A Photo & Discussion Forum for Wharram Design Enthusiasts
Should I glass the wooden masts I am making for my Tiki 31? Glassing would make the mast stronger, but does glass add to chafe when using the wingsail? Also I would not want to paint the masts but keep the natural looks of the wood. Using UV-resistant epoxy would allow me to do this? But should I also use varnish on top of the epoxy?
Olli, I asked this very question on boatdesign.net forum (which I recommend joining) and Paul Riccelli a NA has been very helpful on the forum, recommends not fiberglassing extior of a wooden mast if it is to be finished natural.
The reason is that to keep it natural can only use one layer of either 4oz or 6oz glass cloth so cloth won't be seen and that light of glass won't add any real strength, but the mast will eventually get small dings & dents and you can't fix them and they not show in the finish.
If rubbing becomes an issue where gaff jaws ride at top of mast then glassing just the area where it rides, as its not as visible and if needed not to bad of a job to sand down and reglass & varnish later when needed.
It has been suggested by several people not to epoxy coat the outside of the mast and then varnish. Because when time comes to strip and revarnish the mast, the epoxy is a real pain to sand down and it's more difficult to touch up small dings in the mast and they not be very noticeable.
On the inside of mast he recommends coating the interior of mast with several thick coats of epoxy and no glass cloth. Because as the mast flexes, over time occasionally the glass can pull loose from the wood in small spot/s and then becomes a trap to hold moisture and it can't be seen to know it needs fixed untill damage shows up.
On my Nari Mk IV I'm going to coat the inside of the masts with several coats of epoxy. I'm using birdsmouth stave construction for my masts. I get two halves that can be coated with epoxy then glued together
As I am finishing the masts bright/natural, I am going to coat them with CPES epoxy primer then varnish. That way I won't need to sand down epoxy when refinishing them later.