F21 Carbon Fiber Mast cracking

F21 Carbon Fiber Mast cracking

Postby wbalser » Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:27 am

Greetings all,
New to forum. Looking to purchase an F21. Long time sailor of 21-25s, have admired the freedoms for a long time and ready to purchase a good fit. The main question I have is on the mast. The one I am looking at is in good shape and mast looks solid too, plus it was “re-sleeved” not long ago—have pictures of the job, looked costly. Also it doesn’t look like it was done because of a failure but more preventative. As I look at the mast now I see some small cracks on the black surface, like paint cracks. Is this a structural concern? If not, what is the best way to address this—cosmetically but also for best maintenance. Any thing else I should be looking for? From what I have read it doesn’t seem like these fail often. Thanks for any input!
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Re: F21 Carbon Fiber Mast cracking

Postby Castaway » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:22 am

I think you will find that cracking of the surface finish on these CF masts is inevitable, especially with the smaller, and thus more flexible, ones. The structural integrity is unaffected, since the actual CF/resin part is covered by the coating, which is what is cracking. I have an old F-21, and the mast has a lot of surface cracking, since it has never been re-sleeved or repainted. It remains sound when being sailed, though, and still bends to the gusts, as it should. You will find quite a lot more about these masts if you search this board, including detailed accounts of re-furbishment. The need is mostly cosmetic.

There are a few accounts of masts breaking, too, but they all seem to be associated with blunt trauma (hitting bridges, falling over in boatyards, etc), and almost no possibility of collapse whilst at sea. I wouldn't let a few cracks put you off buying, especially since the PO cared enough for it to recover the mast in recent years.

Enjoy the F 21- it's a lot of fun to sail, though a bit small for my tastes, these days.
Gerald Freshwater,
s/y 'Castaway', (UK F35 cat ketch, centreboard, 1987)
Lerwick Boating Club
Shetland Isles, Scotland
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Re: F21 Carbon Fiber Mast cracking

Postby wbalser » Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:17 am

Thank you so much castaway! I will read around everything I can find on the forums. Your detailed response here is very appreciated!
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Re: F21 Carbon Fiber Mast cracking

Postby hkowalczyk » Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:11 pm

the resleeving is the way to fix the cracks of the cosmetic black coating here is an article by one of the designers of freedoms


I have a 21 and love it! You can't go wrong buying it.
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