life of any mast: UV and abrasion. It may sound obvious, but you should always store your mast in a bag and not unprotected on the roof of your car. The sun's UV rays will degrade the epoxy resin and bring the glass/carbon fibers to the surface. Sand and grit in the the ferrule connection, and within the mast sleeve of the sail can abrade the surface of the mast and cause problem with the coupling. Keep the mast clean and the inside of the mast sleeves.

At some point in the future there will inevitably be some cycle fatigue to the reflex response of the mast. Where that is and how to measure it is hard to determine. For an avid sailor I think its certain that the usable life of the mast is some multiple of the usable life of the sail. I have SDM race masts that are going on 6 season too.

Keep riding, and let me know when you get 300 sessions on that mast!

Bruce Peterson
301 North Wasco Court
Hood River, Oregon 97031
Tel: 541-386-6561

On 6/23/2011 11:59 PM, LeopardSkin wrote:


I bought new Backbone RDMs in 2006.

Got 340, 370, 400 and 430.

My 400 is my most used mast. It has been used 161 times so far. It's used on a 4.7 and 5.2. I am an average 170 pounds. I am an average recreational sailor who doesn't do a whole lot of tricks or anything. I don't abuse the mast.

Should I be concerned about the longevity of my mast?

Or will it last for many many more years?
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by Brian C » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:18 am

Thanks Tony, this is good info from Bruce.
My experience is that I have always stored my masts in sleeves, and even though they have spent a lot of time on the roof of a vehicle, I have never broken one due to fatigue. I tend to retire them from winter (or intense locations) service for safety after about a decade but that seems conservative from my experience.
The only mast I ever broke was a new one I pogoed in bad shorebreak, so it was not the masts fault. Some friends have also broken masts that they dinged on rocks.
I weigh a bit less than you. I think guys over 200 lbs or people doing aerials are much harder on their gear.
To sum up- masts can last a LONG time for most sailors, without fatigue problems if they are kept out of the sun when not sailing.
Aluminum booms in salt water are another matter!!
Brian C
Posts: 434
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:21 pm

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