Tag: redundancy

Wood is a truly wonderful material, not just for its beauty, but also for its excellent engineering characteristics. While wood technology has been around for thousands of years for boat construction purposes, wood technology is still developing today.

 

In August of 1999, Woodenboat magazine published an article on a novel type of wooden mast construction. Masts originally were tree trunks. Tree trunks themselves are very efficient engineering structures, but for many centuries it has been known that a hollow tree is not much weaker than a solid tree. Similarly a hollow mast also is not much weaker than a solid mast and much lighter. And in sailboat design light is good and light weight high in the boat is awesome.

 

Therefore hollow masts were a feature of the fanciest wooden sailboats for many years, and with epoxy glues it became possible to glue together fancy hollow masts and hollow wooden masts were quite common. But still, not until the 1999 Woodenboat article did the boatbuilding world become aware of a very clever approach to hollow mast building that is now generally referred to as bird’s mouth mast construction.

 

If you look at the crosssection of the mast the term is obvious since it looks like a bunch of bird’s beaks biting their neighbors.  read more »