Michael Storer Boat Design


Making Carbon Fibre components


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How much trouble is it to make carbon fibre components and is it worthwhile?

But the Carbon spars are not particularly hard to do - Peter is the one to ask - but quite a few of us here have made carbon components for boats.

It's not really terribly difficult to make quite sophisticated carbon components - as the link you supplied shows.

There are a lot of problems involved in engineering them - particularly around stress points.  They can look fine for several outings then ... BANG!  It is also very easy to come up with some quite heavy carbon bits.

I have been involved with the unstayed rigs for the Norwalk Island Sharpies here - which use a spun tapered alloy mast with variable diameter and wall thickness.

Some of the local composite firms reckoned they could do better than the alloy sections.

But both were heavier - and one broke when fitted to the boat.  So to get the advantage from the carbon you need to make use of extensive trial and error (break lots - a bit like we did with our wooden PDRs) or use pretty sophisticated engineering methods.

Midge and I did discuss the idea of making some carbon tubes for our PDRs - but when it comes down to it ...

We're Woodies at heart!

Michael Storer

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