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Masts, sourcing tube in Australia


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Hi everyone,


just pulled my sails off (previous owner furled around masts) to get reefs put in. seeing the masts closely I have found that they are short (compared to the current plan, and these are the old sails which I believe are taller.) and the tubes sizes are quite a bit smaller. (60,50,40mm)

Because the masts are in no way water tight I got on the thought track of replacing them as per the plans but I can’t source the right size tube here. 
I can get the 63.5 for the base and a 50.8 which is close to 51mm for the top but can’t find the 57.2 for the mid section, which is kinda crucial for it all to telescope.


so I’m wondering what other solutions are out there in Aus and what people have come up with. 


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I’m sorry that nobody has stepped forward to answer your questions.  Certainly one or two (if not all) of the builders in Australia and New Zealand have solved this problem.  Maybe they’re just too busy enjoying the summer sailing season, to check the forum.  I hope someone from your side of the world comes forward soon!

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Hi Nick

When I built my CS 17 in 2006-9 here in Brisbane I had problems finding the right tube size and alloy/temper (6061 T6). The plans gave several options- solid wood, birdsmouth wood and mixed aluminium tubes with wooden topmast. I ended up ordering tube from a company in Seattle (Online metals from memory). They could only airfreight 8 ft lengths so I made tripartite masts with 2 aluminium lower pieces and a solid wood topmast. Quite expensive as I recall but worked well.

I remember a subsequent discussion on this forum where Paul Riccelli (a professional designer/builder now deceased) suggested the better option would be a 2 piece mast- the bottom section, about 12 ft, in aluminium and a birdsmouth wooden top. If I were doing it again I'd do it that way, although maybe solid not birdsmouth top as when I calculated the weight saving it was in the order of 100-150 gms and not worth the extra bother of birdsmouth construction (to me anyway).


I wonder about the fibreglass tube under the foredeck that the mainmast slides into- is this also for 60mm tube? In which case a new larger diameter mast might involve a fairly significant modification. The mizzen wouldn't be too difficult.


BTW waterproof masts are difficult to achieve and most of us drill a hole at the bottom of the mast to let the water out.?



Peter HK

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I sourced the tube for my CS17 from 

Calm aluminium in Minto NSW.

They import tube for ultralight aircraft & the only supplier I could find.

It was expensive, about $450 from memory and the tubes aren’t quiet the specified size.

The top and middle section join was fine. But I had to sand a small amount out of the bottom tube. I then warmed the bottom tube with a heat gun & chilled the middle section in a ice bath…you only have one go & they are never coming apart.

cheers John 9A289BB8-2913-402D-B97D-F74771F43E0F.thumb.jpeg.a08a35e27a838e85d03d3e79bcf46a73.jpeg8BAEC0B1-09F1-4275-9260-0DDEA3E28FB5.thumb.jpeg.0f10f9cb511ca47e74f0e2441afd3b0b.jpeg

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and yeah I recon you are on the right track making new masts as specified by the designer. 
Basically the masts & sails (with roaches) on my boat were built to plan.

The masts work so well with the sails, giving both great performance and excellent gust response.

It’s  a pleasure  to sail the boat  having the  unstayed rigs work so perfectly… a real credit to the designer.
Cheers John

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