Types of Sailboat Masts for the PDRacer
An unstayed mast is the simplest of all, it is basically a stick that your boat holds upright. Shown here are some blocks of wood that are simply bolted onto the forward bulkhead.
There are many other ways to hold that mast upright, if you look at various pictures on this website you will see lots of other ideas about how to hold up a mast.
Partner to Step Distance
Puddle Ducks are very stable hulls, and skippers usually sit way out on the side when racing. The mast acts like a big lever arm, the "partner" acts like a fulcrum, so you end up with a LOT of force being exchanged in that area.
A typical duck will need a step-to-partner distance of atleast 12". The smaller the distance between the step and the parner, the more force will be applied to that step.
If you are using a wooden mast, then something around the 2.25" diameter should be fine. You should also taper the mast (make it skinny as it goes up) to make it lighter.
With 3 sided sails (triangles), all of the stress is focused at the base of the mast, the top of the mast doesn't have that much stress on it, so it can be a lot smaller, like only 1.25" round.
4 sided sails (that have a stick holding the top of the sail) need masts that are thicker up top. When the wind is blowing, the yard (stick up top) pulls at the top of the mast so it needs to be stronger up there.
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