Home Forums General Weta Stuff Mast Flotation?

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  • #129
    Tom Kirkman
    Participant

    As I said in an earlier Facebook post, “capsizing is easy, righting is hard.”

    I’ve only flipped twice. First recovery was textbook according to the Weta instructions. The second time I was only in about 20 to 22 feet of water, which is a common depth in many of the inland lakes I sail here close to home. The mast got stuck in the bottom muck and I spent the better part of an hour trying to get it unstuck and the boat upright. It’s going to happen again and I want to be better prepared for it next time.

    I recognize that a tri isn’t going to respond to something like a “mast bob” the way a catamaran does. On the Weta you’ve got an Ama with about 400lbs floatation (my best estimate) that is going to easily overcome a bob or even inside the mast floatation (keeps water out and maintains buoyancy) with maybe 40 or 60 pounds of flotation. Still… I wonder what the effect of some floatation in or on the mast top would be.

    If the Ama still comes up but the boat will lie on a bit of an angle, then this might be beneficial. Although I tend to think this won’t happen unless you have enough to lift one Ama clear. Not sure how much they weigh – need to weigh one.

    Anybody tried any sort of mast float? I guess I need to give it a go in some deep water just to see whether it makes things better, worse or none of the above.

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    • #136
      wetaz904
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      Hi Tom,

      As an inland sailor myself I know what you mean about sticking masts into mud! Not so much the strength of the gust but the radical change of wind speed.

      I have noticed that Nacra catamarans have a mast floatation device on their mast’s as part of their design (entry level cat). Maybe you could consider that. But I would not be too keen on placing any weight on the top of the mast! – not good for the righting moment. Plus drag considerations if you are racing.

    • #141
      Tom Kirkman
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      The trouble is, cats don’t have that third hull automatically trying to turtle the boat. A mast float is generally okay on them, but maybe not so good on a trimaran. The instant you capsize a Weta you have an ama with about 400lbs flotation trying to get back to the water’s surface, so the mast float would be counteracting that to whatever degree possible.

      I guess I just need to go get in some deep water and try it. More and more I’m thinking you could never get enough floatation into or on top of the mast to completely counteract the ama bouyancy.

    • #656
      Paul White
      Keymaster
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      If you’re sailing in shallow water in strong winds then it is a good idea to prevent the mast from digging into the mud in any boat (I brokle a Laser mast like that).

      While the Hobie mast flats may be effective, there are automatic inflating alternatives that  are less intrusive:.

      http://www.grabner-sports.at/Masthead-float.1675.0.html?&L=2
      http://www.marinechandlery.com/secumar-auto-inflation-anti-inversion-mast-float-15917

      But first of all I’d suggest testing the volume of buoyancy it provides (using plastic containers) to ensure it does the job.

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